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Football: Wolves crush Stadium 60-28
TACOMA — The first words he uttered upon reaching the locker room in the Stadium Bowl were about the “low-scoring game.”
South Kitsap coach D.J. Sigurdson could afford to be jovial after his team won 60-28 on Friday night at Stadium in Class 4A Narrows League play.
The victory means the Wolves (5-3 overall, 3-3 league) will host Central Kitsap (4-4, 3-3) on Friday at Joe Knowles Field for the league’s fourth — and final — seed into the 4A state play-in game.
“It has a lot of meaning,” Sigurdson said. “It’s always a good game.”
Lake Stevens plays Friday at Edmonds-Woodway for the 4A Wesco championship and the loser hosts the winner of the 4A Narrows rivalry game the following week.
But first, South had to find its way past the Tigers (2-6, 0-6). It appeared that might be easy in the beginning as the Wolves built a 13-0 lead less than three minutes into the game when senior quarterback Eddie Meisner found classmate Aaron La Deaux for a 27-yard score and junior running back Adam Gascoyne followed with a 21-yard touchdown run.
Stadium responded with its own touchdown drive that culminated with a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Tyler Stumph. The Tigers then capitalized on a Meisner interception that translated into a six-play drive with Cody Doiron scoring on a 19-yard run to take a 14-13 lead with 11:36 left in the second quarter.
Gascoyne, who rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, felt his team underestimated Stadium up to that point. He played a significant part in changing that.
On the ensuing series, he broke a 47-yard run before being pushed out at Stadium’s 2-yard line. Senior Chas Bauman scored on the next play.
“Isn’t he a gutsy player?” Sigurdson said in reference to Gascoyne. “He plays with a lot of determination and has a lot of fun, too.”
The Tigers appeared poised to respond, though. They faced a fourth-and-one at South’s 31 before a procedure penalty pushed them back 5 yards. Instead of turning to a running game that produced 293 yards, they were forced to pass and Stumph’s throw fell incomplete.
“We said all week long that if this team hangs onto the ball and just sticks with running it, they’re tough to beat,” Sigurdson said. “I know they had a gazillion yards. That’s been a little bit of our modus operandi — bend but don’t break.”
The Wolves, who finished with 252 rushing yards, virtually eschewed the ground game on the following drive. It worked as Meisner found junior Bryce Broome for a 58-yard completion and later hit La Deaux with a 16-yard touchdown pass. That put South ahead 27-14 with 3:12 left in the half.
It appeared Stadium would again cut its deficit to single digits before halftime when it drove down to the Wolves’ 8. But La Deaux returned a Stumph interception 95 yards to the Tigers’ 7. Two plays later, Meisner scored on a 1-yard keeper to give South a 33-14 halftime edge.
“That was a huge turnaround right before halftime,” Sigurdson said.
The outcome never was in doubt again. Gascoyne rushed for two more touchdowns — and added another score on a 35-yard interception return — after halftime.
“It bounced back and got into my hands,” Gascoyne said. “I didn’t know what to do with (the interception) for a second and then I ran.
“I had a game of a lifetime today thanks to all of my football players. I was motivated to push for my entire team.”
Bauman had the Wolves’ other touchdown on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Stumph turned the ball over three times during the second half — twice on fumbles — and South translated those into touchdowns each time.
That helped South earn its largest margin of victory since beating Mount Tahoma 54-20 on Oct. 29, 2009, even though it only outgained Stadium 376-361. Without a botched punt snapped that sailed over Stumph’s head for a 37-yard loss, the Tigers would have outgained the Wolves.
Despite that, South scored its most points since it defeated Foss 61-28 on Oct. 5, 2007. It also marked the Wolves’ largest margin of victory against Stadium since a 61-0 win in 1996. South has won 23 consecutive games in the series since its last loss in 1976.
South Kitsap 60, at Stadium 28
South Kitsap 13 20 14 13 — 60
Stadium 7 7 7 7 — 28
SK—Aaron La Deaux 27 pass from Eddie Meisner (La Deaux kick)
SK—Adam Gascoyne 21 run (run failed)
S—Tyler Stumph 1 run (Ian Clark kick)
S—Cody Doiron 19 run (Clark kick)
SK—Chas Bauman 2 run (Chase Lopez from Kevin Whatley)
SK—La Deaux 16 pass from Meisner (kick blocked)
SK—Meisner 1 run (pass failed)
S—Doiron 7 run (Clark kick)
SK—Gascoyne 47 run (Bryce Broome from Meisner)
SK—Gascoyne 5 run (kick failed)
SK—Bauman 3 run (La Deaux kick)
SK—Gascoyne 35 INT return (kick blocked)
S—Smith 12 run (Clark kick)
Passing—Eddie Meisner (SK) 4-10-1-107, Kevin Whatley (SK) 1-2-0-17; Tyler Stumph (S) 5-13-2-68.
Rushing—Adam Gascoyne (SK) 15-185, Chas Bauman (SK) 8-31, Bryce Broome (SK) 2-12, Meisner (SK) 1-1, Anthony Williams (SK) 2-12, Kelikuewa Kalima (SK) 3-11; Cody Doiron (S) 10-90, Stumph (S) 7--5, Nick Loftin (S) 27-135, Hayden Smith (S) 17-110, T.J. Lynn (S) 1-1, Team (S) 1--37.
Receiving—Aaron La Deaux (SK) 3-60, Broome (SK) 1-58, Devon Newquist (SK) 1-6; Patrick Minzel (S) 1-9, Jacob Bills (S) 2-32, Smith (S) 1-19, Doiron (S) 1-8.