Rob Oxford: Shorecrest football Senior Night - Oh, What A Night!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Senior players are honored in final season they weren't sure would happen
Photo by Rob Oxford

Oh, What A Night!
By Rob Oxford
“Senior Night” in high school is an evening designated to recognize, appreciate and pay homage to a student’s dedication to a chosen sport or activity. Some multi-sport athletes take part in several. Other players only one and to them, that one night is always very special.
Usually held towards the end of the season and celebrated by cheer squads, flag and drill teams, bands, volleyball, baseball and basketball teams and last Friday night, the 14 Seniors on the 2021 Shorecrest Scots Football Roster.  
Just like the season no one thought would happen, friends and fans of the Highlanders were surprised early in the week with news that there would indeed be a “Senior Night” for football and a limited number of spectators would be allowed entrance. The details were sketchy, but as a parent of one of those 14, my wife and I had heard all we needed to hear.
Parents arrived at 5:30pm staying socially distant as both the Shorecrest Scots and Mountlake Terrace Hawks continued their pregame warmup.

#8 Robbie Oxford and family

A much-abbreviated version of the traditional player/family introduction would then take place. Flowers and, in the case of #17 Zane Morga-Baisac, traditional Hawaiian leis were presented, a quick stroll down the sideline for a photo with the player and his family and just like that it was over. 

Which, given the sudden rain squall that appeared out of nowhere and the players itching to get down to business, was just as well.
Still hurting from a 10-point loss to Edmonds – Woodway, the Scots expressed an air of confidence coming in to Friday’s game. Winning the toss and electing to defer, #4 Gavin Dalziel, who recently signed a letter of intent to kick for Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, drove the opening kick out of the end zone, preventing a Mountlake Terrace return.
Starting at their own 20-yard line, facing the Scots 3/4 Defense, the Hawks' first play of the game was a handoff to RB Ethan Dunn over the right side. Like he was shot out of a cannon, Shorecrest LB #33 Beau Ormsby, a 5’9 170lb Junior, screamed past a pulling guard to meet Dunn 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage and - just like that - the tone was set for the rest of the contest.
Continuing to challenge the Scots' left side, the Hawks' first offensive series ended in a quarterback sack by Senior LB Robbie Oxford, loss of more yardage on another sweep to the short side of the field and finally a punt.
Taking over on the Mountlake Terrace 42-yard line, the Scots offense quickly went to work. Senior RB Gabe Nelson ducked and dodged his way for a 15-yard gain on his very first carry of the night. However, just when you thought the team had addressed the exchange between Center and Quarterback that plagued them in their loss to E/W the week before, the second snap of the game sailed over Quarterback Carson Christensen’s head for a 22-yard loss.
After gaining back 10 yards on a swing pass to #2 Des Fox, the Senior Receiver would follow up with a 27-yard reception after seeing his quarterback in trouble and scooping up a difficult pass. A veteran play by a team leader.

Once inside the 20-yard line the Scots Offense stalled. After a couple short yardage gains by Senior RB Marcus Tidwell and a pass that sailed over the head of an open Fox, Kicker Gavin Dalziel was called upon to break the scoreless tie. 
The ensuing kickoff would find Mountlake Terrace starting where they left off in the first series, again trying to power up the right side of the field only to be pushed further and further in the wrong direction by the Scots' Defense.
After a net punt of 4 yards, the Scots would take over in great field position.
The next series would begin with the Scots Offensive Line unable to pick up a blitzing Mountlake Terrace linebacker and Scots RB Tidwell being stopped for a loss. However, blitzing another linebacker on the next play, this time from the opposite side, would prove to be costly for Mountlake Terrace. 

Initially causing Scots QB Carson Christensen to flee the pocket thus pulling the Hawks Defensive Backs out of coverage, #11 Connor Dow was able to set up a lemonade stand in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown reception from Christensen. A rare missed extra point would make the score 9 – 0 in favor of the Scots with 4 minutes left in the opening quarter. 
After another Mountlake Terrace three and out and an ineffectual punt, the Scots took over in great field position but continued to struggle with blitzing linebackers, mishandled snaps and dropped passes. A missed 49-yard field goal by Gavin Dalziel would end the first quarter with the Scots on top and the Mountlake Terrace Hawks yet to acquire any positive yardage.
The second quarter started with Mountlake Terrace continuing to be pounded by the Scots’ defensive rush. After barely escaping the grasp of Senior LB Robbie Oxford, the Terrace QB unintentionally floated a wobbly pass into the waiting arms of Junior DB #21 Daryl Scott who bolted untouched, 25 yards for the Scots' first Pick 6 of the year. After a rare blocked extra point, the Scots had a 15 – 0 lead over the Hawks with 9 minutes left before the half.

Friends first, teammates second
Photo by Rob Oxford
On the next Shorecrest possession, Scots Quarterback Carson Christensen perfectly executed a designed draw up the left side for a 73-yard touchdown run. Showcasing his speed and quickness, the play was negated after another, this time extremely costly holding penalty.
Maintaining their composure, two plays later Senior standout Marcus Tidwell rumbled up the field for a 67-yard touchdown run. After another high snap and great effort by Des Fox to secure the hold, Dalziel adds the PAT to put the Scots up 22 – 0. 
Outstanding play on Defense by some of the Scots non-starters not only kept the Hawks in check most of the night but gave the coaches, those in the stands and those watching the live stream a little glimpse into Shorecrest Football 2022 and beyond. Deserving of recognition are #20 Ramy Abdalla who is just a sophomore and Junior LJ Baxter who recovered a loose fumble in the end zone to add to the Scots' touchdown totals on the night.
Outstanding play can also be attributed to Senior Jaxon Taylor who had the evening's most ferocious hit, dislodging the ball from the Hawks punter after a fake punt attempt on 4th and 14.
Christensen would add another score with an 18 yard run sending the game to halftime 36 – 0 in favor of the Scots.
With qualifications for the “Running Clock” rule having been reached, the second half moved rather quickly with Mountlake Terrace facing the same obstacles and plenty of Shorecrest backup players receiving playing time.
Gabe Nelson would add a touchdown reception to his evening totals and the Scots would end the night with a 43 – 0 shutout of Mountlake Terrace.
On behalf of the parents, grandparents, loved ones and players, enough thanks can not be bestowed upon those who worked hard to make this football season as normal as possible all things considered.  


Unknown March 21, 2021 at 9:36 AM  

Rob i bet your heart swells when writing about your son Robbie!!!!! mine did!! I enjoy reading what you report on. thank You !!!

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