Tides roll to 21-0 win over Wolves

South Kitsap coach D.J. Sigurdson knows close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes.

That's why we wasn't real thrilled with Friday night's 21-0 Narrows League Bridge Division loss to Gig Harbor at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy, despite the fact the game was the best overall effort the young Wolves have put forth all year.

"No I'm not," Sigurdson said of buying into at least a moral victory from the game. "Nope. No."

Needing a win to stay in the playoff hunt and control their own destiny, South put up a defensive stand that for the first three quarters was it's best of the year. But a couple of big plays and key turnovers decided the outcome and ended the Wolves run at a playoff spot.

With the win, the Tides improved to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in league play while South fell to 2-5 and 2-3 and is now in danger of its first losing season since the 1970s.

"I felt that with the exception of a couple of big plays, that they played pretty well," Sigurdson said. "Better anyway. They've progressed and gotten better over the last two weeks."

South's defense was solid for the first 36 minutes, holding the Tides to just 7-0 points and forcing two turnovers to give its offense a chance. But the Wolves also doomed their selves with key penalties late and a couple of turnovers as well.

"We made plays," Sigurdson said. "We got turnovers, which we haven't had great success in doing. We made plays and got ourselves in position but I just felt like they made big plays also."

Trailing 7-0 late in the third quarter, South defensive back Dylan Pierce picked off a Troy Burki pass to set the Wolves up at their own 35-yard line. But an incomplete pass and a run for a loss put South in third and long. That's when the disaster hit.

Wolves' quarterback Kyle Pease rolled out but was forced from the pocket. While he headed for the sideline, Pease launched a pass out of bounds as he was being hit and was called for intentional grounding. The loss of added up to 30 yards and a down and short punt set the Tides up in great position to put the game away.

Which they did, scoring five plays later for a 14-0 lead.

"That hammered us," Sigurdson said. "That one series right there kind of hammered us and gave them good field position."

Gig Harbor scored again on its next possession to put the game completely away.

"The key was (South) wasn't trying to get to fancy and we weren't moving the ball on offense," Tide coach Darren McKay said. "They kept getting the ball in good field position and I don't know how many times they started a drive on our side of the 50-yard line. But our defense was still able to hold."

McKay likened his game-plan to that of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, play great defense and get enough offense to win.

"We didn't want the offense to screw it up," McKay said. "Just let the defense play."

And that they did, holding the Wolves to just 111 yards of total offense, including just 21 yards rushing. South tailback Anthony Galloway, who rushed for 255 yards last week against Olympic, was held to just 47 yards on 21 carries.

South did have some success, opening up the offense a bit and throwing the ball. Pease completed 8 of 20 passes for 90 yards but was sacked three times and lost 29 yards rushing.

"We feel confident in our quarterback," Sigurdson said. "We wanted to take a little bit of pressure off of Anthony and give the ball to Kyle a little bit more. But their defensive line got after him. There were a lot of times where he was running for his life. He made his fair-share of plays, but they got after him pretty good."

Riddled with injuries, Gig Harbor started nine underclassmen on offense and have become more of a quick-hitting finesse team than the usual power running team of the past. Those lost for the year include running back Matt Schweitzer, quarterback Matt Shearer and receiver/defensive back Ray Cooley, who had three interception in the last two games and was the team's kicker.

The Tides spread the ball around all night with Brian McGee leading the team in rushing with 86 yards on three carries. Gary Cole, who started in place of Schweitzer, had 14 tries for 63 yards while Josh Jones picked up 55 yards on six tries.

Gig Harbor 314 yards of offense in the game, 252 coming on the ground.

The Tides are now the first team to beat South in back-to-back years since the 1989-1990 seasons. Gig Harbor downed the Wolves 14-9 last year in Port Orchard to take the league title.

South must now win its last two remaining games against Central Kitsap, homecoming Friday night at Joe Knowles Field, and Bremerton Oct. 29 and then win a season finale cross-over game with a Narrows League Bay Division team to avoid a losing record.

Gig Harbor 21, South Kitsap 0

Score by Quarters

South Kitsap 0 0 0 0_0

Gig Harbor 7 0 0 14_21

Scoring summary

GH - Toney Henderson 50 pass from Troy Burki (Mike Vint kick)

GH - Gary Cole 1 run (Vint kick)

GH - Brian McGee 45 run (Vint kick)

South Kitsap Gig Harbor

8 First Downs 12

39-26 Rushes-Yards 42-252

90 Passing yards 62

8-21-1 Passes 3-9-1

3-1 Fumbles-Lost 1-1

3-35 Penalties-Yards 4-45

Individual statistics

Rushing: South Kitsap - Anthony Galloway 21-47; Kyle Pease 7-(-29); Orry Perez 1-3. Gig Harbor - Gary Cole 14-63, TD; Michael Murphy 7-39; Brian McGee 3-86, TD; Josh Jones 6-55; Troy Burki 3-(-10); Jacob Harrison 8-17; Jake Merrill 1-2.

Passing: South Kitsap - Pease 8-20-1, 90 yards. Gig Harbor - Burki 3-9-1, 62 yards, TD.

Receiving: South Kitsap - Monte Enyeart 3-27; Charles Davis 1-13; Tom Cornell 1-15; Jon Stryker 1-11; Dylan Pierce 1-23; Jason Martin 1-1. Gig Harbor - Henderson 3-63, TD.

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