MYRTLE POINT — Gold Beach rolled to an easy win over Myrtle Point on Friday night. Most of the starters sat the second half of a 60-16 win, then went back onto the field and did a series of up-downs, the price for mistakes in the game.
The veteran Panthers were expected to win easily against the Bobcats, a young team still seeking its first victory, so coach Justin Storns challenged his starters with little goals for their time in the game.
“I wanted to come out with a perfect game when the varsity was in — no penalties and no punts,” Storns said.
The Panthers got the no punts part, scoring on every first-half possession. The penalties were another matter — seven in the first half including two blocks in the back that negated long touchdowns.
“They made too many mental mistakes,” Storns said.
The up-downs are a reminder that Gold Beach has bigger goals this year, and they are off to a 2-0 start in Sunset Conference play as they eye the postseason.
“I have 14 seniors,” he said. “Two years ago, most of those guys played when we went 0-9.”
Myrtle Point coach Jimmy Farmer can share that message with his own players — 10 of the 19 Bobcats are freshmen.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids,” Farmer said.
And though the final was lopsided, he found some things to like.
“I don’t think they gave up in the second half,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been preaching all year long: Don’t give up.”
Farmer also was quick to give credit to the Panthers.
“Hats off to Gold Beach,” he said. “They’re a physical and good team.”
The outcome wasn’t in doubt long Friday night, which also was homecoming for the Bobcats.
Myrtle Point had the ball first and quickly was making its first of six first-half punt attempts.
The Panthers then marched the field with Yancy Rangel scoring from 17 yards out.
That started a string of Gold Beach touchdowns — three by Rangel, two by Trevor Walker and one by quarterback Taylor Mather — most on a variety of big runs through gaping holes created by the line.
The Panthers only had two short scores, both after Myrtle Point mistakes. One was a bad snap over quarterback Isaac Warner’s head that Gold Beach’s Zak Denney recovered to set up Rangel’s final score and the other was a bad snap on a punt attempt that set up a short score by JV running back Darren Bright.
The second half featured a running clock and both Myrtle Point touchdowns against Gold Beach’s reserves, by Brodie Parrish and Warner. The final score was on the last play of the game, when Myrtle Point fumbled and Gold Beach’s Michael Dalton recovered and ran it in.
Gold Beach’s starting defense gave up just 67 yards, aside from the 55 the Bobcats lost from three bad snaps.
“We did some good stuff,” Storns said.
The Panthers have a big game next week when Toledo comes to town. Last year the Boomers and Panthers shared the league title with Reedsport, a team Gold Beach topped in the league opener.
“Last week was a big win,” Storns said. “I’m happy where we’re progressing. Hopefully all the kids are buying in. We still have some big goals.”
Meanwhile, the Bobcats probably have their best chance for a win next week when they go to Waldport.
A victory would be huge in a growing season for the young players.
“We’ve got positive things going,” Farmer said.