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Wolves escape Bremerton with a win
After as wild and woolly a football game as this one, the last thing you would've expected Friday night was not one, but two subdued sidelines.Host Bremerton couldn't celebrate because it had just dropped a hard-fought 46-35 decision to South Kitsap in a game the Knights led well into the fourth quarter.And despite the victory, the Wolves walked quietly off the field, their thoughts elsewhere. Earlier Friday afternoon, SK senior athletic trainer Angela Champneys had been critically injured in a one-car accident. Champneys died Sunday afternoon from her injuries.The victory was South's third without a defeat so far this season and gave the Wolves a 2-0 record in Narrows League Bridge Division play. Bremerton suffered its first loss in three starts and dropped to 1-1 in the division.For Shawn Perkins, Bremerton's third-year coach, there was a lot more to the game than those numbers, however.If you paid your five bucks to see the game, you got a full meal deal, said Perkins of the effort his team put into beating South for the first time since 1978 - and the effort the Wolves put into preventing such an upset. It was a knock-down, drag-out game, Perkins continued. The kids just played their hearts out. I'm proud of what they accomplished.As big as the win was, the Wolves were unable to enjoy it Friday night, as they tried to come to grips with the tragedy of that afternoon. We're happy to get the victory, but our thoughts and prayers are with the Champneys family, Sigurdson said.It came down to who was going to make the last play on the field, Perkins said. The thing that hurt us is we didn't capitalize on their mistakes, but SK capitalized on ours.SK, which outscored Bremerton 94-6 over the last two seasons, was given a dose of its own medicine in the first half. Bremerton's Sean Blevins opened the game with an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.SK countered with a drive capped by Ryan Cole's 5-yard touchdown run. Cole finished with 202 yards on 27 carries.But Bremerton responded with a 73-yard drive, highlighted by Joe Bollinger's 32-yard touchdown run. Whether it was by ground or air, the senior quarterback accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense, including 325 yards passing.Kellen Alley extended Bremerton's lead to 21-6 on a 52-yard touchdown catch with five minutes to go in the half. A look of bewilderment permeated the SK bench. But the shock turned to cheers when junior Victor Valle returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Bremerton 16-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage SK quarterback Travis Vetters lofted a touchdown pass to Tyler Mayfield and cut into Bremerton's lead.SK's defense came through on Bremerton's next possession. After a Matt Christenbury sack pushed Bremerton back to the 23-yard line, Bremerton's Reggie Williams fumbled Bollinger's pitch. SK's Buddy Anderson picked up the ball and chugged 20 yards for his first career touchdown to make it 21-18.SK took its first lead of the game on the first possession of the third quarter, but it was short-lived. It took only three plays for Bremerton to re-take the lead. A 55-yard catch from B.J. Ray put Bremerton at the 1-yard line. Tieba Bropleh ran it in on the next play.On a 52-yard, eight-play drive, Vetters threw his third touchdown pass of the night to junior Andy Sund to give SK a narrow 32-28 lead.Bremerton took to the air nearly 70 yards, including a dramatic 39-yard catch from Williams, before Bropleh's 1-yard touchdown run gave the Knights the lead back 35-32 with nine minutes remaining.SK went four plays and out on its next possession, but SK's defense also held Bremerton in check.With five minutes remaining, SK took the ball from its own 14 and trudged 85 yards before Cole's second touchdown.Still, with just more than two minutes remaining, Bremerton had a chance to put the game away.Williams (105 yards) and Alley (114) already had burned the SK cornerbacks all night long, but for the first time all game Bollinger was unable to connect with any of his receivers.