SPORTS: Top-ranked Cascade Christian ruins Port Townsend’s homecoming game

PORT TOWNSEND — Tom Webster loves everything about his Port Townsend football team . . . except for the results on Friday nights.

The first-year head coach came away with a handful of positives from the Redskins homecoming matchup with Nisqually League powerhouse Cascade Christian.

Unfortunately, none of those were the final score.

The top-ranked Cougars dropped the Redskins 48-8 in front of the Memorial Field faithful Friday night, triggering the 45-point mercy rule midway through the third quarter.

“A lot of people might not believe this, but this is a really fun group to coach,” said Webster, who’s still looking for his first win at 0-5 in league and 0-7 overall.

“There’s a lot of positives on this thing. I asked our kids [after the game], ‘How many kids had fun out there tonight?’ Every one of them raised their hand. That’s encouraging.”

Cascade Christian out-gained the Redskins 478 yards to 151 on the game and scored on four of its first five possessions to take a 28-0 halftime lead that was never challenged.

Cougar runners accounted for 294 yards, with elusive runner Tyler Walrath juking and spinning for 166 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Compounding the difficulty of the loss for the Redskins was a possible season-ending injury to two-way star Mel Thornton.

The sophomore wide receiver/quarterback/defensive back broke his collar bone at the end of a run on the Redskins’ final drive of the game (See Prep Notes).

“That’s a huge blow to our team,” Webster said. “He’s one of our very best players on both sides of the ball.”

Thornton was the Redskins’ biggest playmaker Friday, accounting for 125 yards of offense and a fumble recovery before getting knocked out of the game.

The 14-yard run on which he was injured — preceded by his 42-yard halfback pass to Austin Graham — set up the Redskins’ lone touchdown.

While Thornton was being attended to on the sideline, Graham found Conakry Coggins in the end zone on another halfback pass from 12 yards out.

Kyle Kelly completed a pass to Robert Ristick for the two-point conversion.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” said Webster, who started three freshmen in the team’s second home game of the season. “We didn’t quit.

“I don’t think there is anybody in the state of Washington at the 1A level who would have picked these guys for homecoming. We just happened to get them.

“So our fans got to see a really good football team, and they got to see our guys compete. And we did compete for 48 minutes.”

Up until that scoring drive, the Redskins managed just six first downs while turning the ball over three times against a Cascade Christian defense that’s given up just 87 points in seven games.

Quarterback Kyle Kelly completed 7-of -8 throws for 31 yards and two interceptions.

Thornton threw for 89 yards on 8-of-13 passing and ran for 33 yards on 17 carries.

He was also one of just two runners who managed positive yardage against the Cougars, who surrendered only 19 yards on the ground.

“It looked like for about three or four minutes there [in the first quarter] that we were hanging in there,” Webster said. “And then they can just gash you in a hurry.”

Indeed, Cascade Christian had a few problems of its own early on, fumbling the opening punt and stalling on its first drive into Port Townsend territory.

The Cougar attack hit on all cylinders after that, however, scoring on its next four possessions.

That included a pair of touchdown runs from Colton Faverty (6 carries, 50 yards) and a 43-yard pass play from quarterback Kyle Stennes to Josh Shreffler.

Three straight touchdown drives to begin the second half gave the Cougars a 48-0 lead, putting the running clock mercy rule into effect.

“For a team that hadn’t won a game, they came out with a purpose,” Cougars head coach Randy Davis said. “That’s all you can ask as a coach is to play hard, and they did.”

C. Christian 48, P. Townsend 8

Cascade Christian 14 14 20 0– 48

Port Townsend 0 0 0 8– 8

First Quarter

CC–Faverty 3 run (Zepernick kick)

CC–Shreffler 43 pass from Stennes (Zepernick kick)

Second Quarter

CC–Faverty 11 run (Zepernick kick)

CC–Walrath 11 run (Zepernick kick)

Third Quarter

CC–Walrath 59 run (Zepernick kick)

CC–Archer 52 punt return (Zepernick kick)

CC–Brar 3 run (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter

PT–Coggins 12 pass from Graham (Ristick pass from Kelly)

Individual Stats

Rushing– PT: Thornton 17-33, Coggins 2-9, Noeldechen 1-(minus 1), Ristick 1-(minus 6), Kelly 4-(minus 11). CC: Walrath 6-166, Faverty 6-50, Cole 2-18, Stennes 1-16, Bostwick 5-16, Johnson 1-7, Milton 1-7, Stevenson 1-7, Thompson 2-7, Tracy 1-5, Brar 1-3, Roosendaal 1-3, Archer 1-(minus 11).

Passing–PT: Thornton 8-13-0, 89; Kelly 7-18-2, 31; Graham 1-1-0, 12. CC: Stennes 3-6-0, 103; Brar 6-11-0, 81.

Receiving–PT: Graham 2-48, Juran 5-31, Coggins 2-29, Ristick 2-14, Thornton 4-3. CC: Archer 2-60, Shreffler 1-43, Bramell 1-34, Zepernick 3-27, Wood 2-20.

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