Sports

Pease, Enyeart get passing grade

If you catch yourself wondering if South Kitsap has abandoned its tradition-rich, run-happy power football concept for a more wide-open offense this year, think again.

It only appears that way.

It’s not like the Wolves are airing it out completely this year, they’re just completing more pass attempts, says coach D.J. Sigurdson.

And while there are many reasons behind that, the secret of the Wolves’ pass success stems from the improved play of quarterback Kyle Pease and wideout Monte Enyeart.

“Kyle is doing a fantastic job,” South quarterback coach Eric Canton said. “The receivers are catching the football and running good routes, so yeah, it’s coming together real well.”

So well, in fact, that after three games this year, the Wolves are averaging 358.6 yards of offense and 35.6 points a game. Not all of that is due to Pease and Enyeart, but they play a huge part in it.

Pease, in his second year as the starting QB, has put up some pretty impressive numbers for a South Kitsap quarterback. Through last Friday’s game in Port Angeles, the senior has completed 29 of 45 passes for 406 yards, including five touchdowns against just two interceptions.

He has also rushed for 39 yards and a score on 10 carries.

Compare those numbers to his junior season of 2004, during which he completed just 41 of 106 passes for 574 with four touchdowns and four interceptions in starting all 10 of the Wolves’ games.

“I’m just a lot more comfortable with the offense this year,” Pease said. “Last year, I remember going back and just not really knowing what to do on some plays. So this year, I’m a lot more poised and relaxed back there.”

Which has led to better numbers, but he’s also much more accurate, completing 64 percent of his passes so far this year compared to just 38 percent last year. And has more zip on the ball.

“I feel a lot better throwing the ball this year, but I didn’t do anything (to increase my strength),” Pease said. “I guess it comes from back in the winter when Monte and I were throwing some.”

As with Pease, Enyeart has also just about bettered his numbers from a season ago through just three games. So far the senior has hauled in 10 passes for 162 yards and two scores compared to 10 catches for 177 yards and two scores all of last year.

“I like getting the ball. I like making plays,” Enyeart said. “I definitely like it when the ball is called to my side.”

But he added that he sees a difference in Pease as well, especially in the zip that follows the ball.

“Sometimes it hurts when it hits you wrong on the come-back routes,” Enyeart said. “Especially in the hands, when you don’t get your fingers on it. Yeah, he’s definitely got a lot more on it and he puts where it needs to be. And only where the receiver can get it.”

Pease said part of that is his self-confidence in his ability to get things done. Instead of worrying about throwing interceptions, he said he’s looking to make the correct throw and complete the pass, no matter what.

And Enyeart has become his favorite receiver for many reasons, and Canton knows why.

“(He’s) consistent, and a leader,” Canton says of the Wolves’ No. 1 receiver. “He’s cocky but he’s not arrogant. He just has a lot of self confidence and it’s in a way that doesn’t rub you the wrong way.”

Enyeart and Pease spent at least three outings a week during the off-season working on routes and timing on their own at the high school. They discussed certain routes and when and where to deliver the ball, building the foundation that’s now working wonders on the field.

“I think anytime you see a quarterback who is doing the things that he’s doing, it’s confidence,” Canton said. “And it’s confidence in your offensive line and it’s confidence that your receivers are, No. 1, going to run the right routes and, No. 2, they are going to catch the football if it’s thrown to them. And then No. 3, he knows where to throw the ball and trusts his reads. And when you have that going, it just makes for a 100 times better quarterback.”

Pease has done all of that to near perfection this year. And the main factor may be that he’s not afraid to fail. He will seize the opportunity if the defense gives it to him and try to make something happen rather than checking off to something safe because he is doesn’t want something bad to happen.

“One of the things I saw a lot is you have to have a short memory,” Canton said. “And that goes for the corners I coach on defense and it goes for a quarterback. You have to have a short memory. You’re not worried about what just happened. You’re worried about what’s going to happen next. And (Kyle is) doing that.”

While Pease thinks the offense can score every time it touches the ball, in the early part of the season it had to just to keep the Wolves in games while the defense sorted out its problems.

But now that the defense seems to be back on track, Pease and Enyeart can now concentrate on winning games instead of just trying to keep the team close.

“The pieces are there, and as a coaching staff, you have to utilize your pieces to the best of your advantage,” Canton said. “And I think that’s what we’re doing.”

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