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Demands of two-way play cramping South Kitsap's style
"The glaring statistic in South Kitsap's 33-23 win over Gig Harbor was the time of possession.The Wolves are known as clock hounds, eating up time as the offense slowly but efficiently moves down the field.SK was unable to march down the field. Instead, quick scoring strikes by ground and air, combined with Gig Harbor's South Kitsap-like efficiency on the ground forced the SK defense to play nearly twice as many plays as the SK offense (68 on defense, 37 on offense).Cramps started taking their toll on players, especially two-way players such as Andy Sund and Travis Vetters.When Vetters - also SK's quarterback - intercepted a pass from Gig Harbor quarterback Tyler Kullman at the end of the third quarter, he came to the sideline and told SK coach D.J. Sigurdson his legs were starting to go.Sigurdson inserted junior quarterback Jared Stevenson for a series to give Vetters some rest.Players such as Vetters, Ryan Cole and linemen Kris Krueger and Buddy Anderson each took part in nearly 100 plays.When the Tides were threating late in the fourth quarter, Krueger said every player was able to sum up the strength to hold them from scoring.It's all heart, Krueger said. You get to the sidelines and you've had a little bit of a rough time, but when you get the coaches in there to pick you and your teammates up that's what gets you through this game. Not one person carried us on this field, we all carried each other.Cole continues to rollSenior running back Ryan Cole had it easier than other games as the running back. His number of carries was trimmed from 32 against Snohomish to 21 Friday night, but he more than made up his time on the field with his work as the strong safety.Between Gig Harbor's 22 pass attempts and having to stop the hard-nosed running of Paul Turnbull, Cole got more than his usual workload. When you get banged a lot, you start to become a little fatigued, but that's my job this year, to play both ways and help my team, Cole said. I just put my body up for (my teammates) because I'd know they'd do the same for me.23-ice on two It will be a while before Gig Harbor can rid the nightmare of 23-ice on two.Trailing by only four points with just over two minutes remaining, SK was faced with third down and four yards to go. Gig Harbor called its last timeout.In the huddle on the sideline, Sigurdson calmly told his players to run 23-ice, which is one of four main running plays.But the kicker on this play was to call the play on two huts instead of one, which SK ran the whole game on one hut.The call proved brilliant as three Gig Harbor linemen jumped offside and gave the Wolves a first down and the win.That was the call of the night I guess, Sigurdson said. On the next play, Cole put the game out of reach with a 68-yard touchdown run.Reserves to get more time on the fieldGig Harbor's time of possession forced Sigurdson to put in reserves in a crucial game.Players such as Victor Valle and Jeremiah Martin showed their ability as tailbacks against a tough Gig Harbor defense.Valley gained 28 yards on five carries and Martin added 10 yards on a pair of carries.Sigurdson said he knew some of his reserves weren't going to see much time in the first couple of games, but expects a big contribution from them for the remainder of the regular season.We'll get more kids in there, Sigurdson said. There's going to be a day when Ryan (Cole) can't get it done (by himself). We need to let some other people carry the load a little bit.When senior Tyler Mayfield is healthy he will be back as the starting wide receiver but his time as a defensive back will help Vetters in the future.Sigurdson said Vetters is too talented at defensive back not to have him there when Mayfield returns.Instead there will be a nice rotation between Mayfield, Vetters, and senior Sean Banks.Sigurdson said Mayfield will probably be back at wide receiver Friday but he may be held out another week on defense because the position requires changes of direction, which his ankle may not be ready for yet.Meeker comes up clutch againWhile the 23-ice on two was the best call of the game, Sigurdson's decision to have Vetters throw a bomb to tight end Josh Meeker was the play of the game.After leading 13-0, Gig Harbor came back to tie the game 13-13 at halftime.SK began to drive towards the endzone until Cole fumbled the ball and Gig Harbor returned it to the SK 35-yard line. Two plays later the Tides scored and took a 20-13 lead.Seeing his players were down, Sigurdson said he knew the team needed a quick strike.On the first play from scrimmage, Vetters connected with Meeker for a 65-yard touchdown.That was huge, Sigurdson said. We needed that play because they had just scored. That was huge for us to make that play just to get our spirits back going again. "