Saints squander opener with Cavs

West Sound quarterback Marvin Bronson fires a pass in the Saints’ 3-0 opening loss to Washington at Silverdale Stadium.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
West Sound quarterback Marvin Bronson fires a pass in the Saints’ 3-0 opening loss to Washington at Silverdale Stadium.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

It wasn’t what anybody expected, as the West Sound Saints opened their regular season by doing something they didn’t think they’d ever do. They pretty much beat themselves in a 3-0 loss to the Washington Cavaliers June 9 at Silverdale Stadium.

“I still can’t get the taste out of my mouth,” head coach John Corey said on Monday. “We pretty much dominated the game, but we just couldn’t break into the end zone.”

The Saints drove deep into Cavalier territory several times, but coughed up five turnovers, with two fumbles and one interception coming in the first half. A pair of short field goal attempts went wide left in the first half as well. The Cavaliers only drove deep once in the game, but hit on a 23-yard boot near the end of the third quarter.

“You’d think the offense played poorly,” Corey said, “but they didn’t. Our running game was more than adequate. Uncharacteristically, our passing game didn’t come through.”

The Saints racked up 170 yards rushing, with Anthony Galloway leading the charge with 109 yards on 23 carries.

“He was fantastic,” Corey said. “He had some nice runs, two that almost popped the whole way. There’s still room for improvement, but he was solid.”

Andy Alford added 30 yards on six tries.

“They were a tough 30,” Corey said. “They were hanging all over him.”

Brandon Pedersen started the game at quarterback, but hit on only two of seven attempts and was picked off once in the first half. Marvin Bronson moved in from wide receiver to spell Pedersen after a mild ankle sprain, but Bronson 59 yards on six completions in 18 attempts. The timing was a little off in the first game, but the Saint receivers also dropped several balls they normally grab.

“It seemed like we just got off on the wrong foot and stayed there,” Corey said. “I’ll give the team a compliment. In years past, we would have finger-pointed. But I didn’t see much of any of that.”

In fact, the loss just might bring the team closer.

Perennial all-league linebacker, Eddie Llamas gave the team a pep talk in the locker room after the game, complimenting his teammates on their effort and teamwork.

“I’m not quitting, and neither are any of you,” Llamas said.

The defense didn’t quit on the field either, holding the Cavaliers to just 64 yards of total offense. “The defense did the job,” Corey said. “We can still do better there too, but anytime you hold a team to three points you’ve done the job.”

Next up for the Saints is a road game against the Oregon Thunderbolts in Milwaukie, Ore. Saturday.

The Thunderbolts opened their season with a 9-3 victory over the Snohomish Valley Vikings last weekend, after going 3-0 in the preseason, including a 16-0 win over the Cavaliers.

“We’ve always matched up with them pretty well,” Corey said. “At home, they’re a tough team to beat. I have a feeling some of our guys have something to prove. I think some of them thought we were going to put 30 points up on the board.”

The consensus is the Saints will go marching into the end zone, the question is only when.

The team’s next home game is June 23, as the Saints host the Willamette Valley Raiders, 38-7 losers to Seattle.

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