Cedar, Marcus gridders close out season

It’s been a long season for both the Marcus Whitman and Cedar Heights Junior High School football teams. And while neither team had the kind of season it would have liked, the two closed out the 2004 season on Wednesday night at Joe Knowles Field with Marcus earning a tough 16-8 win.

“It was really nice,” Marcus coach Davis Sparks said. “We started with a win and we ended with a win. The kids grew a lot.”

With the win, the Blazers finished 2-5 on the year, while Cedar closed out the year at 0-7.

“I know that an 0-7 season, most people look at that and say it isn’t the most successful of seasons,” Cedar coach Carey Krumsick said. “But I’m so proud of the boys. They fight. Winning would be great if it happens and that’s what we desire and that’s what they want. And this team fought for wins all year. It didn’t happen, but we’re so proud of them for fighting.”

Playing on a cold, crisp night in front of a nice crowd at the South Kitsap stadium seemed to spur many of the players on, despite the wet, muddy field. Both teams fell victim to turnovers but sides seemed to enjoy the experience.

The Blazers jumped out to a 16-0 lead with two scores in the second quarter, the second coming on a four-yard run by tailback Brandon Mayfield.

But after falling behind, Cedar fought back to cut the lead to 16-8 when Sean Allison caught a tipped pass and scored from 19 yards out just before halftime.

But the Blazers defense held for the rest of the game, even though Cedar had a few chances to tie it up.

“They never quit,” Krumsick said. “And it’s hard to not hang your head sometimes. They’re facing a lot of pressure. It’s been two seasons straight, and they’re under the gun to get a victory. But we’re very proud of what they did this year.”

Cedar will have plenty to work with next year, as Allison, who rushed for more than 100 hundred yards a couple of times this year — including Wednesday night — will return along with quarterback Shawn Korf.

Krumsick said his team led four games at halftime this year, only to see their opponents come back, but his kids never quit on him.

And they didn’t Wednesday night.

Neither did Sparks’ team, which fought through the year despite averaging four turnovers a game.

Both teams got encouraging words from South Kitsap High School coach D.J. Sigurdson after the game. He told them about the hard work that faces each of them if they want to continue to play football and some day wear the maroon and gold of South Kitsap.

“It’s been great working with these kids all year,” Sparks said. “They’re going to have a good high-school team with these kids in a few years.

“Junior high is really hard — you never know who’s going to blossom and become a good player later on,” Sparks said. “They grow so much from here. Some of these guys that didn’t get in at all might be the stars one day.”

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