ABERDEEEN – Hoquiam defensive back Jackson Folkers helped turn Stewart Field into a no-fly zone with four interceptions on a night where the Grizzlies’ defense frustrated Aberdeen to win the 113th installment of the Myrtle Street Rivalry Friday night at Stewart Field.
Hoquiam (2-0) won the matchup with its crosstown rival, 28-7, on the back of strong play from its secondary that bothered Bobcats receivers all night and totalled six interceptions as a unit.
“We wanted a game like that. Last week were contested with 35 passes and Aberdeen’s tempo was a lot faster today than what we saw last week,” said Hoquiam head coach Jeremy McMillan when recalling Aberdeen’s offensive style. “I’m really proud of the secondary, especially Jackson (Folkers) taking the lead out there.”
On offense, Hoquiam wasted no time getting the ball downfield on their first possession and used a 60-yard pass from Payton Quintanilla to Folkers to gain a huge chunk of yardage.
After showing off his arm strength at the start of that first drive, Quintanilla made use of his legs and scrambled in for a touchdown from 5-yards out to give the Grizzlies a 7-0 lead with 8:47 left in the first quarter.
Folkers had a big night as a defensive back and came away with four interceptions in the game, two in the first half and two in the second half.
Aberdeen head coach Kevin Ridout said the entire offensive unit has to improve to cut down on the interceptions.
“We had receivers open and you can’t turn the ball over that many times,” he said. “Everyone thinks it’s on the quarterback. No, it’s on everybody. There was balls that were tipped, there were balls where they didn’t come back for the ball, it’s not just on one person.”
Aberdeen’s defense looked to get their footing as the half went on and made things difficult for the Grizzlies passing attack.
Quintanilla used his athleticism to extend plays and avoid sacks but the Grizzlies offense went into a lull until late in the second quarter.
With 4:28 in the in the second quarter Hoquiam’s Rayyon Dayton and his 6-foot-4 frame was too much for Aberdeen’s defensive backfield to handle. Dayton ran a fade route to the corner of the end zone then elevated to catch a high pass from Quintanilla. Dayton was able to land with both feet inbounds to give Hoquiam a 14-0 lead.
Dayton finished with 83 yards receiving and two TDs.
Quintanilla ended the night with 233 passing yards and 39 yards on the ground.
McMillan said Quintanilla has done a lot to elevate his play since last season.
“They gave us a lot of pressure up front and I thought he handled it well. He’s a different guy right now than what he was last year,” he said.
After Dayton’s TD catch, the Bobcats (0-2) drove 75 yards and relied on the quick feet of quarterback Ben Dublanko who capped off the drive with a 4-yard TD scramble.
The Grizzlies came out after halftime looking to expand on its 14-7 lead but a Quintanilla fumble gave Aberdeen the ball on its own 20.
Aberdeen failed to get the ball past midfield and Hoquiam made up for the mistake on its previous drive when Quintanilla found Dayton wide open around midfield. The 60-yard run-and-catch gave Hoquiam a 21-7 with 34 seconds left in the third.
Looking to make a comeback, Aberdeen opened up the passing attack in the fourth quarter.
Folkers made sure there would be no Myrtle Street miracle comeback as he came away with two more picks in the fourth quarter.
McMillan said his team will remember this game for the rest of the year.
“Heading into next week’s contest and for the next 365 days, it’s more bragging rights than anything,” he said. “It feels good to go on the road two years in a row and get a win in front of a big crowd.”
Hoquiam 7 7 7 7 — 28
Aberdeen 0 7 0 0 — 7
Top Players: Aberdeen — Dublanko (15-34, 150 yards), Patrick Hunt (8 rushes for 30 yards) Hoquiam — Ben Estes (4 rushes for 58 yards), Quintanilla (15-33, 229 yards, 2 TD), Folkers (4 INT, 5 rec, 140 yards)