FERNDALE - The first of the Wildcats’ three picks did immediate damage to the South Fork Cubs on Saturday afternoon in Ferndale.
In the second quarter, South Fork’s Troy Langley’s fourth-down interception gave his team the ball at their own one-yard line, trailing by only a touchdown.
But three plays later, with Ferndale’s defense chasing quarterback Joey Wittlake in the end zone, the Cubs’ signal-caller threw a ball over the middle. Wildcat Brad Martin alertly picked off the pass at the 17-yard line and scampered to pay dirt for a touchdown that put Ferndale up 13-0 and changed the tone of Saturday afternoon’s Little 4 football contest.
”We were able to make a big play there, and use the momentum,” said Ferndale head coach Kim Jorgensen, whose team emerged with a 39-6 victory.
In the fourth quarter, Ferndale’s Kyle Chambers and Wyatt Standley also picked off passes - one each by Wittlake and Langley - which led to scoring drives. __In addition to his interception, Chambers had another big offensive game for the Wildcats.
The senior picked up 130 yards on 19 carries, including a two-yard run for the initial points of the game, and a seven-yard run in the second quarter. Chambers also caught a pass from Martin in the backfield and then fired downfield, connecting with Chas Richardson on a 79-yard pass play.
”He’s (Chambers) been running well for us, and he had a good game today,” said Jorgensen. __Zach Rocha also scored a pair of rushing TDs - nine yards in the third quarter, and seven yards in the fourth - and finished with 64 yards on eight carries.
”The line opened some holes and did a good job working together,” said Jorgensen.
Ferndale’s other TD came via the air, as Standley hauled in a 24-yard pass from Martin with 9:19 left in the game to cap off a 69-yard drive.
Not much seemed to go well for South Fork in the first half.
”Our execution in the first half was as bad as it’s been all season,” said South Fork head coach Andy Olsen. “But the effort was there, and I’m happy about that.”
Although Wittlake had a rare poor passing performance - 4 for 20 with two picks - he did help South Fork’s cause with his legs and on defense. He rushed for 102 yards on 12 carries, the bulk coming on 39- and 33-yard runs. As a defensive back, he made several key tackles to prevent potential big gains.
Dylan Phelps-Harding carried the ball 10 times for 50 yards, and Langley rushed 14 times for 47 yards.
Langley put points on the board for the Cubs with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter when, after sidestepping a tackler who quickly penetrated the backfield, he raced nine yards to the right side of the end zone.
With the win, Ferndale improved to 2-1 in the Little 4 and 4-3 overall, heading into next Saturday’s road game at St. Bernard’s.
The loss dropped South Fork to 1-2, 3-4, heading into its home match-up next Friday against Hoopa Valley.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF HOLLY SAVOIE
1. Troy Langley, #5, ran in the only Cubs’ touchdown of the game.
2. Cubs’ quarterback Joey Wittlake, #4, looks for a hole to run through.