Justice Powell didn’t realize he covered 90 yards on his second touchdown run, but he was sure of one thing: Ferndale has more speed in the backfield and up front.
Powell’s 53-yard touchdown run on the Golden Eagles’ first play typified the speed they displayed with four long touchdowns in their 41-0 season-opening nonleague win over Vancouver (B.C.) College on Friday, Sept. 2.
“I really didn’t know it was that long,” Powell said of his 90-yard run, which gave Ferndale a 21-0 lead two minutes into the second quarter. “We’ve lost size on the line, but we definitely make up for it with more speed, both in the backfield and up front. Our linemen were opening up big holes everywhere.”
BROSELLE SHARP IN RETURN
Ben Broselle, in fine form after missing almost all last season with an injury, capped the speedfest when he scored on a perfectly aimed 66-yard pass over the middle from junior quarterback James Hinson, a returning starter, with 49 seconds left in the first half for a 35-0 lead.
SEMU JOINS THE PARTY
Cole Semu, a 190-pound junior, displayed promise with 94 yards on 12 carries and scored on a 45-yard pass from Hinson and on a 2-yard run. He was a major help to seniors Powell, who finished with 169 yards on 8 carries, and Broselle, who had 103 yards rushing and receiving.
Conner Obergotsberger caught Hinson’s third touchdown pass, an 8-yarder, to cap a 99-yard, 12-play drive with 7:41 remaining. Fellow sophomore Watiko Leighton helped set up the play with his first varsity catch, a 13-yarder, to help Hinson finish 5 for 9 for 138 yards with no interceptions.
DEFENSE ALSO FAST, TOUGH
The Golden Eagles’ defense, getting plenty of tackles from two-way senior lineman Winterhawk Leighton, and 235-pound freshman Geiran Hatchett, among many others, was nails more often than not. Logan Otway recovered a fumble at the 8 on the kickoff following Powell’s 53-yard score, setting up Semu’s first touchdown.
The Fighting Irish gambled on fourth-down plays in the first quarter from Ferndale’s 47, 42 and 43 on three of their first four drives, but the Golden Eagles foiled them all.
“Overall, I’m very happy,” said longtime Ferndale coach Jamie Plenkovich. “They (the Fighting Irish) had a good game plan, but we played well. We’ve got guys who can make big plays. For sure we have more speed, and not just in the backfield.”
Fern -- Justice Powell 53 run (Patrick Hegarty kick)
Fern -- Cole Semu 2 run (Hegarty kick)
Fern -- Powell 90 run (Hegarty kick)
Fern -- Semu 45 pass from James Hinson (Hegarty kick)
Fern -- Ben Broselle 66 pass from Hinson (Hegarty kick)
Fern -- Conner Obergotsberger 8 pass from Hinson (kick failed)
RUSHING – Vancouver College: Michael Le 21-80, Alfred Dela Cruz 4-17, Gavin Lunny 4-17, Isaiah States 2-19. Ferndale: Justice Powell 8-169, Cole Semu 12-94, Ben Broselle 8-37, James Hinson 2-(minus 3), Conner Obergotsberger 1-(minus 4), Jaden Schwartz 1-3, Gadar Fox 1-2.
PASSING – Vancouver College: Jabob Samuels 10-25-1-106. Ferndale: James Hinson 5-9-0-138.
RECEIVING – Vancouver College: Will Taras 4-25, Conrad Hensel 2-30, Bobby Singh 2-42, Alfred Dela Cruz 2-9. Ferndale: Ben Broselle 1-66, Cole Semu 1-45, Jacob Kildall 1-6, Watiko Leighton 1-13, Conner Obergotsberger 1-8.