The Bainbridge Island Spartans were unable to stop the scoring machine that is the Central Kitsap Cougars in the first game of the season Sept. 6, at Olympic High School field.
In a non-conference matchup that included a myriad of minor penalties from both teams, the Spartans found themselves hard-pressed to avoid a shutout. They did, however, refuse to go quietly and the game’s final score of 45-6 Cougars, left little doubt in the minds of fans and coaches that the team has some work ahead of them.
“The kids fought well and played hard,” said Spartan Head Coach Andy Grimm. “We’ll try to learn from tonight.”
The eventual outcome of the game was evident early in the contest, after the Cougars scored five touchdowns in their first 11 offensive plays alone.
After dominating the field in the first half, with touchdowns by Brian Anduze, Andrew Schwieterman, Taylor Soete, Jordon Bautista, Vaughn Beebe and the unfailing kicking skills of Hudson Keffer, Central Kitsap seemed content to run out the clock in the third quarter and scored only one touchdown and a successful kick for the extra point.
The fourth quarter looked like it would be much of the same, until a surprise Spartan play caught the Cougars off guard and got the Spartans on the board.
Spartan quarterback Connor Teddy lofted a 25-yard pass to Kyle Jackson, who scrambled into the end zone with 5:09 remaining for the only Bainbridge touchdown of the game and the only touchdown at all of the fourth quarter.
Hot-shot Cougar Quarterback Andrew Schwieterman started his season off on the right foot, passing the century mark with 176 yards on 6-of-7 passing. Vaughn Beebe also managed impressive numbers for Central Kitsap, successfully rushing 103 yards in only six carries.
Cougar teammates Eric Ledesma and Sean Barefield led the team in tackles. Ledesma racked up five unassisted and two assisted tackles, while Barefield managed three solo and four assisted tackles.
Taylor Wilson led the Spartans in rushing with 18 carries for 97 yards, assisted by Connor Teddy with seven carries for 39 yards and Sam Wysong who rushed for 15 yards on four carries.
The Spartan defense played admirably with Ryan Comstock leading the pack with five unassisted tackles and one assisted. Taylor Wilson also had five unassisted tackles. Teammates Max Thomas and Ben Fisher each managed three unassisted tackles, and Jarett Grimm managed three unassisted and one assisted tackle. The only sack of the game came from Mitchell Stahl, who totaled two unassisted tackles.
The Spartans play their first home game against Kingston High at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13.
The Kingston Buccaneers are also coming off of a disappointing first game of the season, having lost 48-28 to the Squalicum Storm on Sept. 6.