Sports

Cougs carry on ‘Bucklin’ streak

The Central Kitsap Cougars and Olympic Trojans went head-to-head in the 32nd Battle of Bucklin Hill Friday, with the Cougars taking a 20-13 lead all-time in the series. - Photos by Kent Soule/Hoot Creek Photography
The Central Kitsap Cougars and Olympic Trojans went head-to-head in the 32nd Battle of Bucklin Hill Friday, with the Cougars taking a 20-13 lead all-time in the series.
— image credit: Photos by Kent Soule/Hoot Creek Photography

In some football games, the score doesn’t matter. Records don’t matter, numbers don’t matter.

In some games, it’s all about pride, and the Battle of Bucklin Hill is one of those games.

In the 32nd Battle of Bucklin Hill, Central Kitsap earned it’s 19th victory in the series, topping Olympic 45-0 to improve to 19-13 overall in the rivalry.

It was the sixth consecutive win for CK in the battle between the interdistrict schools.

“Winning this game is not just for us,” Central Kitsap senior Kyle Poss said. “It’s for the people before us. We’re just happy to keep it going.”

CK (2-3, 2-1) scored on its opening drive, marching 63-yards down the field where Jeff Melin punched in a 3-yard score. After building that momentum, nothing could take it away, as even when Oly (1-4, 1-2) got a break, it’s opportunity was squandered.

For example, after Caleb Brown caught a 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter from Coug quarterback Zac Brown, who had an outstanding game, the Trojans fumbled the ensuing drive, setting up CK on the Trojan 13. Shortly thereafter, Danny VanDatta would take the 1-yard plunge, making it 28-0 after Ryan Compton’s kick.

Poss then picked off a Chris Lane pass on Oly’s next drive, setting up a 32-yard touchdown strike from Zac Brown to VanDatta. Poss also caught an 81-yard touchdown pass from Zac Brown in the third quarter.

Olympic’s best chance to score came right before halftime, when the Trojans were able to get to first-and-goal on CK’s 9 thanks to two pass interference penalties. Lane tried to swing a flat pass out to Ben Flint, but the Trojans gained just 1-yard as the buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the half.

“Anytime you beat your crosstown rivals it’s always good for the kids,” CK coach Mark Keel said. “We got a couple big turnovers. That always helps.”

The game wasn’t all a loss for Oly however, who got strong spot play from several individuals, including Kevin Siperek, who used his 275-pounds wisely, tearing through CK’s line a couple of times, once for a tackle for loss. Olympic coach Eric Allen, taking part in his first Battle, said local rivalries were a part of the game he most missed.

“I missed it. I missed having that aspect in my life,” Allen said. “I told the kids, ‘This is what makes football the best sport in the world.’”

Praising his players, Allen said there aren’t many people that could go through what this team has already been through this season.

“We have a saying on one of our T-shirts that says, ‘If it were easy, everybody would do it,’” Allen said. “Our team knows what that means. What we’re doing 99 percent of people would quit. 99 percent of people don’t have guts like these kids do. That’s what we take out of (Friday).”

Zac Brown had a great day, throwing for 159 yards on 6-10 passing and 4 scores. CK did a good job of spreading the ball around, as he and backup Matt Tougas hit seven different receivers. VanDatta led all rushers with 52 yards on 3 carries.

Rashad Greene led Olympic with 14 carries for 36 yards. Xavier Mancha added two catches for 33 yards.

“We knew (Zac)’s a big part of our offense,” Keel said. “We need him to be able to throw and run for us.”

The one thing that hindered CK was penalties. The Cougars committed 14 penalties costing approximately 121 yards. Olympic committed 7 penalties and lost 29 yards.

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