There wasn’t one little thing that coach Jamie Plenkovich could point to when asked what went wrong Saturday afternoon, Sept. 6. Marcus Nightingale repeated what his coach said nearly 10 minutes later in the locker room. The wording was verbatim.
“It’s not one thing,” Nightingale and Plenkovich echoed. “We have to clean up a lot of things.”
The combination of several little mistakes were too much to overcome in a 34-14 season-opening loss to Kamiakin at Lampson Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
“We were way too sloppy in a lot of facets of the game,” Plenkovich said. “We have to be more disciplined.”
Part of that assessment comes for several false start penalties, a couple holding penalties, and the inability to finish tackles on defense. Ferndale committed 15 penalties for 108 yards.
“Everyone has to do their jobs,” Nightingale said.
All started off well for the Golden Eagles, as they marched the ball down the field in 10 plays for 64 yards on their first drive to take a quick 7-0 lead. The drive was capped by a Nighingale 1-yard run. Their run-first wing-T offense appeared almost unstoppable, as they ran right through the Braves defense.
“You never know how the kids are going to come out in the first game of the season,” Kamiakin coach Scott Biglinsaid . “It’s hard to replicate that wing-T offense in practice. Those first two series, they punched us in the mouth.”
However, the momentum was short-lived. Kamiakin scored late in the first quarter on a touchdown catch by Mike Jones from Tyson Patten to tie the game at 7. It was the first of three unanswered touchdowns by the Braves, as they pulled away in the second half.
Kamiakin shut Ferndale out in the final two quarters as the Golden Eagles could not get inside the Braves’ 25-yard line on any of their five second half drives.
“We have to finish our blocks and carry out our fakes,” Nightingale said.
It wasn’t that Ferndale didn’t have its chances. It forced three turnovers. However, none of those were converted into points.
Ferndale cut the margin to 21-14 late in the second quarter, when Kyler Schemstad hit Nightingale for a 49-yard touchdown pass and catch with 1:00 left in the first half. The Braves fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Ferndale took over at the Kamiakin 42-yard line with 54 seconds remaining. Ferndale marched to the 11-yard line, but was stopped on a third-down sack by Tyler Herman to end the half.
“We just couldn’t execute at times,” Nightingale said.
Nighingale finished with 18 carries for 72 yards and a score. He had one catch for 49 yards and a TD. Daniel Jones led Ferndale with 88 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Kamiakin pushed the lead back to a two-touchdown margin midway through the third quarter on a 19-yard touchdown catch by Jace Navejas. Patten through his fourth touchdown of the night to cap the scoring, hitting Darreon Moore on a 41-yard pass play to extend the lead to 34-14.
Patten finished the night 11 of 20 passing for 192 yards.
“It was a lot of first-game things we need to clean up,” Plenkovich said. “This game is only going to help us and make us better.”
Schemstad completed 13 of 22 passes for 148 yards. Christian Cameron led the Golden Eagles with seven catches for 73 yards.
Fern—Marcus Nightingale 1 run (Andrew Higginson-Fernadez kick)
Kam—Mikey Jones 5 pass from Tyson Patten (Coonor Shymanski kick)
Kam—T.J. Faamausili 44 run (Shymanski kick)
Kam—Austin Gutierrez 23 pass from Patten (Shymanski kick)
Fern—Nightingale 49 pass from Kyler Schemstad (Higginson-Fernandez kick)
Kam—Jace Navejas 19 pass from Patten (Shymanski kick)
Kam—Darreon Moore 41 pass from Patten (snap fumbled)
KamFirst downs 20 13Rushing Att-yards 48-169 22-94Comp-Att-Int 13-22-0 11-20-0Passing yards 148 192Penalties-yards 15-108 3-14Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-3
RUSHING—Ferndale: Daniel Jones 14-88, Nightingale 18-72, Austin Honeycutt 8-29, Taylor Bellefeuille 2-3, Schemstad 6-(-23). Kamiakin: Faamausili 6-61, Justin Larsen 9-20, Jones 6-13, Patten 1-0.
PASSING—Ferndale: Schemstad 13-22-0-148. Kam Patten 11-20-0-192.
RECEIVING—F, Christian Cameron 7-73, Nightingale 1-49, Dante Kelly 4-30, Honeycutt 1-4. Kam, Moore 2-59, Navejas 3-44, Gutierrez 3-41, Ryan Baker 1-26, Faamausili 1-8, Jones 1-5.