Orcas’ offense takes a pass in 30-7 loss

The WestSound Orcas found their passing game for the first time in four outings. But it was the one throw that got away that led to their 30-7 downfall Saturday night at Silverdale Stadium.

Up 7-0 at the start of the third quarter, the Orcas defense was on a roll — stopping the visiting Multnomah County (Ore.) Buccaneers from scoring on seven consecutive possessions.

On the Bucs’ first possession of the second half, the Orcas picked off quarterback Derek Johnson to prevent their opponents from reaching the end zone.

Facing a 94-yard trip downfield, Orca quarterback Ramon Martinez tossed a bullet toward Klahowya grad Eric Mischenko. With the ball behind him, Mischenko reached out to grab the pass — only to deflect it into the hands of Buccaneer Brandon Branch, who ran untouched for 14 yards for the Bucs’ first score. A pass from Johnson to tight end Shay Dean gave Multnomah County an 8-7 lead they would never look back from.

“It was a misread,” Martinez said.

“We had them on the ropes,” Orcas defensive back Dave Snyder said. “We fell apart inside.”

After the long drive that saw most of the Multnomah County players end up at Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium before being rerouted over to Silverdale Stadium just before the delayed kickoff, the Bucs came alive in the fourth quarter.

Twenty-six seconds into the period, Johnson hit Antonio Sparrow from 28 yards out and then connected with Tige McSwain for the two-point conversion. Four minutes later, Palmer Butler unlocked the Orcas’ defense with a 34-yard touchdown run.

Johnson again connected with Sparrow for the two-point conversion, pushing the score to 24-7.

With three minutes remaining in the game, Johnson connected with Dean on a 27-yard pass to set up a 1-yard run by Jeff Danner for the final scoring drive. A two-point conversion following the touchdown failed, leaving the score at 30-7.

West Sound’s usually strong running game looked lost with injured running back Larry Bates unable to carry the ball with much effectiveness. The lone bright spot in the running game came when backup quarterback Brian Kinsey checked in for the Orcas’ last possession and ran for 28 yards on two carries before getting sacked on a fourth-down play.

Martinez (12-for-23, 145 yards) set up the Orcas only scoring drive five minutes into the second quarter by hitting tight end Keith Griffin with three passes for 22 yards and a 23-yard pass to Mischenko. Then came a 41-yard pass to high school and college teammate Darnell Currey for a 41-yard touchdown reception.

“Darnell was open all day,” Martinez said. “It’s that today was their day. They showed why they’re the league champs.”

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