Red Devils top Blue Wave in lopsided opener


Williston Red Devils running back Keith Neal scored two touchdowns in Friday's victory over P.K. Yonge.

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Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:50 a.m.

WILLISTON — As is often the case in the first game of a football season, there were some aspects of his team's 38-7 victory against P.K. Yonge on Friday night that Williston coach Jamie Baker didn't like.

But there was something pretty big that thrilled him.

"Obviously, our defense played very well, and championships are won on that side of the ball," said Baker, whose Red Devils allowed the Blue Wave to amass just 73 total yards. "I loved the way they played their assignments and rallied to the football."

Offensively, after a sluggish first quarter, WHS (1-0) didn't do so badly, either.

The Red Devils got an 11-yard touchdown run out of quarterback Stephen Cochlin, and two each from Keith Neal (four and 66 yards) and Tad Donald (16 and four yards), as Williston finished the contest with 277 rushing yards on 38 carries.

There were some trouble spots for WHS, primarily its 16 penalties for 145 yards, something Baker blamed more on himself than his players.

"We did the same thing in our preseason classic last week, and I said I would get it fixed," Baker said. "It wasn't. We had penalties on both sides of the ball. It's on me to make sure we get that corrected."

As for the Blue Wave (0-1), first-year head coach Kent Johnson said his team has some work to do.

"The program is so down," said Johnson, whose team scored in the second quarter on a 40-yard touchdown pass by Joshua Gebhardt that was tipped by intended receiver Tamarick Vanover into the hands of teammate Anthony Andrews. "We've got to learn how to play hard all the time.

"We knew (Williston) was going to be more physical than us coming in. And you can't make the mental mistakes we did against a team that is bigger and and stronger than you are. You have to limit mistakes and play a field position game."

If Johnson's past is any indicator, P.K. Yonge — like programs he previously led at Hawthorne and Eastside — eventually will become one of the area's most physical teams.

"We have a few playmakers, but we know this is going to be a process," Johnson said. "We do have players who care about one another, and that's a good place to start.

"But we're not nearly as strong as we need to be, and that's not going to happen overnight. I do know the kids are going to show up and do all they can to help us eventually get to where we want to be."

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