SK on wrong side of blowout

As long as the Wolves avoid teams with major college prospects, they might be OK.

South Kitsap was unable to do that Friday at Silverdale Stadium and the result was a loss. The Wolves couldn’t contain 6-foot-2, 215-pound tight end Caleb Brown as Central Kitsap earned a 49-21 nonleague victory.

Similar to the season opener against Kentwood, where University of Washington recruit Demetrius Bronson ran for 170 yards on 11 carries in the Conquerors’ 21-19 win, it appeared that South might survive its latest big-name challenge.

South (1-2) took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on a 58-yard touchdown run by Stephen Tucker and maintained that advantage until Howie McDonald scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game with 2:10 left in the first half. But Ryan Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to give the Wolves a 14-7 lead at halftime.

“We came out on top at the half and we thought we were just going to walk all over them,” South quarterback Chad Tester said. “We should’ve concentrated on doing our job.”

The halftime numbers — Central outgained the Wolves 123 to 76 — suggested the Cougars should have held the lead and it didn’t take long for the statistical dominance to bear out in the second half.

Central defensive lineman William Morris recovered a fumble two plays into the half to set up the Cougars at the Wolves’ 5-yard line. McDonald, who had 173 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries, carried it in the next play to tie the game 13 seconds into the second half.

“We fumbled the exchange,” South coach D.J. Sigurdson said. “That was an obvious turning point right there.”

The Cougars (3-0), who last beat the Wolves, 45-28, in 2004, needed only 141 seconds to take the lead after their first score of the second half. Central started its next series on its own 5, but Jason Simonis found Brown, who raced down the left sideline to give the Cougars a 20-14 lead. Brown, who holds a scholarship offer from Air Force, had 230 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions.

“We had an unfortunate series and we never overcame that,” Sigurdson said. “We acted pretty immature and obviously their kids did not and they really took advantage of that. They made play after play.”

The Wolves took their final lead, 21-20, with 2 minutes, 16 seconds left in the third quarter when Sigurdson elected to keep the offense on the field with in a fourth-and-goal situation at the Central 5. Tester rolled out and hit Matt Foxworthy with the score that appeared to swing the momentum in favor of South.

It was a shift that lasted 38 seconds.

Simonis, a junior who completed 7 of 13 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns, found Brown open over the middle beyond South’s safeties. Brown went untouched for an 84-yard touchdown.

Brown said he was happy with his performance, but said the defense was just as responsible for his team’s win as the offense.

“There was only one time when they responded with a touchdown after we had a touchdown,” he said. “I think the defense was feeding off the offense and vice versa. It just kept steamrolling.”

Central turned the game into a blowout in the fourth quarter when McDonald scored on runs of 3 and 26 yards and defensive back Kyler Ackerman returned a fumble 40 yards for the final touchdown.

The Cougars outgained South 447 to 177. Stephen Tucker led the Wolves with 85 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, but 58 of those yards came on his score.

It doesn’t figure to get any easier Friday when the Wolves play at undefeated Lincoln in the Narrows League Bridge Division opener for both schools. The Abes have allowed just 29 points in three games.

“This is going to become a huge challenge on our part to overcome the emotional sting of that,” Sigurdson said. “They got after us very good.”

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