Sports

BHS drops Homecoming game

Jacob Belden (5) fumbles the ball against North Thurston at the BHS Homecoming game Oct. 10. Belden completed 12 of 20 passes for 119 yards, but threw three interceptions. North Thurston used a 28-point second quarter en route to a 35-7 victory.  - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Jacob Belden (5) fumbles the ball against North Thurston at the BHS Homecoming game Oct. 10. Belden completed 12 of 20 passes for 119 yards, but threw three interceptions. North Thurston used a 28-point second quarter en route to a 35-7 victory.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

Turnovers, second quarter collapse result in team’s fifth-straight loss.

A trip to concessions was ample time to miss Bremerton unravel Oct. 10 against North Thurston.

The Knights yielded three touchdowns in 1 minute, 9 seconds during the second quarter of a 35-7 loss at Memorial Stadium on Homecoming, creating a deficit too big to overcome.

The scoring barrage started on a Taylor Warner 19-yard touchdown run with 9:14 left before halftime and the game tied 7-7. North Thurston’s Drew Reid intercepted a Jacob Belden pass on the second play of the ensuing possession and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7. Belden then threw an incomplete backwards pass — considered a lateral — on the Knights’ very next play and Joseph Alvis returned it 26 yards for a score.

The score was 28-7 when the flurry ended at the 8:05 mark.

“It’s unfortunate that the (final) score was 35-7 ... it didn’t reflect the game, I don’t think,” Bremerton coach Nate Gillam said of his team’s fourth-consecutive league loss and fifth overall.

Most agonizing, the Knights’ offense was clicking before the 21-point swing.

Sophomore Kyle Kennedy, who finished with 123 rushing yards, carried eight times on the opening drive to set up a 7-yard Theo Robinson touchdown reception that gave Bremerton (1-5 overall, 0-4 league) a 7-0 lead. Belden completed 5 of 6 passes on the drive.

“We finally moved the ball,” Gillam said of the previously stagnant offense, shut out in two of its previous three games.

Later in the half, however, Gillam deviated from the run-game and chose to give Belden free reign through the air. The choice backfired, beginning with the interception and backwards pass.

“Tonight everything was working, so we thought ‘Let’s see what we can do,’” Gillam said of the play calling. “We kind of gambled a little bit more than we should have.”

Another Reid interception set up North Thurston’s fifth and final touchdown of the first half. With the score 28-7, the Knights opened a drive from their own 33-yard line and moved the ball across the 50-yard-line into North Thurston territory. After a 13-yard Belden scramble, Dimitri Alston caught a pass to set up second and short near the Rams’ 45. But on the next play, Belden, who finished 12 of 20 for 119 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions, misread the coverage and threw the ball to Reid.

“Partly, it’s just Jacob trying to make things happen. I think he’s just gotten (into) that habit of trying to force something when it’s not there,” Gillam said. “He tries too hard. You can’t fault him for that. It’s something we’ve been working with him on for two or three weeks now.”

Warner then found the end zone for a third time — he also scored the Rams first touchdown on a 2-yard-run — with a 9-yard touchdown reception to make it 35-7.

Kennedy’s performance is reason for optimism, and he may be the one Gillam turns to as the season unfolds.

“He did well, Gillam said, “(he’s) probably what we should have stuck with.”

Neither team scored in the second half as the game slowed down and Bremerton’s defense tightened. And other than the quick 21 second-quarter points, 14 of which were on wam-bam plays, the game remained fairly even.

“I’m not upset,” Gillam said. “We just gave them 14 points on two plays.”

Bremerton travels to North Kitsap (5-1, 3-1), coming off a big win against Capital, at 7 p.m. Friday.

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