South survives shootout with Central

South Kitsap coach D.J. Sigurdson expected a fight Thursday night, just not one quite like this.

Just minutes into Thursday’s Narrows League Bridge Division contest with Central Kitsap, the Wolves found themselves in the middle of an offensive shootout that wouldn’t end until the two league foes had combined to put up 838 yards of total offense and score 13 touchdowns on their way to an exciting 49-42 SK win that left not only the players and coaches breathless but a surprised crowd wanting more.

“We seem to be the breakout team for everybody,” Sigurdson said after the win, which keeps his Wolves (5-3 overall and 5-1 in league play) in a first-place tie atop the league standings with Gig Harbor and Shelton with just one game remaining in the regular season.

Should the three teams end the season tied, a playoff will be held on Nov. 1 to determine the order of finish for the winner-to-state, loser-out round of postseason games on Nov. 5.

As of now, that playoff would see the three teams play each other in a two 12-minute quarters at a site to be determined next week.

But for a while on Thursday night, it looked like the Cougars might throw the whole league for a loop by taking the Wolves to the brink with an offensive show worthy of the old American Football League.

“I knew it was going to be tough because they always play us tough,” South quarterback Kyle Pease said. “I was ready for anything, really. A win is a win, and that’s what we needed.”

Needing an upset to climb into the playoff chase, Central unleashed quarterback Zac Brown and a corps of speedy receivers that gave the Wolves fits all night long.

The Cougars scored four touchdowns on plays that that covered at least 33 yards and never let South get out to much of lead until midway through the third quarter.

Even then, Brown brought the Cougars back.

“It was a little too close for comfort, but we liked the win, so we’ll take it,” senior receiver Monte Enyeart said.

In the end, Brown completed nine of 15 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns, while helping Central pile up 406 yards of total offense on the tired-but-happy Wolves.

Brown connected on scoring passes of 33 and 36 yards to Cody Oakes and added an 88-yard pas to little brother Caleb Brown for good measure.

“We’ve got some work to do,” senior co-captain and defensive end Kyle Saltsgaver said. “We’ve got some work to do.”

But not to be outdone, the South offense, as it has all year, carried the Wolves to another win.

With plenty of offensive weapons to choose from and needing them all, South scored five of the seven times it had the ball and threw in a couple of long kickoff returns by Chad Fowler and Cory Dame to seal the deal.

“There are some things we need to get better at,” Sigurdson said. “We needed to play smarter on several different occasions. We’ve got plenty of stuff to work on, obviously.”

Pease once again benefited from a solid ground game that allowed him ample time to find receivers and finished the night 13 of 21 for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Fowler had another strong game for South, rushing for 144 yards on 21 carries before leaving midway through the final period with leg cramps. Sophomore Stephan Tucker picked up the slack with 91 yards on 17 carries and got the Wolves some key first downs late.

“That was big,” Sigurdson said. “We needed him to play like he did and get us some first downs and run hard like he did. He just continues to get better, so that was good.”

The two teams traded scores throughout the first half with Central going up 27-21 at one point. South led 35-27 at the half and seemed to put the game away with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns for a 49-27 lead. But Central clawed its way back into the game, scoring with 4:24 left to pull within a touchdown.

But Tucker rushed five times for 33 yards on the final drive to move the chains and work the clock down to zero.

“Defensively, we need to shore some things up,” Sigurdson said. “Our offense has been productive all season long, we just need to get more consistent on defense.”

The Wolves end the regular season next week at Bremerton. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 but may be moved to the 27th to accommodate the possible three-team playoff.

South Kitsap 49, Central Kitsap 42

Score by quarters

South Kitsap 14 21 14 0 - 49

Central Kitsap 14 13 0 15 - 42

Scoring summary

SK - Kyle Pease 1 run (Quincy Lyman kick)

CK - Derek Smith 65 run (Kick failed)

SK - Chad Fowler 90 kickoff return (Lyman kick)

CK - Cody Oakes 33 pass from Zac Brown (Smith run)

SK - Cory Dame 1 run (Lyman kick)

CK - Caleb Brown 88 pass from Zac Brown (Ryan Compton kick)

CK - Jeff Melin 8 run (Kick blocked)

SK - Dame 89 kickoff return (Lyman kick)

SK - Fowler 3 run (Lyman kick)

SK - Monte Enyeart 18 pass from Pease (Lyman kick)

SK - Ryan Cosgrove 7 pass from David Hammrich (Lyman kick)

CK - Ben Hornsey 3 run (Oakes pass from Zac Brown)

CK - Oakes 36 pass from Zac Brown (Compton kick)

Team statistics

South Kitsap Central Kitsap

First downs 27 17

Rushes-yards 48-274 23-149

Passing yards 148 289

Return yards 262 89

Passes (C-A-I) 14-23-0 10-16-1

Punts 2-28.0 2-35.0

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 10-95 10-99

Individual statistics

Rushing: South Kitsap - Chad Fowler 21-144, TD; Kyles Pease 5-9, TD; Stephan Tucker 17-91; Cory Dame, 1-1, TD; Deandre Jackson 2-21; Jonathan Quilantang 1-4; Anthony Catalano 1-4. Central Kitsap - Jeff Melin 5-9, TD; Derek Smith 9-87, TD; Danny VanDatta 5-40; Zac Braon 1-2; Ben Hornsey 3-11, TD.

Passing: South Kitsap - Pease 13-21-0, 151 yards, TD; David Hammrich 1-2-0, 7 yards, TD. Central Kitsap - Zac Brown 9-15-1, 257 yards, 3TDs; VanDatta 1-1-0, 32 yards.

Receiving: South Kitsap - Enyeart 5-75, TD; Cory Hawkins 2-12; Jesse Galligan 2-27; Fowler 1-0; David Parker 2-23; Cosgrove 2-11, TD. Central Kitsap - Smith 1-3; Caleb Brown 3-124, TD; Oakes 3-104, 2TDs; Craig Veach 1-12; VanDatta 1-10.

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