Late rally fizzles as CK tops SK

A trio of South Kitsap defenders bottle up star Central Kitsap running back Howie McDonald, who finished with 89 yards on 21 carries in the Cougars’ 14-13 win. against the Wolves on Friday at Silverdale Stadium. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
A trio of South Kitsap defenders bottle up star Central Kitsap running back Howie McDonald, who finished with 89 yards on 21 carries in the Cougars’ 14-13 win. against the Wolves on Friday at Silverdale Stadium.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

Wolves muff chance to score game-winner by letting clock run.

Port Orchard residents still are two months away from casting their election ballots, but Decision 2008 is already in for the South Kitsap football team.

Down by a point with second-and-goal at the Central Kitsap 6-yard line, the Wolves’ coaching staff decided not to take a timeout with 22 seconds remaining and the clock running.

Quarterback Gordy Anderson took the snap with 10 seconds left and his pass into the end zone fell incomplete.

An illegal man downfield penalty against South was declined to give the Cougars a 14-13 win Friday in Narrows League play at Silverdale Stadium. South coach D.J. Sigurdson said they wanted to score a touchdown, but thought they would have enough time left to kick a field goal if necessary.

“My job as head coach is to manage the clock in those situations,” he said. “I thought I had plenty of time to do that and leave minimal time on the clock. I just mismanaged the end of the game.”

Central Kitsap coach Mark Keel said he was surprised when the Wolves didn’t take a timeout before the play.

“I thought they trying to get the ball in the middle for a field goal,” he said. “I thought they were lining up.”

The Wolves (1-1 overall, 0-1 Narrows) had multiple opportunities to win late in the game. Allen Hewey’s punt landed just 18 yards to give the Wolves possession at Central’s 48. But three plays later — two runs and a pass — South moved two yards back and was forced to punt.

That’s when Central gave the visitors another break when the punt grazed returner Alonzo Severson’s right leg and was recovered by South’s Sean Korf at the Cougars’ 18.

Ryan Williams then rushed for a 5-yard gain before the Wolves used their second timeout of the half. Sean Allison was stopped for no gain on the ensuing play before Central was called for encroachment to set up a third-and-one.

Allison gained two yards on a carry to earn the first down, and rushed for two more on the following play before the Wolves’ staff decided to forego the field goal.

The final statistics reflected the tight game. Central (1-1, 1-0) outgained the Wolves 278 to 190, but 71 of those yards came when H’arion Gaulden took the first carry of the game down the right sideline uncontested to give the Cougars a 7-0 advantage.

“We had a game plan and our kids did everything we asked them to do,” Sigurdson said. “They bounced back after big plays and setbacks with the exception of a couple of big plays.”

South rebounded later in the first quarter when a 17-yard Hewey punt gave the Wolves possession at the Central 29. With senior quarterback Bryan Dorsey still recovering from torn meniscus in his right knee, Anderson made his second start and immediately found 5-foot-9 sophomore Isaiah Davis for the tying touchdown.

But the Wolves’ special teams had their own breakdown to open the second half when Richie Meier recovered the kickoff at the South 32. Two plays later, 6-5 junior Christian Wesley won a jump ball in the end zone to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead.

It appeared that South would tie the game again when a nine-play drive culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Anderson. But a botched snap prevented the Wolves from kicking the extra point, and the run was stopped in the backfield.

Keel has now seen victory playing the Wolves in consecutive seasons, and is 4-5 against them total. Central hadn’t accomplished that feat since the 1972-73 seasons.

“You’re playing South Kitsap,” Keel said. “What more can you ask for? Those guys have been king of the hill around here for a long time. Our goal was to get them two years in a row. We’ll take it.”

With the decision final, the Wolves return to play their only nonleague game this season at 7 p.m. Friday against Franklin Pierce at Joe Knowles Field.

At Central Kitsap 14, South Kitsap 13

South Kitsap 7 0 6 0 — 13

Central Kitsap 7 0 7 0 — 14

First Quarter

CK-H’arion Gaulden 71 run (Shane Elmore kick), 11:45

SK-Isaiah Davis 29 pass from Gordy Anderson (Drew Klopfstein kick), 2:16

Third Quarter

CK-Christian Wesley 23 pass from Jason Simonis (Elmore kick), 11:11

SK-Anderson 1 run (run failed), 3:12

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