Ferndale ground out a 28-6 non-conference victory over Garfield that caused head coach Jamie Plenkovich more concerns than praises for his team's performance.
Ferndale was challenged early by a Garfield team that they beat 62-12 last season. The Golden Eagles' swarming defense kept the opponent off the scoreboard for most of the game, however, midway through the first quarter senior quarterback Cooper Clark connected with Daniel Jones on a 42-yard touchdown pass to put Ferndale ahead. They added a second score late in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Joey Akers. Kicker Andrew Higginson converted on both scores to give Ferndale a 14-0 halftime lead, leaving Garfield very much in the game.
"To be honest I felt we were really sloppy at times tonight," Plenkovich said. "We can't play like that next week and expect to play a Burlington team and have success."
Ferndale fumbled the ball four times, losing the ball twice. The second turnover resulted in good field position for Garfield on the Ferndale 17, and they capitalized for their only score of the game. Dropped balls, bad snaps, and slips on the field were a disappointment to the coaching staff and players alike.
"It was a win but it was a sloppy win," said running back Joey Akers.
Akers ran 14 times for 72 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for another score.
"We got a lot of stuff to work on this next week in practice. It was a sloppy win," Akers said.
Akers, like Plenkovich, refused to use the rain that came in the third quarter as an excuse.
"We should be able to handle the adversity and play the way we are able to play," he said. "We can always get better. I'm happy it's a win but we can get better."
Fellow running back Marcus Nightingale said something to work on for a tough match next week is "reading the holes, filling the holes." Nightingale found a few holes Friday night as he ran the ball 17 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. He was quick to praise the offensive line of Nate Carlson, Colby Bellefuille, Hunter Grunhurd and Chris Hernandez.
In the second half, Ferndale continued to grind out the ball on the ground. Forty of 44 plays from scrimmage were run on the ground, with Clark throwing just four passes. He threw only one in last week's win over Sehome. Clark, as cornerback on defense, also made the game's lone interception.
Garfield 0 0 0 6- 6
Ferndale 7 14 7 0- 28
Fern - Daniel Jones 34 pass from Cooper Clark (Andrew Higginson kick)
Fern - Joey Akers 1 run (Higginson kick)
Fern - Akers 4 pass from Clark (Higginson kick)
Fern - Marcus Nightingale 1 run (Higginson kick)
Gar - Jacqua Arrington 5 run (run failed)
First downs 4 9
Rushing Att-Yards 37-114 42-229
Comp-Att-Int 1-3-1 2-4-0
Passing yards 5 46
Penalties-yards 7-45 3-15
Fumbles-lost 1-0 4-2
RUSHING - Garfield: Roberson Winfred 6-5, Garner 8-21, Rashad Swank-Jones 4-8, Jacqua Arrington 12-73, Dominick Lewis 7-7 Ferndale: Joey Akers 14-72, Marcus Nightengale 17-120, Daniel Jones 6-30, Cooper Clark 2-3, Austin Honeycutt 2-4, Kyler Schemstad 1-0
PASSING - Garfield: Roberson Winfred 1-2-0-5. Ferndale: Cooper Clark 2-4-1-46
RECEIVING - Garfield: Torrence Baker 1-5 Ferndale: Joey Akers 1-4, Daniel Jones 1-42