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Football: Young runs over Wolves' state hopes
EDMONDS — There was little in the way of suspense.
Run. Run. And run some more.
But South Kitsap never could find a way to stop running back Desmond Young as it saw its season end with a 29-19 loss Friday night against Edmonds-Woodway in the Class 4A state play-in game at Edmonds Stadium.
“Defensively, we couldn’t get off the field,” South coach D.J. Sigurdson said. “Couldn’t stop them. We just let them do what they do.”
Despite its struggles against the run — the Warriors finished with 378 yards on 59 carries — the Wolves were in position to advance to the state playoffs for the second time in three seasons during the third quarter.
After trailing 14-13 at halftime, South (6-4) regained the lead on its first possession of the second half. Senior quarterback Eddie Meisner found junior running back Bryce Broome for a 41-yard completion down to the E-W 20-yard line. The Wolves later scored when Meisner connected with senior tight end Chase Lopez over the middle for a 6-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion run failed, but South led 19-14 with 7:09 minutes left in the third quarter.
With that momentum — and the specter of a rematch against Bellarmine Prep on Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School — Sigurdson called for an onside kick. But senior Aaron La Deaux’s attempt went just 9 yards.
Two plays later, Young scored on a 41-yard run. A successful two-point conversion gave his team a 22-19 lead.
It was one of seven runs that went for at least 10 yards for the 5-foot-10, 155-pound junior. Young finished with 278 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. He averaged 8.4 yards per carry.
But even with their inability to contain Young, it appeared that the Wolves would stay close with their own offense as they drove down to the Warriors’ 5. But on third down of the series’ 12th play, Meisner was intercepted by linebacker Jayson Peterson on a pass into the end zone.
“That one we’ve got to throw it away and kick the field goal,” Sigurdson said.
E-W responded with a 16-play drive — one of three drives that lasted more than a dozen snaps — that culminated with a 3-yard touchdown run by Mark Coutee with 6:51 left to finish scoring.
The Warriors (6-4), who compete in 4A Wesco South, appeared to secure the victory when defensive back Josh Friemark intercepted Meisner on the ensuing possession and returned it to South’s 8. One play later, Young lost the ball as he stretched for the goal line.
South recovered with 5:30 left. Meisner, who completed 9 of 18 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, found Broome for a 34-yard reception. But Broome, who had 102 yards on four receptions, lost a fumble in an attempt to break a tackle with 4:44 remaining. E-W then ran out the clock and earned its first state appearance since 2007.
It was one of only three possessions where the Wolves stopped the Warriors — and two of those came when the clock expired at the end of each half. E-W never punted, but failed to convert on fourth down on its opening drive.
South then drove down to the Warriors’ 9 before junior running back Adam Gascoyne’s fumble was recovered by Friemark. But two plays later, quarterback Davis Giles’ pass was tipped and intercepted off a deflection by Lopez. The defensive end returned it 3 yards for a touchdown.
It marked the beginning of a four-possession streak where both teams scored. A 37-yard touchdown pass by Meisner to junior Devon Newquist was sandwiched by a 1-yard scoring runs by Young and Giles.
The Wolves, who were not able to get an extra point off on the second touchdown because of a botched hold, also missed a 44-yard field goal that could have given them a halftime lead.
“It just didn’t go our way,” South junior linebacker Michael Beard said.
E-W coach John Gradwohl said it easily could have gone the other way, though.
“They are a heck of a football team,” he said, referring to South. “If we play them 10 nights, it’s probably 5-5.”
At Edmonds-Woodway 29, South Kitsap 19
South Kitsap 7 6 6 0 — 19
Edmonds-Woodway 7 7 8 7 — 29
SK—Chase Lopez 3 INT return (Aaron La Deaux kick)
EW—Desmond Young 1 run (Connor Davis kick)
SK—Devon Newquist 37 pass from Eddie Meisner (kick failed)
EW—Davis Giles 1 run (Davis kick)
SK—Chase Lopez 6 pass from Meisner (run failed)
EW—Young 41 run (Robbie Willcock pass from Giles)
EW—Mark Coutee 3 run (Davis kick)
Passing—Eddie Meisner (SK) 9-18-2-217; Davis Giles (EW) 4-7-1-37.
Rushing—Adam Gascoyne (SK) 20-68; Bryce Broome (SK) 4-27; Anthony Williams (SK) 1-0; Chas Bauman (SK) 2-17; Desmond Young (EW) 33-278; Mac McLachian (EW) 5-27; Giles (EW) 7-3; Mark Coutee (EW) 13-69; Robbie Willcock (EW) 1-1.
Receiving—Aaron La Deaux (SK) 3-72; Broome (SK) 4-102; Devon Newquist (SK) 1-37; Chase Lopez (SK) 1-6; David Hansen (EW) 1-11; McLachian (EW) 1-15; Alex Hull (EW) 1-6; Spiral Horn (EW) 1-5.