KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Just like a week ago, the Klamath Union Pelicans gave the football away four times in the opening half. Unlike the game before, KU wasn’t able to pull out a victory.
Interceptions plagued junior quarterback Ben Mitchell in a 21-14 defeat by Yreka Friday night at Modoc Field. It was the first loss for Klamath Union (3-1) in a game that had a similar feeling to a 17-7 win over Summit last week.
Only this time, KU was throwing interceptions instead of giving fumbles.
Mitchell was intercepted deep in Yreka territory on a fourth down by Tyler Currie. Since the Pelicans didn’t convert the play, it actually helped KU, because it pinned Yreka back.
The next two were more costly: a great defensive play on a deep ball by Yreka’s Michael Schuler, who tipped it to himself making the catch on his back and an interception returned for a 22-yard touchdown by Thomas Bigelow to give Yreka a 14-6 halftime lead. Right before the first half was over, Mitchell threw his fourth pick to Schuler again.
In the second half, Klamath Union’s first drive resulted in a punt by Tyler Butler, which kept Yreka at its own 2-yard line. After three plays, Yreka tried a rugby-style kick by quarterback Kaden Culp that didn’t get past his 15-yard line. Jonathan Munoz scored on the ensuing drive’s first play for Klamath Union. After Mitch Mirande’s catch on the two-point conversion, the game was tied 14-14.
On the ensuing kickoff, Currie returned the ball to the KU 19-yard line. Six plays later, Culp scored from one yard out and Yreka led 21-14.
Klamath Union’s next two possessions were both three-and-out before a Joe Whisler interception gave the Pelicans the ball at the KU 5-yard line. Two plays into that drive, Munoz fumbled and Yreka was able to run three more minutes off the clock.
The game ended after a goal-line stand by KU gave the Pelicans the ball again, but they were unable to get a first down after a dropped fourth down pass.
Next week, Klamath Union goes to Henley (1-3) for Henley’s homecoming (Sept. 28 – 6:35 p.m. on 960 the Sports Legend), while Yreka (5-0) is idle after matching its entire win total from 2011.
Unofficial Stats – Yreka 21, Klamath Union 14