Football: Good Guys Wear White

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Des Fox returns one of two interceptions

By Rob Oxford

Dressed in their road white uniforms, the Shorecrest Scots made their ceremonial entrance into Shoreline Stadium behind the Highland Pipers and wasted no time getting down to business. The Stanwood Spartans had won the coin toss and elected to kick, a decision that would prove to be their undoing.

On the first play of the game, the Scots executed what had to have been a new play recently added to their arsenal. Senior QB Eladio Fountain took the snap from Center Damarious Kellogg-Duncan and handed it to Des Fox who was coming “in motion” from the left side. We’ve seen this play before and with Fox’s speed, the Junior Receiver normally keeps the ball and scurries for several yards up field. This time however, something different occurred. Instead of advancing toward the line of scrimmage, Fox (a former Quarterback) took a few steps backward and dropped a dime into the waiting hands of #9 Derrick Williams 40 plus yards downfield. The play jolted both the home crowd and the Stanwood Defense.

Three plays later, following a 6-yard carry by Marcus Selzler, Eladio Fountain would take the ball himself and put the first 6 points on the left side of the scoreboard... the only side that would display points the entire night. Gavin Dalziel, who continues to be flawless on PAT’s (Point After Touchdown) added a single digit making the score 7 – 0 Scots. Little did anyone know at the time that because of the team's stout Defense, those 7 points would prove to be enough to lift the Scots to a record of 5 and 1 on the season.

The Scots 2nd series on offense started in what some familiar with the team might consider “typical Highlander fashion.” A false start pushed them back 5, but the following pass play to WR Derek Williams resulted in positive yardage and a Scots' first down. On 3rd and 10 a screen pass fell short, but Stanwood was called for a personal foul/roughing the passer. The first of what would be many unnecessary penalties perpetrated by a frustrated Spartan team.

Utilizing several targets including Senior WR Carlos Torres, who had one of his best games this season, Fountain was then successful moving the ball downfield, something he struggled to do in the first half of last week's game. Finding open receivers on hitch routes, screen passes and another perfectly thrown ball to Torres, the Scots were once again knocking on the door. Following another pass to Torres which moved the ball inside the 10-yard line, RB Markus Selzler followed the blocking of his front line and rumbled for 6 yards and an additional 6 points for the Scots. Dalziel would effortlessly tack on another PAT and the Scots would have the 14 – 0 advantage.

From the cheap seats, the Scots Offensive Line appeared to have a great night against what is customarily a much bigger Stanwood team. With the exception of a couple unfortunate sacks, Seniors James Huffman, Andrew Pellham, Kellogg-Duncan and Junior Jordan Glesener provided much needed pass protection and opened some big holes for the Scots runners. Especially notable was the work of 5’9 215 lb Junior Guard Jacob Halvorson, holding his own against the Spartans biggest player, 6’4 290 lb Nose Tackle Bryan Henderson.

Following a 7 yard pass to Torres, a frustrated Spartan Defender would blatantly grind #1’s helmet into the turf resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty and the ball being placed half the distance to the goal. Under pressure and forced to scramble, the Scots' Fountain would fumble and Stanwood would stave off another Highlander score… at least for the time being.

#26 Tylor SanNicolas carried the ball well for the Spartans, darting up field for a 37-yard gain, but a stop at the line of scrimmage by #7 Markus Selzler and a timely sack by Junior Linebacker Robbie Oxford prevented Stanwood from putting any points on the board before the end of the first quarter.

Friday Night’s game at Shoreline Stadium literally had everything a Highlander football fan could possibly want. Defensive pressure up front by James Huffman, Marcus Tidwell, Derrick Williams and Jordan Glesener, tight coverage in the secondary by Mo Dean, Des Fox, Zane Morga-Baisac and Jacob Cruz, combined with a timely sack by Junior Linebacker Jaxon Taylor, again forced the Spartans to punt. The result was a block by Cruz who caught the bouncing ball in stride and streaked 45 yards towards the goal line for a touchdown.

