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Central Kitsap's running game found its footing in a 46-21 win over the Wolves Friday night

By George Edgar
For West Sound SportsPlus

PORT ORCHARD — After letting their game last week get away from them, the Central Kitsap Cougars made sure that didn’t happen against the South Kitsap Wolves.

Behind a powerful rushing attack, the Cougars picked up their first win of the 2020-21 season by pounding the Wolves 46-20 at Kitsap Bank Stadium Friday night.

“It’s good for our guys,” said Central Kitsap head coach Mark Keel. “We had a game last week that we let get away from us. Our goal tonight, at halftime, we were up by two touchdowns. We just wanted to go out and finish the game.”

It started out as a shootout, with the first quarter ending with both teams tied at 14-14. Then the Cougars began to assert themselves, taking a 20-14 lead after Matthew Willis scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. Joshua Willis extended the Cougars’ lead with an 8-yard TD run to make it 26-14.

After South closed to within a touchdown, CK quarterback Kalai Pasi connected with Chandler Lindstrom on a 17-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left before halftime for a 32-20 lead. Their four-play drive took 43 seconds to complete.

Running backs Joshua Willis and Kouper Hall each rushed for more than 100 yards. Hall rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and Willis added 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Central Kitsap unofficially rushed for 382 yards against the Wolves.

“I felt like we should be successful running the ball,” said Keel. “That was our game.

“Our guys up front played well,” he added. “I liked how we kept going.”

Joshua Willis said, “After our loss last week, it felt good to play a whole game. We didn’t really pass that much, but I think we did real good, me and Kouper.”

Pasi completed 8-of-13 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns, as CK rebounded from the last minute loss to North Kitsap in its season opener last week.

South Kitsap, playing its first game after a scrimmage last week against Olympic, had a good first half against CK. But attrition caught up to them, as they only suited up 30 players.

“The kids played hard, played tough in the first half, then just ran out of gas,” said SK coach Dan Ericson.  “CK did a great job, especially running the ball. Our kids played hard and relentless, they just ran out of gas. Hats off to CK, but I’m proud of our kids. We’re happy to be out here playing.”

Quarterback Rylan Bayne completed 13-of 25-passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns for South Kitsap. Keel Slayback caught both touchdowns among his seven passes for 164 yards.

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