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The beat goes on for Wolves
A team that gives up more than 300 yards in the air and 100 yards on the ground usually comes away a loser.
But the South Kitsap High School football team found ways to defeat Eastlake and its potent offense 33-29 Friday night in Sammamish.
SKs playoff run continues with a quarterfinal matchup against Bethel at Lakewood Stadium Friday at 7:30 p.m.
SK entered the game knowing the offense revolved around Eastlake quarterback Alex Bean.
For three quarters SK managed to hold Eastlake to 17 points, but Eastlake proved to SK why every minute counts.
Up 27-17 with 1:53 remaining and possession of the ball, it seemed like SK was about to seal the game.
But a John Enbom fumble gave the ball back to Eastlake on SKs 22-yard line.
One play later Bean hooked up with Jason Dillon to pull Eastlake within four points at 27-23. The extra point was no good.
SKs Victor Valle recovered Eastlakes onside kick, thinking that was the end of the game.
One play later SKs Ryan Cole rumbled up the middle for a 53-yard touchdown to give SK a 10-point cushion with 1:35 left.
Game over, right?
Starting on its own 36-yard line, Bean connected with Jordan Flowers on a 49-yard completion.
Bean then hit Brett Upchurch in the end zone on a 25-yard slant to pull Eastlake to within four points again 33-29.
Eastlake attempted its second onside kick but it sailed out of bounds.
SK took a knee and time finally ran out on Eastlake to the sighs of relief from the SK players and coaching staff.
Bean finished the night 17 of 33 for 330 yards, and fourth-string running back Travis Ross managed 112 yards on the ground.
But key Eastlake turnovers mixed with SKs own success on offense was the difference in the game.
SK set the tone on the first play of the game when Cole took a pitch from quarterback Travis Vetters and passed it to a streaking Tyler Mayfield for an 81-yard touchdown.
The difference in the game I think was the opening (play), Vetters said. It got our momentum going. It was a risk we took and it worked.
Vetters laughed when asked how the play worked in practice.
Yesterday Cole went O-for-five, but it worked out perfectly tonight.
SK coach D.J. Sigurdson said the coaching staff did all it could to prepare the secondary for Bean.
Hes the best kid Ive ever played against in high school, Sigurdson said. We knew coming in what he could do. We told the kids they have to contain him. I dont think they quite understood how good he was.
SK senior defensive back Sean Banks said the game was the biggest challenge of his career.
While he made some big defensive stops, Banks, like other members in the secondary, found out what it felt like to get burned.
Their quarterback was phenomenal, Banks said. We had to go out there and fight with every last fiber and play like champions. Im not saying we have more heart than them but it was all heart in the fourth quarter.
Cole finished with 216 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, but it was Mayfields work in the first half that opened up the offense for Cole in the second half.
Mayfield had 165 yards by halftime.
That forced Eastlake to put two defensive backs on Mayfield in the second half.
That gave Cole the running room he needed.
After 10 carries for 40 yards in the first half, Cole amassed 176 yards in the second half.
For the season Cole has 2,244 yards. That breaks his West Sound record of 2,175 yards he established last year.
Everything had to go the right way and it did, Sigurdson said. We felt like they (Eastlake) were going to commit nine guys to the run and they did. Thats why Tyler made those catches, and those were huge. Ryans a special player but everybody else had to make plays. We told the kids all week long its going to take all 58 of us for all 48 minutes and thats exactly what it took.