The North Beach Hyaks varsity football team opened their season with a squad that was undermanned and at times overmatched in a 21-6 loss Friday night at the Winlock Cardinals.
Head coach Ric Dycus explained that the Hyaks only suited 16 players, due to eligibility problems, mainly too few practices. He expects to have 24 or more players in uniform for the next game, the Hyaks’ home opener against Mossyrock on Sept. 14.
This week off is fortunate, Dycus said, because “blocking and line play are things we really need to work on. That is going to happen, I assure you!” He observed that “blocking started out looking a bit intimidated and we didn’t tackle well. We let them get out to an early start,” resulting in a 21-0 halftime score. “When we finally shut them down, it was too late.”
Still the rookie head coach found several things to be encouraged about. Senior running back Marcus Pope “was a beast,” piling up 192 all-purpose yards and scoring the Hyaks’ lone TD on a three-yard run in the third quarter. Patrick Heyd, a senior free safety, “played banged up and was phenomenal on defense” with a dozen open field tackles.
Sophomore quarterback Kyle Fry was 6 of 12 throwing mostly short passes, unable to go long because “the line wasn’t getting him enough time.” Dycus was pleased that “he had no interceptions, made no mistakes, threw the ball away when there was nothing downfield… he played a very smart game, led the team, and almost ran an interception back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.”
Dycus also singled out sophomore Rickey King and freshman Daniel Phillips. Although he was injured in the second half, playing at defensive end, King “is a really long player – he steps out front and they have to go around him. He forced their offense to stay in the backfield, but he didn’t have enough help finishing tackles.”
Phillips “stepped up and ran the ball 50 really tough yards; he had to make a lot of things happen on his own.” Plus, he had eight tackles, four for loss in in the second half.