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Skyview ends Wolves' season
Playoff time was no different than the regular season for the Wolves.
In a season where brilliance was counterbalanced with inconsistency, the latter won out Friday in South Kitsap's 23-21 loss against Skyview in the preliminary-round football playoff at Vancouver's Kiggins Bowl.
The fourth quarter alone was a microcosm of the season. South (6-4), which was eliminated from the playoffs with the loss, trailed by 16 points entering the quarter. It almost wasn't enough for the Storm.
South needed just five plays to drive 72 yards when running back Ryan Williams broke a 35-yard touchdown run. The Wolves then took advantage of an encroachment penalty on the two-point conversion. With the ball at the Skyview 1-yard line, Williams simply ran up the middle to cut South's deficit to 23-15 with 9:53 left in the game.
The Wolves' next drive ended with an interception by quarterback Gordy Anderson, but the defense forced a three-and-out to give South the ball back with 2:37 left at the Skyview 46. South moved down to the Skyview 1 on a 27-yard pass from Bryan Dorsey to Isaiah Davis. Williams, who rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, scored on the ensuing play with 55.5 seconds left.
But Dorsey rolled out to his right on the two-point conversion attempt and couldn't find an open receiver. He took off running, but fell inches short of the goal line. South's onside kick was recovered by Ian Zarosinski and the Storm was able to run out the clock.
"He felt like right before the line-of-scrimmage that he shoveled the ball to T.J. Rhodes," South coach D.J. Sigurdson said, referring to the conversion attempt. "He felt like he wasn't down and was still going. They (the officials) didn't see it that way."
Despite that, Sigurdson said he was proud of the resolve his team showed.
"Our kids fought all the way to the end," he said. "We never questioned their toughness, commitment, or the way they carried themselves. Even when they were down by 16 points."
Skyview (8-2) never trailed during the game. On the first play from scrimmage, running back Duke Kelly broke left and outraced several defenders en route to a 65-yard touchdown. Kelly transferred from nearby La Center after he was suspended for a violation of the school's athletic code. He served a four-game suspension to start the season.
Kelly rushed for 112 yards on nine carries in the first half, including a 25-yard run that helped set up a second-quarter touchdown run by Matt Spears. He finished with 177 yards on 19 carries.
Sean Allison helped the Wolves find their own running game on the next drive. He finished a 13-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to cut South's deficit to 13-7 at halftime.
South had another opportunity to score with 1:05 remaining in the first half when they took possession at the Storm 40. But three plays later, Allison fumbled on a gang tackle to give Skyview the ball at its own 33 with 33 seconds remaining.
The momentum didn't carry over to the third quarter, though. That's when the Wolves' erratic side returned as they turned the ball over three times. Williams fumbled once and Anderson was intercepted twice. South gave away the ball five times during the game.
"Anytime you turn it over, it's demoralizing for you," Sigurdson said. "There's a few things we would like to have back. But what's done is done."
Skyview only scored a 32-yard field goal from the turnovers, but the Storm took advantage of a short punt late in the quarter. With the ball at South's 29, Kelly broke free and toed the left sideline before scoring.
Ironically, the Storm have earned their only two state-playoff berths against South. They also beat the Wolves, 21-15, two years ago at the Kiggins Bowl.
"For me, this is the hardest loss," Allison said, who rushed for 136 yards on 24 carries. "We gave it our all and tried to come back. We should've got it done."
Skyview 23, South Kitsap 21
South Kitsap 0 7 0 14 — 21
Skyview 6 7 10 0 — 23
Sky—Duke Kelly 65 run (kick failed), 11:43
Sky—Matt Spears 2 run (Nick Phillips kick), 8:18
Sky—Sean Allison 2 run (Drew Klopfstein kick), 3:06
Sky—Phillips 32 FG, 3:21
Sky—Kelly 29 run (Phillips kick), 1:57
SK—Ryan Williams 35 run (Williams run), 9:53
SK—Williams 1 run (run failed), 0:55