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Broome interception helps Wolves fend off late rally | Football

TACOMA He has made no shortage of big plays this season.

But senior Bryce Broome’s interception of J’Maka Love to secure South Kitsap’s 39-34 win at Lincoln with 7 seconds remaining might be just as big as any he has made this season.

“I was just playing free safety,” said Broome, who normally is a cornerback. “I saw the wheel come across and I jumped it.”

While the victory does not count toward the Wolves’ league record, it is significant because coach Eric Canton said the first tiebreaker in the Class 4A Narrows League is overall record followed by point differential. That means South (5-2) still could finish second in league if it wins its final two games against Stadium and at Central Kitsap.

It is a discussion that might not even be relevant without Broome’s interception. He returned the ball to the Wolves’ 31-yard line, where quarterback Kevin Whatley took a knee to finish a back-and-forth second half.

South appeared to have secured the win on its previous possession when sophomore running back Marshaud DeWalt reached the end zone on a 17-yard run that would have given the Wolves at least an 11-point lead. Canton said DeWalt crossed the goal line before the ball came out, but the back judge ruled it a fumble, which was recovered by the Abes, with 2:22 left.

“He was down and the back judge came in,” he said. “I’m not going to criticize the officials.”

That gave Lincoln (3-4), which defeated South in the last meeting between the schools in 2010, an opportunity to beat the Wolves in consecutive games for the first time since 1977. After losing yards on their first two plays, Love completed four consecutive passes to move down to South’s 35. But Love misfired on his next pass and was intercepted by Broome on the ensuing play.

“What a phenomenal effort by our kids,” Canton said. “They overcame so much. They never lost their composure.”

The first two minutes of the game gave no indication that it would be close. Broome intercepted starting quarterback Everett Davis and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. On the Abes’ next possession, a botched snap was recovered by senior safety Adam Gascoyne at Lincoln’s 16. Whatley then found senior wide receiver Tom Simpson for a touchdown to quickly give the Wolves a 13-0 lead.

After the Abes scored their first touchdown in the second quarter on a 1-yard pass from Love to Dionte Simon, South again appear poised for a rout when Gascoyne returned the kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to extend the Wolves’ lead to 26-7.

Lincoln, which outgained South 296-144 during the first half, scored shortly before the intermission when Love found Joshua Eckwood for a 4-yard touchdown. The Abes cut their deficit to 26-14 at halftime.

The yard advantage continued into the third quarter as Love, who 19 of 34 passes for 316 yards, found Eckwood and Johnson for 37- and 36-yard touchdown passes, respectively. That gave Lincoln a 28-26 lead.

It was the first of four consecutive lead changes. The Wolves regained their advantage, 32-28, near the end of the third quarter when Whatley found senior wide receiver Devon Newquist on fourth-and-4 for a 23-yard touchdown.

Love then responded by finishing a 13-play drive with a 7-yard scramble for a touchdown.

“That is a resilient football team,” Canton said. “We knew they would play hard until the end.”

As did South. Broome scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 11-yard run with 7:48 remaining.

“We can’t afford to lose,” Broome said. “Every game is a playoff.”

That run continues with the Wolves’ final home game at 7 p.m. Friday against Stadium.

South Kitsap 39, at Lincoln 34

South Kitsap    13        13        6          7          —           39

Lincoln             0          14        14        6          —           34

First Quarter

SK-Bryce Broome 30 INT return (R.J. Polen kick)

SK-Tom Simpson 16 pass from Kevin Whatley (kick failed)

Second Quarter

L-Dionte Simon 1 pass from J’Maka Love (Travis Nguyen)

SK-Adam Gascoyne 70 kickoff return (Polen kick)

SK-Gascoyne 4 run (kick failed)

L-Joshua Eckwood 4 pass from Love (Nguyen kick)

Third Quarter

L-Eckwood 37 pass from Love (Nguyen kick)

L-Kashawn Johnson 64 pass from Love (Nguyen kick)

SK-Devon Newquist 23 pass from Whatley (pass failed)

Fourth Quarter

L-Love 7 run (kick failed)

SK-Broome 11 run (Polen kick)

Individual statistics

Passing-Kevin Whatley (SK) 8-17-0-149, Cooper Canton (SK) 1-3-0-20, Everett Davis (L) 0-1-1-0, J’Maka Love (L) 19-34-1-316.

Rushing-Adam Gascoyne (SK) 17-123, Marshaud DeWalt (SK) 6-30, Whatley (SK) 4-14, Li’i Kalima (SK) 2-7, Bryce Broome (SK) 4-26, Eric Pula (L) 5-11, Love (L) 20-149, Jonathan Hardnett (L) 11-65, Rayshaun Miller (L) 4-3, Dionte Simon (L) 5-16, Joshua Eckwood (L)1-25, Team 1--12.

Receiving-Broome (SK) 3-40, Devon Newquist (SK) 3-63, Illya Tsveytkov (SK) 1-20, Tom Simpson (SK) 2-46, Simon (L) 7-86, Eckwood (L) 8-109, Johnson (L) 3-125, Hardnett (L) 1--4.

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