Pack of Wolves overcomes Knights

Bremerton defenders PJ Mallhi (66) and Cholo Circulado put a big hit on a South Kitsap ball carrier in the Knights’ 41-0 loss to South Kitsap last week. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton defenders PJ Mallhi (66) and Cholo Circulado put a big hit on a South Kitsap ball carrier in the Knights’ 41-0 loss to South Kitsap last week.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Bremerton coach Nate Gillam told his team during the week leading up to their meeting with South Kitsap there could be a chance to catch the Wolves sleeping, as they looked forward to a potential tiebreaker for the league title Tuesday.

However, South Kitsap put any notion of an upset to rest quickly Friday, Oct. 28 at Memorial Stadium en route to a 41-0 romp over the Knights.

The Wolves’ depth went on display as six SK players scored touchdowns while four quarterbacks got the opportunity to complete a pass. South scored on four rushes, a pass and even a punt return from midfield.

A seventh touchdown could have occurred in the game if not for a leaping grab by Moises Lovinaria, intercepting a pass inside his own 10-yard line in the second quarter. Lovinaria also made a touchdown-saving tackle later in the first half when a South Kitsap runner broke loose on a long scamper that the safety ended on the five-yard line. Unfortunately, David Hamrick would score on a one-yard plunge a few plays later.

The opening kickoff set a bad tone for the Knights as the Wolves returned the ball past midfield to the Bremerton 40-yard-line. It took South Kitsap only three plays to get their first score, when the Wolves’ leading rusher this season, Chad Fowler, took a 37-yard carry all the way into the end zone.

For much of the game, it seemed only South Kitsap could stop South Kitsap, as the Wolves were flagged time and time again for holding penalties that negated long run after long run, a couple of which had ended in the end zone.

Bremerton made their first venture into South territory on their final possession of the first half after Richard Kendrick forced a Fowler fumble at the Knights’ 6. A 21-yard-run by Jamiere Abney and a pass interference call that went against the Wolves were the biggest keys to the drive that stalled just past midfield.

For much of the game, the Knights’ starting field position was hampered by the rainy weather and the style of kickoffs South performed as a slippery and hard-to-handle ball got to the Bremerton return men and forced them to eat up precious time securing it.

The Knights tried a different look coming out of the backfield in the contest. Gillam said his assistant coaches finally convinced him to throw in a little wishbone along with Bremerton’s usual Wing-T formation.

“We thought, ‘Well, ya know, with two games left, what the heck?’” Gillam said. “They didn’t do too bad with it for an offense that takes quite a while to learn.”

PJ Mallhi, normally a lineman, took on the William “Refrigerator” Perry role, and averaged six yards a carry including 19- and 14-yard runs.

“We were trying to get PJ a touchdown,” Gillam said of the senior’s final effort in front of a home crowd.

It was not meant to be, however. As has taken place many times this year, the Knights’ final drive went deep into their opponents’ territory only to result in a turnover on downs.

Bremerton wrapped up this week at fellow 0-9 squad Foss of the Bridge division with a healthy Josh Horst scheduled to return at quarterback. The game played at Lincoln Bowl occurred after press time.

“That’s a big game for us,” Gillam said. “We wanna have a full lineup for ... those guys.”

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