Canton takes blame for Olympia loss | Football

South Kitsap moved the ball, but its efforts to reach the end zone often were thwarted by 10 penalties and turnovers during a 15-14 loss Friday night against Olympia at Joe Knowles Stadium. - Jim Robertson Photo
South Kitsap moved the ball, but its efforts to reach the end zone often were thwarted by 10 penalties and turnovers during a 15-14 loss Friday night against Olympia at Joe Knowles Stadium.
— image credit: Jim Robertson Photo

There was no fear of going into overtime. And no plan to trick anyone.

Olympia coach Bill Beattie said the successful two-point conversion that ultimately was the difference for his team during Friday night’s 15-14 win at South Kitsap in Class 4A Narrows League play was all about his kicker’s concussion.

“That wasn’t me rolling the dice,” Beattie said.

The play continued the Bears’ mastery over the Wolves (3-2 overall, 1-2 league) since the teams began playing on an annual basis in 2007. Olympia (2-3, 2-0) has won five of those six meetings, including all three at Joe Knowles Stadium.

That occurred in spite of South never trailing until midway through the final quarter. After a 1-yard run by Michael Fettig, Beattie reinserted senior Michael Naipo, who started the game at quarterback despite being listed at wide receiver. Naipo runs the wildcat at that position, but added a tweak — the play-action fake. He found senior tight end Tanner Hartsoch open over the middle for a 39-yard touchdown.

It was a play Beattie waited for the fourth quarter to call.

“We’ve kind of been working on that, holding onto it,” he said. “We thought, ‘It’s now or never.’ We knew at some point, we were going to throw that pass.”

Beattie said he normally would have relied on injured junior kicker Randy Jones, but he felt more comfortable going for two than trying his backup. Sophomore quarterback Kaden Wilson returned and connected with Hartsoch to give the Bears their first lead with 7:07 remaining.

That left the mistake-prone Wolves — they committed 10 penalties — two more opportunities. Their first drive after Olympia’s score resulted in a three-and-out.

But South forced the Bears to punt on their ensuing possession and took over at Olympia’s 49-yard line with 3:29 left. Buoyed by a facemask penalty and a 17-yard pass from senior quarterback Kevin Whatley to classmate Bryce Broome, the Wolves had a first-and-10 at the Bears’ 19. But three plays later, South coach Eric Canton called for a trick play — a halfback pass by senior Adam Gascoyne — on second-and-15. Naipo intercepted it to secure the Bears’ victory.

“That’s my fault,” Canton said. “Got out-coached by a million miles. That’s what you can put down. I’m not throwing these kids under the bus.

“Obviously, we’re not prepared. We were flat all week at practice.”

Canton said he was not sure if that was the result of last week’s 31-12 loss at Bellarmine Prep.

“It’s my job to get them ready,” he said. “Clearly, we’re not.”

Sophomore running back Marshaud DeWalt, who helped South capitalize on a third-quarter interception by Broome when he scored on a 1-yard run, said he thought his teammates struggled to overcome their previous setback.

“I think last week might have hung over,” he said. “We should’ve bounced back. We have to make sure we’re focused at all times.”

With the possible exception of the Wolves second drive — where senior running back Li’I Kalima culminated a 14-play series with a 5-yard touchdown run — that never occurred. Even that possession included a pair of penalties.

Hartsoch’s touchdown was the only offensive score for Olympia. Their second-quarter touchdown occurred after South took over at its own 6 where Whatley was hit and fumbled, which was recovered by Jones in the end zone. The teams went into halftime tied at 7.

But the intermission did little to help the Wolves, who committed three turnovers during the game, and now find themselves outside of the league’s playoff picture for the first time since 4A Narrows play began. South, which plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Yelm (3-2, 1-1), fell to fifth place with the loss. The league receives four playoff berths.

“There shouldn’t be any problem getting ready to go,” said Canton, when asked how his players can respond to consecutive losses. “If they’re competitors, they’ll get ready to go on their own, because I obviously can’t get it done.”

Olympia 15, at South Kitsap 14

Olympia          0          7          0          8          —          15

South Kitsap    7          0          7          0          —          14

First Quarter

SK-Li’i Kalima 5 run (R.J. Polen kick)

Second Quarter

O-Randy Jones 0 fumble recovery (Jones kick)

Third Quarter

SK-Marshaud DeWalt 1 run (Polen kick)

Fourth Quarter

O- Tanner Hartsoch 39 pass from Michael Naipo (Hartsoch pass from Kaden Wilson)


Passing-Michael Naipo (O) 2-3-0-58, Kaden Wilson (O) 5-12-1-57, Kevin Whatley

(SK) 11-18-1-124, Adam Gascoyne (SK) 0-1-1-0.

Rushing-Casey Bond (O)19-69, Naipo (O) 4--17, Mitchel Fettig (O) 3-2, Kyle Alfonso (O) 2-4, Wilson (O) 2--11, Gascoyne (SK) 20-103, Li’I Kalima (SK) 10-39, Marshaud DeWalt (SK) 5-8, Bryce Broome (SK) 2-4.

Receiving-Fettig (O) 4-52, Alex Johnson (O) 2-24, Tanner Hartsoch (O) 1-39, Devon Newquist (SK) 4-40, Tom Simpson (SK) 2-31, Broome (SK) 3-26, D’Shaun Booker (SK) 1-9, Illya Tsveytkov (SK) 1-16, Gascoyne (SK) 1-2.

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