Don't look for Wolves to throw caution to the wind

It was a season where the team earned its first state-playoff berth in five years and one where South Kitsap coach D.J. Sigurdson felt he learned an important lesson.

While the Wolves always have been a run-first team in Sigurdson’s 11 years as coach, they threw the ball more often late in the season -- particularly in the playoffs.

South threw the ball on 130 of its 532 offensive plays -- 24.4 percent -- this season. But in its lone state-playoff game, quarterback Chad Tester completed 6 of 16 passes for 127 yards. The Wolves had just five more running plays in that 41-20 loss Nov. 9 against Graham-Kapowsin.

“This is not the time to be (conservative),” said Sigurdson, when asked why the Wolves threw more often in a 28-20 win against Kamiak in the state play-in game Nov. 3. “These guys really responded well.”

So will Ground D.J. morph into Air Sigurdson next season? Not exactly.

“It will definitely be an emphasis for us ... early in the season,” Sigurdson said. “I don’t think throwing it more -- we just need to be more efficient.”

Sigurdson said they faced a challenge with Tester, who volunteered to move to quarterback after 2006 starters Chip Pierson and Aaron Smothers graduated, because he lacked experience. Both reserve quarterbacks -- junior Bryan Dorsey and sophomore Gordy Anderson -- return next season. In limited playing time this season, Dorsey completed 3-of-8 passes for 62 yards and two interceptions, while Anderson connected on all three of his passes for 20 yards and a touchdown.

“I think both of those kids need to be ready to go,” Sigurdson said. “Bryan said he’s been throwing an hour a day since football ended. This will be unique in that they both are coming in with a lot of experience.”

Sigurdson said there isn’t a leading candidate for the job and that Ricky Johnson, who split time at quarterback with Anderson on the sophomore team, also is a candidate.

Whoever wins the job will have Leon La Deaux, who had 284 yards on a team-best 19 receptions as a sophomore.

Even with the graduation of Stephen Tucker, who rushed for a team-high 1,329 yards and 14 touchdowns on 187 carries, Sigurdson is excited about the running backs. Sean Allison and Ryan Williams, who will be seniors next season, combined to rush for more than 1,000 yards and both produced 100-yard rushing games during the season. Because of the team’s depth, Sigurdson had Sean Korf focus on cornerback this season. But he called Korf a “tough runner” who will factor into next year’s running game along with Robert Issa.

“There’s a lot of growth and definitely a lot of talent with Sean Allison, Ryan Williams and some other guys like (offensive lineman) Brian Kuznek that are really talented and will help contribute next year,” Tester said after the season finale.

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