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Football: Defense propels South Kitsap to victory
The word prolific rarely describes a defense.
But it was an apt way to sum up South Kitsap’s 20-6 win in its season opener Friday night against Vancouver College, an all-boys Catholic high school in British Columbia, at Joe Knowles Field.
Both offenses were shutout during the opening 30 minutes and neither produced 100 yards of total offense during that span.
The only score of the first half came when quarterback Jeff Tichelman’s pass fell off wide receiver Matt Ellis’ fingertips and into the hands of Isaiah Davis, who returned the interception 37 yards for a touchdown with 10 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“It’s nice to have an athlete out there who can do something with it after he catches it,” South coach D.J. Sigurdson said.
Davis said he simply was in the correct position to make a play.
“It was an early Christmas present,” he said.
Sigurdson, who earned his 99th win at South (1-0), felt the score changed the game’s momentum. Neither offense generated much in the first half as they combined to produce just eight first downs, including one on a personal foul against the Fighting Irish.
One of Vancouver College’s defensive linemen is Christian Covington, whose father, Grover, is the Canadian Football League’s career sacks leader.
“They have some quick defensive linemen out there,” Sigurdson said. “Mr. Covington is a pretty special player. They were doing a lot of slanting and stunting, which we didn’t anticipate very well.”
That finally changed during the first series of the third quarter. Sigurdson called a counter play and with everyone blocked up front, junior Dominic Boddie ran untouched for 45 yards into the end zone. That gave the Wolves a 14-0 lead with 10:08 remaining in the third quarter.
But Vancouver College (0-1) was able to do essentially the same late in the third quarter when Adam Konar scored on a 39-yard run. Davis blocked Reiner Theil’s extra-point attempt to make the score 14-6.
Konar’s touchdown run combined with a 21-yard carry by Matt Alviz gave the Irish more than half of their 116 rushing yards on two third-quarter carries. But even with those runs, they still averaged a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry.
“Our line and backers were doing well very well,” South defensive lineman Shomari Burton said. “We worked on holding the line because they were zone blocking.”
Sigurdson rotated three quarterbacks as he tried to find that consistency on offense. Senior Tanner Romo started and completed 5-of-7 passes for 23 yards. Junior Aaron La Deaux entered for one series in the second half and misfired on his only attempt. Classmate Eddie Meisner then entered after halftime and finished 6 of 8 for 50 yards.
“They can all execute, so they all deserve a shot,” Sigurdson said. “We’ll evaluate and see how it went.”
While he would not declare a starter for Friday’s game at Tahoma, Sigurdson conceded that Meisner appeared the most comfortable among the three signal-callers.
“From the sideline that’s how it felt,” he said.
Still, Sigurdson wants to see continued improvement from all three against the Bears, who lost their opener 21-7 on Thursday against Jefferson.
“We need to be a little bit more efficient in our passing game, so we can get teams to back up a little bit,” he said. “They were not needing to back up at all.”
Sigurdson, whose team added its final score when senior defensive back Chris Hutcherson returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter, said he was happy that his team did not commit any turnovers and was only penalized four times.
At South Kitsap 20, Vancouver College
Vancouver College 0 0 6 0 - 6
South Kitsap 0 7 7 6 - 20
SK: Isaiah Davis 37 INT return (La Deaux kick), 10:15
SK: Dominic Boddie 45 run (La Deaux kick), 10:08
VC: Adam Konar 39 run (kicked failed), 1:27
VC: Chris Hutcherson 48 INT return, 0:00
VC: Jeff Tichelman 11-21-127-2. SK: Tanner Romo 5-7-23-0; Aaron La Deaux 0-1-0-0; Eddie Meisner 6-8-50-0.
VC: Matt Alviz 12-45; Adam Konar 9-66; Charlie Thorpe 3-7; Tichelman 4--3; Daniel Kalinowski 1--2; Sean Mayzes 1-3. SK: Romo 2--9; Dominic Boddie 15-82; Michael Neiner 11-23; Jens Johnson 3-15; Chas Bauman 5111.
VC: Reiner Theil 5-67; Duncan Onukwulu 2-15; Alviz 1-11; Thorpe 1-15; Stefano Renzullo 1-10; Estello Nap Hill 1-9; Justin Sanvedo 1-7. SK: Isaiah Davis 5-49; Austin L. Cook 1-6; Neiner 1--1; Kaleb Nelson 2-11; Ben Severns 1-3; Bauman 1-5.