After another defensive stop, the Spartans would turn the ball over once again. This time however, the Scots Offense would struggle. On 4th and 9, leading by 21, it seemed as though the coaching staff might be bold enough to go for it. Instead Fountain in shotgun formation, quick-kicked a 30-yard punt and the well-rested Scots Defense again took to the field.

After a couple nice carries by SanNicolas, the Spartans got caught holding. Now forced to pass in order to sustain their drive, Stanwood QB #17 Caden Lukehart was intercepted by Des Fox. Unbeknownst at the time, that play would be a sign of great things to come from #2.

Possession would again change hands and just when it looked as though the Spartans might be able to mount a scoring drive, #20 Jaxon Taylor added to his impressive statistics with a fumble recovery.

With a little over two minutes left in the first half, the Scots weren’t done scoring. QB Fountain racked up 17 yards on his own and then placed the perfect pass into the arms of Fox who wormed his way closer to the end zone with some impressive extra effort. Fountain then muscled his way across the goal line for another touchdown and the Scots led 28 – 0.

Scots on the tackle

With only seconds left in the half, #30 Savion Lucero prevented the Spartans from scoring by chasing down a Stanwood ball carrier from behind. Hoping to wipe the goose egg from their side of the scoreboard, Stanwood maneuvered their way down field and instead of opting for what would have been a chip shot field goal for 3 points, the offense tried punching it on a 4th and goal. On what was probably their best play of the night, the Scots Defense came up big and stuffed the Spartans as the clock ran out.

Stanwood would receive the ball to start the 2nd half and #34 Isaac Ortega, another tough runner for the Spartans, would return the kickoff to the 46-yard line. Following a couple tackles for loss, Scots CB Zane Morga-Baisac made a text book open field tackle preventing another long run. Continuing to move the ball and inside the Scots 10 yard line a pass from Lukehart fell short. Facing another 4th down, an ill-advised toss was picked off by Des Fox who outran every Spartan Defender for a 96 yard touchdown return.

35 – 0 Scots

When healthy, Senior Markus Selzler is undoubtedly one of the best athletes in WesCo 3A South and he showed why on Friday night. Another sack on Stanwood’s QB Caden Lukehart, added to the 6’0 Junior's many woes and on the very next play, another pick 6 was thrown to Des Fox, his 3rd interception and second touchdown of the night. With that play, Fox solidified himself as an Everett Herald “Player of the Week” candidate.

Now leading 42 – 0 the Scots Defense continued to apply pressure, and on more than one occasion had Stadium Announcer Wyatt Tonkin referring to Stanwood’s position on the field as “1st and a cab ride”.

When it appeared the Spartans might finally have a chance to put some points on the board, another fumble was recovered by Shorecrest and the Offense went back to work. Solid running by Gabe Nelson and Marcus Tidwell allowed the Scots to burn up the remainder of the 3rd Quarter.

During the first 8 minutes of the 4th quarter Stanwood kept fighting but were simply unable to mount any type of meaningful drive. Assisted by Senior Defensive Lineman Mac Holland, a strip sack and fumble recovered by Robbie Oxford gave the ball back to the Scots and allowed Coach Brandon Christensen to comfortably rest his starters.

With 4:33 remaining, Backup QB Carson Christiansen kept the ball on the ground and allowed Sophomore RB’s Daryl Scott and Ben Seather-Brady to add even more yardage to their season totals.

Although by this time the Stanwood Starting Defense had taken their blows, they remained on the field and the Scots 2nd string Offensive Line continued to pound the rock and burn up the clock.

By the final buzzer, the Shorecrest Scots had pronounced their intention of remaining a one loss team. Now, with 2 games remaining in the regular season and in a 4-way tie with Edmonds/Woodway, Meadowdale and Snohomish, the Scots are in complete control of their own destiny.

A win next week at Edmonds Stadium against Meadowdale and a final victory at home against Lynnwood on October 25th would culminate in the type of season Coach Christensen, his team and Shorecrest fans have waited for and wanted for a very, very long time.

Shorecrest 42 - Stanwood 0

No pressure Coach.


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