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South Kitsap makes Canton a winner in debut | Football
South Kitsap running back Li'i Kalima was one of two Wolves to rush for at least 80 yards during Friday's 37-20 season-opening win against Kentridge at Joe Knowles Stadium.
He admits he fears failure.
But any concerns about that for new South Kitsap coach Eric Canton were alleviated early as the Wolves had little difficulty capturing a 37-20 season-opening win Friday against Kentridge at Joe Knowles Stadium.
“He was scared of failure,” senior safety Bryce Broome said. “But other than that, I don’t think he was nervous at all.”
Canton, who graduated from the school in 1986 and coached his first game since he left Bremerton after the ’98 season, chaffed at the characterization that he was scared.
“I operate on the fear of failure,” said Canton, who was an All-American as a senior under legendary coach Ed Fisher. “I don’t like to fail.
“My concern was, ‘Did I fail in getting them prepared to play this game?’ That’s what I was worried about.”
Broome quickly quelled any of those worries. After the Chargers (0-1), who compete in the South Puget
Sound League’s North Division, drove down to South’s 8-yard line, quarterback Sam Smith located Jon Olson in the right corner of the end zone. But Broome read the play, broke toward the ball and came away with an interception.
“He’s an interception machine,” Canton said. “He knows where the ball is going before it gets there.”
The Wolves (1-0) then responded as senior quarterback Kevin Whatley found first-time starting wide receivers Nic Stoner and Tom Simpson for 42- and 33-yard completions, respectively. Broome later finished the 14-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
While South won its fifth consecutive season opener, the game featured execution problems at times for both teams. The Chargers and Wolves both had turnovers on their ensuing possessions and the amount of yellow hankies thrown at times seemed to pay homage to Flag Day. Kentridge penalized 10 times to nine for South.
The most egregious occurred in the second quarter after the Wolves extended their lead to 10-0 on a 23-yard field goal by senior kicker R.J. Polen. South immediately forced Kentridge into a three-and-out and Broome returned the punt to the Chargers’ 20. But a personal-foul penalty returned the ball – along with 15 yards – to Kentridge.
“We’ve got to show some class,” Broome said.
“Not very smart,” he said. “They never should’ve happened.”
But what Canton liked about the opener far outweighed any frustrations. That continued into the second half when senior Adam Gascoyne, who rushed for 138 yards on 18 carries, broke a 44-yard run on the second offensive play from scrimmage. Whatley finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to extend the Wolves’ lead to 16-0.
South’s offensive confidence extended to its next drive when Canton elected to go for it on fourth-and-2 at his own 40. The strategy worked as Broome carried for a 5-yard gain. He later finished the series with a 3-yard touchdown run that gave the Wolves a 23-0 advantage.
At that point, it appeared that South might be primed for its first shutout since defeating Central Kitsap 10-0 on Oct. 2, 2009. But that was derailed when Smith scrambled for a 41-yard touchdown with 4:14 minutes left in the third quarter.
Both teams then traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Wolves scored on 11- and 13-yard runs by Gascoyne and Illya Tsveytkov, respectively. The Chargers countered with a 90-yard kickoff return by Jimmy Davis and then finished scoring when Sebastian Bertulli found Daniel Allen for a 27-yard touchdown.
“A big win for the coach and the team,” Broome said. “Sets off the season with a win. Nothing better.”
South closes out its nonleague schedule against Newport from 4A KingCo. The Knights lost their opener 29-22 against Capital, but feature quarterback Isaac Dotson, who has committed to the University of Nevada.
“We’re in a gauntlet,” Canton said. “I think they’re running the triple-option. We’re going to have to get our kids ready for that.”
At South Kitsap 37, Kentridge 20
Kentridge 0 0 6 14 — 20
South Kitsap 7 3 13 14 — 37
South Kitsap 37, Kentridge 20
SK—Bryce Broome 1 run (R.J. Polen kick)
SK—Polen 23 field goal
SK—Kevin Whatley 5 run (kick failed)
SK—Broome 3 run (Polen kick)
KR—Sam Smith 41 run (pass failed)
SK—Adam Gascoyne 11 run (Polen kick)
KR—Jimmie Davis 90 kickoff return (pass failed)
SK—Illya Tsveytkov 11 run (Polen kick)
KR—Daniel Allen 27 pass from Sebastian Bertulli (Bertulli run)
Passing–Sam Smith (K) 5-15-94-2, Sebastian Bertulli (K) 2-2-34-0, Kevin Whatley (SK) 11-19-179-0.
Rushing–Derrick Bell (K) 2-7, Smith (K) 8-44, Brandon Gregory (K) 1--2, Kevin Hall (K) 1--4, Jimmy Davis (K) 11-57, Bertulli (K) 2-23, Li’i Kalima (SK) 15-80, Bryce Broome (SK) 8-41, Adam Gascoyne (SK) 18-138, Whatley (SK) 2-14, Illya Tsveytkov (SK) 2-17, Marshaud DeWalt (SK) 1-27, Michael Gundrum (SK) 1-19.
Receiving–Bell (K) 2-69, Davis (K) 2-12, Bertulli (K) 1-13, Daniel Allen (K) 2-34, Nic Stoner (SK) 1-42, Tsveytkov (SK) 1-4, Tom Simpson (SK) 4-79, D’Shaun Booker (SK) 1-4, Devon Newquist (SK) 2-25, Broome (SK) 1-14, Ryan Camp (SK) 1-11.