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SK rides the Cole train to state
"Some skeptics may have thought South Kitsap High School football running back Ryan Cole was piling up yards against cream puffs.He put that theory to bed with a 340-yard performance against a strong Capital team in the Wolves' most important game of the season Friday night at Joe Knowles Field.The Wolves rebounded from an early deficit to win the loser-out, winner-to-state game, 47-32, in front of approximately 2,000 fans.SK will host the Kamiak/Lake Washington winner from last night at Lincoln Bowl Saturday at 7 p.m.Cole played a huge part in the offensive outburst, scoring five of the team's seven touchdowns.His 340 yards gives him 1,971 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns, both state bests this year.He also surpassed Dan Boerner's west Sound and SK rushing record of 1,732 yards, set in 1981.While the offense dominated Capital the final three quarters, the SK defense, which had allowed only 8.8 points per game, gave up 296 yards rushing.Capital running backs Jake Carlyle and Cole Mackey gave the Wolves fits, rushing for 145 and 141 yards respectively.Capital was relentless on offense early, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions.After trailing 21-7, SK started its comeback.Cole closed the score to within seven points after scoring his first touchdown of the night on a 59-yard burst.SK finally stuffed Capital's wing-T offense and regained possession.Cole eventually scored from 11 yards out.Capital managed a field goal as time expired in the first half, but SK found itself only three points down.Senior lineman Josh Holt said his teammates started getting mad after trailing by a pair of touchdowns.We were going nuts, Holt said. (At) 21-7 we're losing, but all that extra conditioning and all the heart and toughness pays off. It's all about smash face football.That mentality of smashmouth football carried over into the second half.After both teams turned the ball over on downs to start the second half, SK got good field position inside Capital territory.Cole ate up some yards before quarterback Anthony Fein hit tight end R.J. Lange on a 16-yard play-action pass.Feeling the momentum, SK coach D.J. Sigurdson called for an onside kick, which kicker Jimmy French successfully converted with a Tyler Mayfield recovery.On the first possession Cole ran 49 yards for his third touchdown of the evening. Capital was a team of many tricks, including a successful hook-and-lateral touchdown play late in the game.Sigurdson said the team expected the tricks but concentrated on shutting down the core of their offense, which was the running game.The Wolves clearly dominated after the first quarter, allowing just 11 points, but Sigurdson said allowing almost 300 yards will kill them in the future.Lange said a special defense had been planned, but it wasn't working.We just went back to the basic blue defense that we've always stopped the run with, Lange said. In the first quarter we were pretty down. We didn't know what to think. They were hitting us pretty hard. But after we were down by three in the half we knew the momentum was going our way. We just stuck it to them in the second half. In the second half we showed them what South Kitsap football is all about.Though Capital was known for its bag of tricks, Sigurdson had some of his own.The first touchdown of the game had junior Travis Vetters as the starting quarterback with Fein filling in at wide receiver. The play is called a trips bubble screen, and it worked to perfection as Fein caught the screen pass and jetted 80 yards for a touchdown.Fein and Vetters traded off at quarterback all night, with Sigurdson opting to have Fein play defense for the first time this season.Coach thought the best chance for us to win was for me to play some 'D,' Fein said. We knew they were going to give us everything they had, but no one outworks us. We gave them everything that we have.Fein said it's the team effort that has kept the Wolves on its winning path.We're a family here, he said. Everybody works together and it wasn't one person. Cole had a lot of yards but every person on that field tonight did it and that's why we're continuing on. "