Bainbridge legend Tom Paski and assistant coach John Fox once promised to make the long walk from Port Orchard to Bainbridge Island if the Spartans could defeat the Wolves on the road in football.
In 1954, Bainbridge’s gridiron gang finally made good, and Paski and Fox followed through on their promise.
Although coach Jeff Rouser and his crew took the buses home from Port Orchard Friday night, they, too, left with a victory, closing out their season with a 28-14 win over South Kitsap at Ed Fisher Field.
Senior running back/wide receiver Cal Breen caught 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown and carried the ball 11 times for 59 yards and another score.
The ground game had one of its best showings of the season against a tough SK defense. PJ Miller scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run with 4:31 to go in the third quarter, and Jack Mielke added a 5-yard rushing TD in the fourth to seal the win.
“We found a way,” Breen said. “PJ ran real hard, he was running through tackles, he made some great plays, and we really needed those short down conversions to keep throwing the ball.”
Despite the rainy, windy, chilly night the Spartans were able to hit the scoreboard late in the first quarter on Breen’s 8-yard run.
Bainbridge pulled ahead 13-0 early in the second. Emmett Taylor’s fumble recovery at the Spartans’ 29-yard line set up a long scoring drive that ended with a TD pass to Breen from quarterback Gabriel Todd. Todd was under pressure and rolled to his right, and before getting tackled was able to flip a short pass to Breen, who evaded a few defenders and found his way into the end zone from 14 yards out.
Todd threw for 254 yards and one score in the game.
“I feel like we were clicking on everything today,” Rouser said.
SK responded with a scoring drive late in the first half. Rylen Bayne found big target 6-foot-7 Brayden Segerman in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 14-6.
Slater Shoemaker led the Wolves down the field to open the second half, ripping off runs of 17 and 9 yards before capping it off with a 16-yard run. He ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14.
“We just had some critical mistakes in some critical moments,” SK coach Dan Ericson said. “Missed tackles, penalties. But we kept playing, I’m proud of the guys for coming out and playing this year.”
Bainbridge got the ball back on downs after a fake punt didn’t go South Kitsap’s way and drove 43 yards, setting up Miller’s game-clinching touchdown.
The Spartans offense also picked up a huge fourth down conversion that led to their last score. On 4th-and-4 at the 10-yard line, Todd hit Breen on a short swing pass, and he was able to dodge a defender to get the first down. Then Mielke ran the ball home from 5 yards out for the final TD of the game.
The defense took over from there; they held SK to just 249 total yards from scrimmage. Nick Hughes and Allan Ullin each had an interception for Bainbridge. Hughes also recovered a fumble.
“The defense, we were porous all year,” Rouser said. “But they stopped them when they had to.”
The Wolves made a few nice plays on defense themselves. Benjamin Miller had a fumble recovery and an interception, and Jeremiah Rendon and Jacob Nelson also each had an interception.
Penalties were an issue for both teams; each had a long run or a touchdown called back.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we’re proud of the guys. They played hard tonight; they left it out there,” Ericson said.
Bainbridge finished the season with a 3-3 record, while SK was 0-3.
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for the three teens who died in a single-vehicle crash a few days earlier. All three were Bainbridge High School students and teammates on the junior varsity volleyball team. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to those families from Bainbridge Island,” Ericson said.
Bainbridge 28, South Kitsap 14
BI 7 7 7 7 — 28
SK 0 6 8 0 — 14
BI — Cal Breen 8 run (Jack Mielke kick)
BI — Breen 14 pass from Gabe Todd (Mielke kick)
SK — Brayden Segerman 2 pass from Rylen Bayne (kick failed)
SK — Slater Shoemaker 16 run (Shoemaker run)
BI — PJ Miller 2 run (Mielke kick)
BI — Mielke 5 run (Mielke kick)
Passing — BI: Todd 25-42-254, TD, 3 INT. SK: Bayne 7-18-61, TD, 2 INT; Canton 0-1-0.
Rushing — BI: Breen 11-59, TD; Mielke 5-27, TD; Miller 8-21, TD; Dorsey 2-4; Visconti 1-2; Todd 5-1. SK: Shoemaker 7-72, TD; Rentie 11-46; Easley 6-39; Miller 4-16; Bayne 3-9; Marano 3-3.