Sports

Orcas go after third straight NWFL win

"After starting their first full-fledged season with a three-game losing streak, the West Sound Orcas suddenly are streaking in the opposite direction.The Orcas captured their first-ever road victory last Saturday, beating the Columbia Cougars 25-14 at Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver, Wash., and return home this weekend winners of two in a row.We've got four home games in a row, now, said Jim Wootan, president of the 2-3 (2-5 overall) Orcas. The team looked really sharp (against the Cougars), and we've got some momentum to bring home with us.The Orcas host the Pierce County Bengals, also 2-3 on the season, Saturday at 6 p.m. at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.Most Orcas players found out prior to last Tuesday's practice that teammate Josh Merkel, 20, was one of two Marines killed July 6 in an armored car rollover accident at Subase Bangor. Saturday's game was the first the team has played since learning of Merkel's death.That was hard, Wootan said. But I think this team was coming together even before that.Wootan said the Orcas' 20-12 victory June 30 at Bremerton, its first after five consecutive losses, was a turning point.I think we just needed a win, to start feeling good about ourselves again, Wootan said of the team, which dropped one-sided losses to the Northwest Football League's top three teams to start its regular season.The Orcas might have to go for their third straight win without leading receiver Shawn Parker, who left the Cougars game with an injury after catching three passes for 45 yards. Wootan said the seriousness of the knee injury had not been determined, and calls to Orcas coach Robert Mulligan were not returned.Running back Chris Antwine, who went over the 100-yard mark for the second straight game last weekend, will be available, however. After getting off to a late start this season, Antwine has keyed both Orcas victories. Against Columbia, he had 113 yards on 20 carries. "

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