UPDATE | Black Hills Wolves nip Spartans with ferocious fourth-quarter finish

Senior Alex Coplan catches the ball for a first down shortly before the Spartans scored their first touchdown of the game. - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Senior Alex Coplan catches the ball for a first down shortly before the Spartans scored their first touchdown of the game.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

The Bainbridge Island Spartans lost to the Black Hills Wolves 34-10 after the pack’s unexpected comeback late in the game Friday, Sept. 14.

The Spartans put forth a considerable effort to dominate the majority of the game, starting early on with the first touchdown by senior Max Wysong.

Wysong managed 19 carries and 44 yards for Friday’s game.

It wasn’t long after scoring when the team suffered its first loss.

Senior Jay Terry was taken off the field via a stretcher after clashing with a pack of Wolves. While the other players returned to their positions after the play, Terry remained on the ground grasping his neck.

As he left the field, however, Terry gave the thumbs up to the crowd.

Spartan Coach Andy Grimm said Terry’s trip in the ambulance was a precautionary move and that Terry is doing just fine.

“His neck is sore,” Grimm said. “Should be back to action this week.”

The Spartans would manage one more touchdown before the end of the first quarter. They held a 14-point lead over the Wolves throughout the second and third quarters and didn’t give Black Hills any opportunities to catch up.

But the fate of the game was held entirely in the fourth quarter.

Grimm said that the Spartan’s passing for the game was too high and out of their comfort zone.

“We want to be 10 to 15 passes,” he said.

“We had a good yardage game, but for the way we run our offense and the amount of stunning they were doing, we need to get the ball off quick.”

“So our short-passing game — which we did well in the first three quarters — fell apart in the fourth quarter,” he added.

Within seconds of the start of the fourth quarter, Black Hills began throwing points up on the board with their first touchdown. Wolves junior Mitch Stone intercepted the ball and charged to the end zone.

Less than a minute later, Black Hills junior Josh Moloney took the ball back after a Spartan fumble making it possible for senior Conrad Nygren to score on the very next play, tying the game at 14-14.

“We got out of our comfort zone there a little bit,” Grimm said. “Some of the starters were getting dinged up or were cramping from the first quarter.”

Junior Ben Kussie managed to give the Spartans their final lead of the night with a 6-yard touchdown setting the game at 20-14. Kussie left Friday’s game with eight carries for 88 yards.

But the Wolves didn’t let the Spartans’ lead last long as senior Josh Ifanse took the ball to the end zone. Black Hills took a one-point lead and never let the Spartans recover.

Another Spartan fumble led to Mitch Stone taking the ball back for the Wolves. Junior Zack Joaquin put another touchdown for Black Hills on the board, but the game’s outcome was sealed after Wolves senior Max Trotter intercepted the ball from the Spartans and scored another touchdown to ice the score at 34-20.

The Spartans will face their next challenge at an away game with Eastside Catholic in Sammamish on Friday, Sept. 21.

It will prove to be another tough test for the Bainbridge gridders.

“It’s a whole different type of team,” Grimm said. “They’re a very good team.”

Grimm said that the team will have to learn from its game with the Wolves to take on Eastside.

“To count the football cliches from last week, we got to protect the ball,” Grimm said. “We had six turnovers last week, so we can’t turn the ball over.”

“Eastside is an explosive offensive team so we don’t want to give them a short field,” he added. “We want them to earn their scores, if they do score. It’s a big challenge for us Friday, and we know it. “

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