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Football: Wolves' woes continue in fifth consecutive loss
It seemed like far from an ideal match-up for South Kitsap’s struggling football team.
The Wolves, who are the Narrows’ lowest-scoring team, had to face the league’s stingiest defense.
It resulted in a predictable outcome as Bellarmine Prep earned a 27-3 victory in its homecoming game to remain undefeated.
The Lions (6-0 overall, 4-0 league) defeated South for the first time since 1989 to end an 11-game losing streak in the series. It also marked the worst start for the Wolves (1-5, 0-4) since 1977, when they had a 1-7 record.
Bellarmine appeared poised for a blowout when it scored touchdowns on its opening three possessions. It began when junior Michael Rector ran 34 yards down to South’s 30-yard line on a fake punt on fourth-and-two. Four plays later, sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau faked left before pitching the ball right to senior Scott Comfort, who scored on a 23-yard touchdown run.
Liufau, who completed 15 of 26 passes for 164 yards, then converted a pair of third downs on the ensuing possession before finding senior Jacob Wisness on a play-action fake for a 39-yard completion down to the Wolves’ 13. Sophomore Isaiah Flynn then scored on a run during the following play to put Bellarmine up 14-0 with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Lions, who entered the game allowing just 8.2 points per game, then forced South to go three-and-out. Junior punter Aaron La Deaux’s kick was blocked by sophomore Calvin Chandler to set up Bellarmine at South’s 17. Six plays later, Comfort scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run to give the Lions a 20-0 lead with 10:10 left in the first half.
But after forcing the Lions to punt for the first time later, the Wolves took over at their own 10.
That is when junior running back Dominic Boddie emerged.
Boddie, who had 141 yards on 14 carries, cut left on the first play of the drive and went untouched before finally being stopped after a 60-yard gain. But South stalled at Bellarmine’s 6 and coach D.J. Sigurdson elected to send La Deaux in for a 23-yard field goal to cut the Wolves’ deficit to 20-3 entering the third quarter.
“We were trying to take a little bit of momentum,” Sigurdson said. “We had been on our heals the whole game.”
South appeared poised to cut its deficit in half during the opening drive of the second half when it drove down to the Lions’ 16. After throwing an incomplete pass on second down following a Boddie run for no gain, senior quarterback Tanner Romo found classmate Michael Powell for an 8-yard reception. That set up a fourth-and-two, but the Wolves were flagged for a procedure penalty. That forced La Deaux to attempt a 30-yard field goal, which he hooked left.
“We had a few procedures and a few things like that,” Sigurdson said. “Stuff that you can’t have to overcome against a team like that. We got in our own way quite a bit.”
Their next opportunity ended in similarly miserable fashion. A Flynn fumble gave South possession at its own 39 and it steadily moved the ball down to Bellarmine’s 30, where it faced fourth-and-two. Boddie took the handoff and scored on a 30-yard run, but the touchdown was negated by another procedure penalty. On the next play, Romo’s pass was tipped and intercepted by senior Ben King.
“We had some good fortune,” Sigurdson said. “Too bad we couldn’t capitalize on that.”
Flynn gave the ball back to the Wolves again with another fumble on the Lions’ next possession. But South went three-and-out, and Flynn responded with a 23-yard touchdown run on Bellarmine’s next possession to bring the score to its final with 1:42 remaining in the game.
The Wolves, who now have lost five consecutive games since defeating British Columbia’s Vancouver College High School in their opener, next play at 7 p.m. Friday at Mount Tahoma. The Thunderbirds (2-4, 1-3) were tied for last place in 4A Narrows with South until their 40-13 win Friday at Shelton.
That does not mean Sigurdson, who cited Mount Tahoma’s 18-12 loss on Sept. 24 against the Lions, is underestimating his next opponent.
“These guys gave up more points to Mount Tahoma than us,” he said. “We’re going to have to play well.”
The Wolves have to win their final four games to avoid their first losing season since 2004. But Sigurdson said he is not concerned about the younger players becoming discouraged.
“Keeping the morale of the young guys isn’t difficult,” he said. “It’s trying to let the older guys know we still have faith in them and we still have a chance to win some games. That’s kind of the challenge.”
Romo said there is plenty of incentive for him and his classmates to remain confident and work hard the rest of the year.
“You just have to stay positive,” he said. “It’s the last time some of us will play football.”
At Bellarmine Prep 27, South Kitsap 3
South Kitsap 0 3 0 0 - 3
Bellarmine Prep 14 6 0 7 - 27
BP: Scott Comfort 23 run (Ryan Lester kick), 9:34
BP: Isaiah Flynn 13 run (Lester kick), 3:41
BP: Comfort 1 run (kick failed), 10:10
SK: Aaron La Deaux 23 FG, 0:08
BP: Flynn 23 run (Lester kick), 1:42
Passing: Tanner Romo (SK) 9-18-80-1; Eddie Meisner (SK) 0-1-0-0; Sefo Liufau (BP) 15-26-164-0.
Rushing: Dominic Boddie (SK) 14-141; Aaron La Deaux (SK) 1-0; Chas Bauman (SK) 7-17; Aaron Chester (SK) 4-33; Adrian Cardinal (SK) 2-10; Meisner (SK) 2-2; Romo (SK) 3--1; Adam Gascoyne (SK) 2-5; Chase Lopez (SK) 3-16; Charlie Murray (SK) 1-2; Michael Rector (BP) 1-34; Scott Comfort (BP) 6-40; Isaiah Flynn (BP) 9-35; Liufau (BP) 1--2.
Receiving: Michael Powell (SK) 3-19; Boddie (SK) 1-5; Meisner (SK) 3-29; Austin Levi Cook (SK) 1-8; Chris Hutcherson (SK) 1-19; Jacob Wisness (BP) 3-64; Ben King (BP) 1-7; Rector (BP) 3-24; Flynn (BP) 3-24; Calvin Chandler (BP) 1-14; Bryce Plancich (BP) 2-12; Comfort (BP) 2-1.