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Wolves' win sets up showdown with Central Kitsap | Football
South Kitsap has clinched a berth into the Class 4A state play-in game.
The Wolves accomplished that with a 42-3 win Friday night against Stadium at Joe Knowles Stadium.
That means South (6-2 overall, 3-2 league) can finish no worse than fourth in 4A Narrows because its 38-25 win Sept. 14 against Gig Harbor gives it the tiebreaker against the Tides.
But the Wolves can place themselves in a much better situation with a win Friday at Central Kitsap (7-1, 4-1). A victory in the rivalry contest could catapult South into second place. The difference could mean playing undefeated Camas from the 4A Greater Saint Helens League, while beating the Cougars could set up a rematch against Newport, which the Wolves defeated 33-27 on Sept. 7.
A win at CK would place South into a three-way tie with the Cougars and Olympia. Because the Wolves lost 15-14 against the Bears, who suffered a three-point setback against CK, coach Eric Canton said playoff positioning will be determined by each of the three teams scoring differential against one another. His team can finish no better than fourth with a loss against the Cougars.
“It’s a good, quality opponent,” Canton said. “They’re well-coached and play hard. It’s a great challenge.”
Senior fullback Bryce Broome, who was one of five seniors who donned a Gold Helmet against Stadium for earning 15 hashmarks this season, agreed.
“We definitely have to step up in practice,” he said. “[Central Kitsap] has got a lot of playmakers.”
One of South’s biggest games of the season follows perhaps its easiest. Canton started an all-senior lineup on both sides of the ball, but the presence of some little-used players seemed to have little impact as the Wolves took a quick 14-0 lead. Broome scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Whatley and Michael Gundrum later reached the end zone on a 1-yard run.
The Tigers (1-7, 0-6) scored their lone points late in the first quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Paul Kim.
South then scored its final four touchdowns in the second quarter as sophomore Cooper Canton and Whatley threw scoring passes, while senior Adam Gascoyne reached the end zone on 52- and 42-yard runs. Despite carrying the ball just three times during the first half, Gascoyne had 112 yards. He finished with 158 yards on seven carries.
Seniors Chris Willett, who made his first start, and Gundrum shared the bulk of carries that Gascoyne usually receives. Those two combined to rush the ball 20 times.
“It feels really good,” Willett said. “We got all of our kids out.”
Canton, who coached from 1996-98 at Bremerton, said it was the continuation of a tradition he always has had.
“I think it’s just something they deserve,” he said.
Another tradition featured players who reached the hashmark benchmark wearing gold helmets during the game. Hashmarks are rated in several ways on offense, defense and special teams, but roughly are awarded for physical, legal hits.
Canton said he intentionally called a timeout after the first play to award Broome with a gold helmet because he was the first player to reach the barrier. Offensive linemen Darren Feulner, Austin Kanouse, Damien Medeiros and Lucas Petovich were fitted with gold helmets at halftime. Canton also expects lineman Shaw Hesse to receive one.
“We brought back the tradition of wearing it on the field,” he said. “I called the Washington Officials Association just to double check [it was within the rules].”
While Canton was pleased to give certain players recognition and others extensive playing time, he was not happy with the second-half performance. The Wolves were penalized four times during the third quarter despite using several starters.
“We got a little sloppy in the second half,” Canton said. “When you get ahead like that, you have to be focused on fundamentals.”
At South Kitsap 42, Stadium 3
Stadium 3 0 0 0 — 3
South Kitsap 14 28 0 0 — 42
SK-Bryce Broome 11 pass from Kevin Whatley (R.J. Polen kick)
SK-Michael Gundrum 1 run (Polen kick)
S-Paul Kim 28 FG
SK-Devon Newquist 13 pass from Cooper Canton (Polen kick)
SK-Adam Gascoyne 52 run (Polen kick)
SK-Tom Simpson 1 pass from Whatley (Polen kick)
SK-Gascoyne 42 run (Polen kick)
Passing-Tre Scott (S) 3-11-1-17, Kevin Whatley (SK) 8-12-0-57, Cooper Canton (SK) 4-5-0-57.
Rushing-Nick Loftin (S) 20-79, Scott (S) 6-11, Dylan Rychtarik (S) 2-8, Sam Lavoie (S) 2--4, Chris Willett (SK) 11-43, Bryce Broome (SK) 4-22, Adam Gascoyne (SK) 7-158, Michael Fitch (SK) 1-0, Illya Tsveytkov (SK) 3-3, Michael Gundrum (SK) 9-53, Marshaud DeWalt (SK) 4-10, Logan Knowles (SK) 1--2, Whatley (SK) 2--2, Jordan Gondola (SK) 2-2.
Receiving-Loftin (S) 2-6, Jonathan Buchholtz (S) 1-11, Broome (SK) 4-36, Tom Simpson (SK) 2-30, Whatley (SK) 1-15, Devon Newquist (SK) 1-13, Nic Stoner (SK) 2-15, Gascoyne (SK) 1-5, Ryan Camp (SK) 1-0.