Sports

Orcas make Boyer a winner in debut

"Nearly nine years after playing his last game as a quarterback for the Olympic High School football team, Robert Boyer made a triumphant return to the field as the starting quarterback for the West Sound Orcas.Boyer, a 1992 OHS graduate, helped guide the Orcas to a 16-6 win at Bremerton Memorial Stadium against the Washington Cavaliers in front of a sparse crowd of approximately 200.It is the Orcas' fourth win in the last five games, and puts them into a three-way tie for fifth place in the Northwest Football League (NWFL) standings.They host an exhibition game this Saturday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. against the Willamette Valley Raiders - a first-year team that is playing as a probationary league entry. They then play their last two games on the road against the Oregon Panthers (in Milwaukie, east of Portland) and Bellingham Eagles.The top four teams advance to the playoffs, giving the Orcas an outside chance at a berth because their final two regular season games come against teams with sub-.500 records.West Sound kept its playoff hopes alive with a stifling defense and conservative offense.Boyer completed 7 of 19 passes for 79 yards and threw just one interception.Shawn Parker led the Orcas receivers with three catches for 34 yards.Boyer, who joined the team four weeks ago, said he thought he'd try and recapture his youth.I just walked on and though it'd be fun to be a kid again for a while, Boyer said. It felt awesome.Boyer said all the credit goes to his offensive linemen and running backs.The jitters came out in the beginning, he said. It was like, 'uh-oh, what am I supposed to do?' But the coaches believed in me and the line believed in me.Offensive lineman Walter Brown said he knew the line needed to put Boyer's mind at ease.We just needed to let him know we'd protect him, Brown said. We told him, 'You've got today and tomorrow to throw the ball and that's a guarantee.'The line's ability to keep the pressure off Boyer clearly helped, Boyer said.Now I'm confident and all the nervousness is gone, Boyer said. This is the beginning of a new relationship (with the linemen).Though Boyer completed seven passes, the offense mostly rested on a running game that gained nearly 150 yards. Chris Antwine continued to take the bulk of the carries, tallying 97 yards on 16 tries.Both teams saved their fireworks for the latter part of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter after West Sound entered halftime with 3-0 lead .After the teams traded quick possession of the ball in the third quarter, the Cavaliers sustained a drive that lasted nearly eight minutes - with the help of the Orcas' Derrick Saulsberry.Washington burned up six minutes of the third quarter with a drive from its 30 yard-line to the West Sound 2. Washington quarterback Jimmy Williams looked to have a receiver open in the middle, but Saulsberry stepped in front of the pass and had nothing but daylight in front of him.But the 245-pound linebacker was pulled down and stripped of the ball by 265-pound Washington lineman Lowell Hoff. Washington thus continued its possession, but only managed a 42-yard field goal attempt, which was blocked.West Sound's offense rewarded the defense with a drive that lasted more than seven minutes. The running back committee of Antwine, Andrew Alfred and Elkanah Montgomery combined for 55 yards on the ground, which included a 23-yard scamper by Antwine.Antwine capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.On Washington's ensuing possession, linebacker Paul Fearless stepped in front of a Williams' pass at the the Washington 30 and rumbled 20 yards to the 10-yard line. Two plays later, Keith Griffin spun up the middle for an 8-yard touchdown run.The Orcas defense intercepted Williams four times and tackled Cavaliers running backs for negative gains 10 times. "

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