Sports

Orcas 'in-offensive' in loss

"Late in last Saturday's Northwest Football League game at Bremerton Memorial Stadium, a fan yelled for West Sound Orcas head coach Robert Mulligan to put his defense in.Thing was, the Orcas were on offense.That says a lot about the offensive unit's struggles against the King County Jaguars in a 26-0 blanking in front of about 200 in a game where the only offensive touchdown was scored in the final minute. The performance was pretty offensive, all right, but not in the way the O's or their long-suffering coach would've preferred.Our offense is sputtering, Mulligan said after the Orcas (3-4 in NWFL play, 3-6 overall) managed a paltry 93 net yards and turned the ball over seven times. We worked on the passing all week in practice, but it didn't come through tonight. And then we were stuffed on the run, because they knew it's what we had to do.The defense played solidly enough, yielding just a pair of Richard Black field goals until Donnie Wilson - the fourth quarterback used by the Jags in the game - hit Landon Bishop from 10 yards out with just 37 seconds left on the clock, when the O's could've been excused for leaning towards the locker room.The defense played well, Mulligan said, but they can't stay out there forever. We have to give them some help.The Whales' offensive foibles started early, when Don Purser's fourth passing attempt was picked off by KingCo's Chris Springs, who ran it back 45 yards for a touchdown.It got worse from there.Purser finished with four completions in 15 attempts. Nearly as many of his passes ended up in the mitts of Jaguars (three) as in those of his own teammates. Late replacement Robert Boyer didn't fare much better, completing two of six passes and tossing West Sound's fourth interception.It wasn't all Purser's fault, by any stretch. His receivers dropped several passes and were separated from several others by bruising KingCo hits. One such shot, after a catch over the middle by Shawn Parker, might've resulted in a broken rib for the Whales' leading receiver. An ambulance was summoned after the game to help piece Parker back together again.Toss in a trio of lost fumbles and an inability to get anything to the outside against a KingCo defense that consistently stacked the front line with eight or nine bodies, and the game won't rank among the Orca offensive players' season highlights.We just didn't have anything working for us tonight, Mulligan said of his barren offense.Springs actually was the game's most productive player. He added a 35-yard pick and return in the fourth quarter for his second touchdown. King County kicker Richard Black tacked on field goals of 42 and 35 yards, which were set up by the Jags' only two convincing drives of the game.Mulligan said the drawing board for this Saturday's game, back at Memorial Saturday, Aug. 4 against the Washington Cavaliers (3-4, 3-5), might well include a change at quarterback. Boyer, a first-year Orca, will get some serious snaps in practice as Mulligan looks for something that clicks - or pops, squeaks or emits any sort of positive noise - on the would-be attacking side of the ball.Purser was sick all last week - I don't know how much of the problem that was, Mulligan said. He never looked that strong tonight in his throwing. Maybe he was too sick (to play), I don't know.Excepting quarterback Derrick Smith, the Orca defense pretty much squashed anything the Jaguars brought offensively, scoring four sacks and forcing four turnovers. Both Smith and his replacement, Leo Dickerson, were forced from the game with apparent shoulder separations, the products of crushing Orca hits.But Smith had two long scrambles - 22 and 41 yards - that keyed the drives to Black's two field goals, and completed 7 of 13 passes for 58 yards. He accounted for nearly three quarters of the visitors' total offensive yardage.We're just not throwing or catching the ball well, said Mulligan, whose team managed just six first downs - four rushing and two via penalties - in the entire game. We've got to get better. We can't just depend on our defense all the time.Regardless of what some fans might think.Saturday's game against the Cavs, the third of four straight home appearances by the Orcas, kicks off at 6 p.m. "

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