Jaguars capitalize on Orcas' mistakes

The West Sound Orcas went head to head with the King County Jaguars for the first 28 minutes on Saturday night in their home opener.

But on a night where big plays ruled, the Jaguars took advantage of their host’s miscues for a 30-6 Northwest Football League win at Memorial Stadium in Bremerton.

The battle was even all the way up to the final two minutes of the first half, when everything fell apart as the Jags (1-0) took advantage of two Orcas’ (0-2) pass interference calls and two interceptions of quarterback Ramon Martinez to take a 13-0 lead before the dust settled.

“We weren’t executing right,” said Martinez, who was five-of-15 passing for 59 yards. “I take the blame for this game, it was my fault.”

Martinez’s statement caught Orcas coach Steve McDaniel off guard.

“He takes the blame for this game?” McDaniel asked. “He can’t take the blame because he threw a couple of interceptions. When Ramon says something like that, I believe it means he’s going to step it up in practice this week.

“Ramon’s play-calling on the field is 100 percent better than the last game. Every single play was an audible, and he’s improved on reading the defenses.”

Coming back from the halftime intermission, Olympic High product Malachi DeWalt took the kickoff, broke three tackles and went down the left sideline 74 yards for a touchdown to give the visitors a 20-0 lead.

The Orcas got on the scoreboard eventually when Keith Griffin ran 16 yards for a touchdown, as the Jaguars struggled to hold back the home team’s running game, which tallied 149 yards.

And just as the tide started to turn, King County’s Milton Myers ran back a punt return 40 yards with 3:53 left in the third quarter to up the lead to 27-6.

Kicker Richard Black made a 19-yard field goal for the game’s final score.

Minus the younger DeWalt’s run, the Orcas defense gave up only 69 yards and only one successful pass that didn’t happen until the fourth quarter for eight yards.

The team was hurt by 10 penalties, adding up to 97 yards.

“I’ll take this game even though it was a loss,” McDaniel said, noting the team has cut down on the number of penalties it has received and had a better showing than its 31-12 non-League loss to the Vancouver Raiders in the preseason. “Special teams, defense working on their tackles and Ramon’s passing abilities are all things were going to have to work on,” before the team heads to Milwaukie, Ore., this Saturday to play the Oregon Thunderbolts.

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