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La Conner scoring wave swamps Friday Harbor


September 7, 2016

It was smooth sailing to Friday Harbor last week for the La Conner High football team.

Once there, things also went swimmingly well for the Braves.

La Conner opened its 2016 grid season with a convincing 56-14 league triumph over the hosts, making a winner of new Braves head coach Peter Voorhees in his NW2B debut.

“We played real physical,” Voorhees told “La Conner Weekly News” afterward. “We dominated the line of scrimmage, and our kids played with a lot of passion.”

That passion, said Voorhees, surfaced at Friday Harbor, even on rare occasions when things didn’t go according to plan.

A case in point was a play that led to one of Friday Harbor’s two touchdowns. It was a Wolverine interception that momentarily appeared would result in a score.

“It looked like a pick-six all the way,” Voorhees recalled, “but Brady Nelson and Budda Luna chased their guy down and tackled him just short of the goal line. They ended up scoring after that, but what impressed me was the way Brady and Budda didn’t give up on the play.”

The young Wolverines, in the midst of a rebuilding campaign, also scored on a deflected pass that caromed off the hands of the intended receiver into the grasp of another Friday Harbor player.

“Other than those couple of plays,” said Voorhees, “we would’ve had a shutout.”

But a shutout wasn’t necessary on a night the La Conner attack, marshaled by quarterback James Hulbert, produced eight touchdowns.

Hulbert, coming back from a season-ending injury a year ago, threw a 35-yard TD strike to Luna, a returning two-way All-NW2B player who added a one-yard scoring blast for the victors.

Voorhees credited Hulbert with doing an excellent job distributing the ball in La Conner’s fast-paced offense.

A prime beneficiary, in addition to Luna, was Kaden Murdock.

Murdock, filling in ably for graduated La Conner High standout Seth Schuh, got the Braves season off on the right foot with a 40-yard touchdown jaunt and a one-yard TD burst.

Nelson and Trey Casey each added four-yard touchdown runs, while Arjuna Adams and Fabian Brooks scored from six and two yards out, respectively.

La Conner’s offensive line, led by center Michael Page, allowed the Braves to run the ball at will.

“Michael was a force up front,” Voorhees said. “He ended up with 11 pancake blocks.”

On the defensive side, Cooper Zavala wreaked havoc in the Friday Harbor backfield.

“Cooper,” said Voorhees, “was constantly applying pressure on them.”

“In the end,” Voorhees said, “it was a matter of us being able to impose our will on them and not allowing them to impose their will on us.”

La Conner looks to remain unbeaten in its home opener this Friday opposite non-conference foe Coupeville.

The Braves fared well against Coupeville in recent jamboree action, scoring four times in a 15-play set.

The Sept. 9 kickoff at Whittaker Field is set for 7 p.m.


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