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SK hands Shelton a shellacking
South Kitsap High couldnt have picked a better time to put together its most complete football game of the year.
On the road against first-place Shelton, the Wolves bumped the Highclimbers into third place with a 35-7 thrashing in front of a stunned Homecoming crowd.
SK can clinch first place with a win against Port Angeles Thursday at 7 p.m.
Controlling the tempo and keeping Sheltons high-octane offense off the field was the strategy.
The strategy worked.
The SK offense burned minutes off the clock with long possessions and the defense made quick work of Sheltons offense.
We kept their offense off the field, and I think it was demoralizing for them, SK coach D.J. Sigurdson said. Thats a tough team to play defense against, and our kids really controlled the tempo on defense.
Sigurdson said it was the most complete game hes seen out of his team this season.
With exception to the penalties, the defense and offense did exactly what we wanted them to do, Sigurdson said.
All eight SK penalties for 81 yards were committed by the offense.
Two of the penalties negated big touchdown runs by quarterback Travis Vetters and running back Ryan Cole.
But the negative yards didnt phase the offense.
Cole led the charge with a season-high 36 carries for 195 yards and three touchdowns.
He now has 165 carries for 1,537 yards and 20 touchdowns.
While Cole put up his usual numbers, it was the supporting cast that gave Cole some breathing room.
Because every team is keying on Cole, Sigurdson has called more passing plays this year.
Balancing the running and passing game has worked so far.
Vetters finished 10 of 19 for 148 yards with one interception and a touchdown.
When teams start putting the free safety up there to stop the run, you gotta be able to take advantage of that, and Travis did a great job of exactly that, Sigurdson said.
The running game wasnt put squarely on Coles shoulders, either. SK running backs and Vetters combined to rush for 316 yards.
Fullback Phil Thomas had three big runs for a total of 65 yards and Victor Valle finished with 49 yards.
Thomas runs forced Shelton to concentrate on more than just Cole.
I said, Man, Phil, you might outrush me tonight, Cole said.
Cornerback Sean Banks said the Wolves came out with an attitude and will keep playing with that attitude.
We talked about going out and getting excited and playing with an attitude, Banks said. We did what the coaches told us to do and played well.
Banks said the attitude isnt cockiness but confidence that cannot be broken.
We think we can win against anybody that comes onto the field with us, Banks said.
SK stole the momentum of the game early with ball control.
Cole put SK up 6-0 with a two-yard touchdown run and the defense forced Shelton to four downs and out in its first three possessions.
SK added two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a commanding 21-0 lead.
SK tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half to lead by as much as 35-0 before Shelton scored its lone touchdown late in the game.