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Wolves set to joust with Knights
"After its convincing 27-7 win against Gig Harbor last week, the South Kitsap High School football team will not need much inspiration to get pumped up in its home opener Friday at 7 p.m. against the Bremerton Knights and their 19-game losing streak.It's our first home game, so they'll be excited, SK coach D.J. Sigurdson said. We haven't worn the maroon jerseys for a long time, so it'll be nice. They'll be ready to play.Senior fullback Shane Starkweather, who had a pair of long runs against Gig Harbor, said Bremerton will have some problems with SK's ground game, which tallied 279 yards against Gig Harbor.Junior tailback Ryan Cole, seniors Matt Morey and Starkweather, and quarterback Anthony Fein are showing its depth in the running attack.Cole led all rushers against Gig Harbor with 74 yards to give him a league-leading 546 yards on the season.Fein showed his threat on the ground with 61 yards on five carries, including a 43-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper. Starkweather credited the offensive line for his two big runs.The offensive line did the best job, Starkweather said. Biggest holes man. You could put a truck through there.The Wolves are heavily favored against the Knights, but Starkweather said the team will know better than to look past their next opponent.Never underestimate a team, he said. We will play to our best ability like we did here (at Gig Harbor) and have a fun time. Keep playing hard and never let up. We can only improve from here.Senior Jeff Rio, the seasoned 288-pound offensive and defensive lineman, said everything is coming together on both sides of the line because of chemistry.I think we're bonding, Rio said. We're coming together a little bit better. We know who's playing where now and who's going to start. We're getting more disciplined as a team and getting a lot better. We still got a long way to go, but it's exciting.Rio is finding out how important it is to control the line of scrimmage. On offense the Wolves are averaging more than 250 yards a game on the ground, while the defense is giving up only 13.6 points per gameAny success the Knights might have will likely be attributable to all-position player Larry Kimmons.The senior, who attended Marcus Whitman Junior High, is averaging nearly 100 yards per game on the ground and is the defensive stalwart at linebacker.He's also the punter and has been the first to tackle the punt returner on occasion.The Knights also possess a big wide receiver in junior Kellen Alley. But catches are minimal because Bremerton is struggling at the quarterback position.Sophomore Aubrey Neal has been the starter but has shared duties with back-up Joe Bollinger.Senior Dominic Rio said it doesn't matter who shows up to play the Wolves.I think we're getting ready to go, Rio said. It's going to be fun playing Bremerton. "