CK gives PA long bus ride home

The Cougars defense swarmed Port Angeles, leading to many plays like this. - Photo by Jesse Beals
The Cougars defense swarmed Port Angeles, leading to many plays like this.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Central Kitsap made sure to make the already-long bus ride home even rougher for Port Angles Friday.

With the Roughriders football squad coming to town, Central Kitsap coach Mark Keel said the Cougars knew this was a game they were supposed to win.

But with another 0-3 start to the season, that wasn’t exactly a guarantee.

“We understand this was a game we should win,” Keel said.

The Cougars (1-3, 1-1) were able to play as a team, getting production from nearly everyone on offense and defense en route to a 58-6 win at Silverdale Stadium.

“I think I can relax now,” Keel said after the win.

If Cougars fans are getting a slight case of deja vu, it’s because CK has nearly mimicked it’s 2004 season, starting 0-3 before blowing out PA (CK won 47-7 last year). Both games also led into the Battle of Bucklin Hill, which for the 32nd year will pit CK and Olympic head-to-head. This year, the Battle will take place Friday at 7 p.m. at the Fairgrounds.

“It feels good. We’ve got (the first win) out of the way,” Keel said. “We’ve got some confidence, everybody feels good. We played hard.”

The Cougars shot out of the gate against PA (1-3, 0-2), scoring on their first two drives from scrimmage, thanks to a pair of Jeff Melin rushing touchdowns.

That wouldn’t be the last time CK would run the ball right at, and through, Port Angeles, as the team racked up 301 yards on the ground and another 146 in the air.

Keel said the team was focused on getting its running game jump started.

“We came in all week long practicing the run,” Keel said. “We need to establish the run. And we shortened our routes for Zac Brown after last week. We kind of shortened up for him so there’s not too much to think about.”

The difference paid off as Brown finished 8-of-14 for 138 yards and three scores, connecting with Cody Oakes, Kyle Poss and Damion Cooney. Brown and Oakes also connected for a two-point conversion.

Brown said it was nice to get the win, adding that his hand feels fully recovered from a minor injury suffered against Camas in the home opener.

“It’s great to get that first win,” Keel said. “I felt a lot better. The last few weeks my hand has been hurting. But it felt great tonight.”

It was also nice to see the offensive and defensive lines play a solid game, Brown added. The line was able to open enough holes to help Derek Smith finish with 164 yards and three scores on 10 carries and Jeff Melin fin-

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