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Wolves blank Highclimbers, 35-0
To explain the disparity between the two Narrows League teams, one just needs to look at yards per play.
South Kitsap averaged 6.8 yards per play, while Shelton produced just 1.97.
That difference was reflected on the scoreboard, as Shelton was shutout for the first time this season, 35-0, Friday against the Wolves during its rainy homecoming game at Highclimber Stadium.
South (3-2 overall, 2-2 league) hardly was perfect – a fumble on its first drive gave the Highclimbers possession at the Wolves’ 42-yard line – but Shelton couldn’t move the ball. A botched punt then set up the Wolves at midfield, where they gained a couple of first downs before T.J. Rhodes scored on a 24-yard touchdown run.
The Wolves took advantage of good field position on their next drive when they started at their own 46. Three plays later, junior quarterback Gordy Anderson found classmate Leon La Deaux, who outraced a trio of Highclimbers down the sideline to extend their advantage to 14-0 with 5:09 minutes left in the first quarter.
That lead grew to 21-0 at halftime when South again took advantage of favorable field position. The Wolves began their final drive of the first half with 1:26 remaining at their own 49. A 9-yard completion from Anderson to La Deaux set up a 4-and-1 at the Shelton 42, where Ryan Williams took the handoff and broke three tackles en route to the end zone.
Special teams issues didn’t end in the second half for the Highclimbers (0-5, 0-4). A low snap forced punter Aaron Michaelis to run from his own 10-yard line, where he rushed for a 3-yard gain before being stopped a yard short of first down. That gave the Wolves possession at the Shelton 13, where they moved the ball down to the Highclimbers’ 1 before Williams, who 80 yards on nine carries, again scored on fourth down.
“We got rattled a little bit,” Hinkle said. “We lost our long snapper and then we had an adventure finding another guy to get the ball back there.”
South's final score came with its worst field position of the game – the Wolves started at their own 21 – but they moved the ball methodically down the field with eight running plays. The final one, a 43-yard sprint by Sean Allison, brought the score to its final with 7:46 left. Allison finished with a game-high 118 yards on 10 carries.
The Highclimbers nearly prevented the shutout on their final drive when backup quarterback Ryan Adams drove them 56 yards down to the Wolves’ 19. But with 6 seconds left, Adams took the snap and his pass was intercepted in the end zone to preserve the shutout. It was South's first since a 7-0 win Oct. 19, 2007 against Gig Harbor.
The Wolves return at 7 p.m. Friday for its own homecoming game against Bellarmine Prep at Joe Knowles Field. It's the first meeting between the schools since 1999.
South Kitsap 35,
at Shelton 0
South Kitsap 14 7 7 7 - 35
Shelton 0 0 0 0 - 0
SK-T.J. Rhodes 24 run (Drew Klopfstein kick), 6:55
SK-Leon La Deaux 51 pass from Gordy Anderson (Klopfstein kick), 5:09
SK-Ryan Williams 42 run (Klopfstein kick), 0:32
SK-Williams 1 run (Klopfstein kick), 2:44
SK-Sean Allison 57 run (Klopfstein kick), 7:46