SK, Cole rush past Capital

Game after game, teams have tried to key in on running back Ryan Cole.

But the South Kitsap High School football team continues to show what happens when you take that approach.

In a home game against Capital with a state berth on the line Friday night, SK pounded Capital 28-12 and earned its 22nd straight trip to the state playoffs.

The Wolves (8-1) open the state playoffs at Eastlake of Redmond (9-0) Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Capital had its sights set on Cole, but even when the team knew he had the ball, he was unstoppable.

Halfway through the second quarter, Capital middle linebacker Kaliimamo-Ling

laid out possibly the biggest hit Cole has ever received.

His mouthpiece sailed through the air. He gingerly stood up and reached the sidelines.

Two plays later, Cole was back in the game and finished the game with a personal-best 40 carries for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

Cole surpassed 2,000 yards (2,028) for the second straight season, and is within reach of beating his own West Sound record of 2,175 yards.

While Cole more than earned his yards, SK also attacked from the air.

Quarterback Travis Vetters had his best game of the year, going 12 of 17 for 168 yards and a touchdown.

SK coach D.J. Sigurdson said the passing game will be crucial to SK’s success in the playoffs.

“This is how it’s going to have to happen,” Sigurdson said. “A lot of guys are going to have to make big plays.”

The SK defense held Capital’s potent offense to 12 points, but the score doesn’t reflect some of the defensive lapses in the game.

SK gave up 200 yards rushing to a stable of Capital running backs, including Jordan Carey (124 yards).

Most of the yards came on a counter running play called “criss-cross.”

Sigurdson said it’s a tough play to contain all the time.

“It’s a tough task to stop their offense,” Sigurdson said. “But I felt like our kids were ready to play hard.”

Capital turned out to be its own worst enemy, turning the ball over three times.

Trailing 14-0, Capital charged down to SK’s 38 yard line before fumbling the ball to SK.

SK couldn’t convert the turnover into a scoring chance and was forced to punt.

The snap from Kenny Gatlin sailed over Vetters’ head. Vetters recovered the ball and attempted to kick it with his left foot but the ball was blocked, giving Capital the ball on SK’s 22 yard line.

Three plays later Capital scored to trim the lead to 14-6. The extra point was no good.

Just when momentum seemed to swing towards Capital, SK snatched it back.

On the ensuing possession, Nick Anderson returned the kickoff to the SK 48 yard line.

Cole pushed the ball 12 yards on a run before Vetters threw a perfect ball to Anderson down the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown pass.

The Wolves increased their lead to 28-6 on a 68-yard drive capped off by a Cole one-yard touchdown run.

But on Capital’s next possession SK’s defense gave up a 65-yard touchdown run by Carey.

Capital again failed to convert the two-point conversion.

On Capital’s next two possessions, scores seemed imminent, but turnovers killed both drives.

Near the end of the third quarter Capital was at midfield before Chris Anderson picked off quarterback Jon Oatman.

On the next drive, Capital drove from its own 26 yard line to SK’s nine-yard line.

But Carey was stripped of the ball and SK’s John Enbom recovered to end the threat.

Enbom said its the will of the defense that has kept teams from scoring a large quantity of points.

“We are very consistent,” Enbom said. “We do not let up and we are not going to let down for anybody out there. We go 100 percent until the fourth quarter ends.”

Enbom said he’s not worried about the big plays the defense gave up.

“We just had a couple of problems inside the line and on the outside,” he said. “We’ll iron them out. If everyone does their job, we’re golden.”

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