Wolves survive scare against Foss

Sounds of The Knack’s “My Sharona” emanated from the 8-track. President Jimmy Carter halted all oil imports from Iran in response to the hostage crisis. A gallon of regular gas cost 86 cents.

While much has changed since 1979, there remains one constant: South Kitsap always beats Foss in football.

The Wolves entered Friday’s Narrows League contest at Tacoma’s Mount Tahoma High School with 21 consecutive wins against the Falcons since a 15-14 setback 29 years ago. And it usually hasn’t been close as South has won by an average of 39.2 to 10.6 points during that span.

But it looked like a rare link to the 1970s also would become history until senior running back Sean Allison broke a 68-yard touchdown run with 56 seconds left in the game to give the Wolves a 29-26 win.

It was the closest game in the series since a 17-16 win in 1981

“Our kids just played hard and all the way to the end,” South coach D.J. Sigurdson said. “I’m proud of them for hanging in there until the end.”

Foss (4-3 overall, 4-3 league) took the lead with 2:23 minutes left in the game when quarterback Davante Peterson found Scott Crichton on third-and-20 for a 22-yard touchdown pass. That gave the Falcons a 26-21 advantage.

“We have plenty of time,” Sigurdson said. “Our kids never quit.”

South (5-2, 4-2) started the ensuing drive at its own 10, and ran four plays before it faced a third-and-four at its own 32. Despite having just a little more than a minute remaining, Sigurdson called for a counter play to Allison, who thought the Falcons were expecting a pass. He credit’s the offensive line, particularly tackles Brian Kuznek and Andrew Yaptinchay, for their downfield blocking that helped create the touchdown.

“They ran down the field, opened up some blocks and pushed some guys back,” said Allison, who had 130 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. “They opened up a great cutback and it was all open field.”

Besides the historical implications, the win was significant because it keeps the Wolves in the playoff race with two regular-season games remaining. South, which hosts undefeated Olympia at 7 p.m. Friday, now is tied for third place in the Narrows with Central Kitsap and Mount Tahoma. Olympia (5-0) and Gig Harbor (5-1) hold the top two spots. The top four teams advance to the playoffs.

“It was do-or-die,” Allison said. “We came in here knowing that we had to win to keep the odds in our favor.”

The scenario wasn’t different for Foss. But the Falcons turned the ball over four times, including a fumble by running back Julian Cruell in the first quarter that was recovered by South defensive end Greg Pickard at the Foss 39. Five plays later, Allison scored on a 5-yard run to give the Wolves a 7-0 lead.

Foss responded on its next series when running back Montwan Jackson finished a nine-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. But Tyler Elliott’s extra point was blocked and South held a 7-6 advantage in the second quarter.

After a 33-yard field goal by Wolves kicker Drew Klopfstein missed wide left with 3:06 left in the half, Peterson guided the Falcons on a seven-play, 80-yard drive. He completed all five of his passes during the series, the last to Jamal Byrd, who won a jump ball near the right sideline to give Foss a 12-6 lead at half after a two-point conversion failed. Peterson completed 11 of 12 passes for 224 yards in the first half.

The second half wasn’t quite as notable for Peterson, who completed 17 of 25 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns. There wasn’t anything he could do about it when South punted after its first possession of the half and the return man fumbled the line-drive punt. The Wolves’ Chris Nenninger recovered the ball at the Foss 15, and Robert Issa scored five plays later on a 1-yard run to give South a 14-12 lead

Peterson guided the Falcons down to South’s 23 on the following possession, but he lost 17 yards on a fumble. That coupled with a false start forced Foss into a third-and-32, and Peterson was intercepted on a long pass by sophomore cornerback Isaiah Davis.

It looked like that turnover might finally settle the game as the Wolves -- aided by a personal foul penalty against Foss and a 23-yard pass from Gordy Anderson to T.J. Rhodes -- scored on a 23-yard run by Zach Cruz to take a 21-12 lead with 9:56 left.

But Peterson later found Allen Brown for a 8-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal and the game -- and a little bit of long South football history -- weren’t preserved until the kickoff bounced off Cruell and into the hands of senior Paul Enyeart.

“He tried to return it and bobbled it,” Enyeart said. “It was between his legs and I just went down and scooped it up.”

And kept the music playing on the Wolves’ season.

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