Football vs. Okanogan

Gavin Longwill (21) carries the ball for Quincy against a sturdy Okanogan defense Sept. 3.

The Quincy Jacks had an irreverent guest to their 2021 season opener, as the Okanogan Bulldogs pounced on them from the start, jumping to an early lead and then taking home a 41-0 victory.

In front of a sizable home crowd and facing one of the top 1B teams in the state, the Quincy Jacks turned in a performance that was high on effort and promise, even if the scoreboard looked unfriendly from the first drive of the game. Okanogan’s Ryden Zabreznik took the ball straight up the middle from the Quincy 12-yard-line with nine minutes to go in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Okanogan went on to score on their next three drives, while Quincy came close in a couple of opportunities, reaching the Okanogan 5-yard-line before turning it over on downs, halfway through the second quarter.

The teams went into the halftime break with Quincy trailing 34-0.

“We got a little tired at the end of the first half and we went in and caught our breaths,” Quincy head coach Greg McMillan said. “And we said, we want to play two more quarters and see what we’ve got. And we did that. I’m really proud of our effort, (Okanogan) was a really good football team.”

 With 11:51 left in the fourth quarter, Quincy had its biggest opportunity to score, when quarterback Andrew Townsend connected with Benji Medina, Jr., for a 23-yard touchdown catch. Referees voided the play due to an ineligible Quincy receiver.

Despite the lopsided nonleague loss to a strong, experienced Okanogan squad, the Jacks left the field with plenty to build upon, such as the crisper effort on defense in the second half.

“We fought hard throughout the whole game,” McMillan said. “Then we got some subs in there and they still fought hard.”

For many of the Jacks’ players, this was their first taste of varsity action.

“We’ve got a lot of inexperienced guys,” McMillan said. “It caught up with us.” One of the players making his first start was QB Andrew Townsend.

“It was Townie’s first time ever,” McMillan said. “I thought he did really, really well. He’s got high standards and he was upset when he did some things wrong, but for a first time, I was really pleased. He’s just going to get more comfortable as we go.”

That’s also the hope for the rest of the squad, which has now three more nonleague games before the start of Caribou Trail League play on Oct. 1 at Cashmere.

Next up for the Jacks is another nonleague game, this time to neighbor-slash-archrival Ephrata, on Sept. 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Statistics from the Okanogan game will be available during the Labor Day weekend. Stay tuned to www.qvpr.com and our Facebook page for updates.

“One of the things we preach about is effort, because it’s one of the things we can control.” I was really proud of the kids, all the way through.”

Lastly, the game represented a return to something that’s been missing since 2019: High school football on Friday nights in autumn.

“So nice to be back on Friday nights, in this beautiful stadium, in this beautiful school,” McMillan said. “We are going to keep on working and try to get some wins before the season is up.”

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