It’s something you hear every now and then when you cover high school sports: “this could be a school record.”
Here’s the problem with school records: They can be very difficult to verify.
Most of our West Sound schools have been around for decades and few of them keep detailed athletic records, so there’s no easy way to prove whether something is an academic record or not. Just because a coach doesn’t remember something that happened before doesn’t mean it was never accomplished.
That being said, what the Bremerton football team accomplished on Friday night at Bainbridge is quite possibly a first in program history. Heck, that could be a West Sound record as far as I know.
To borrow a gymnastic term: The Knights scored a âperfect 10â on defense, forcing 10 turnovers in a 32-0 win.
“It has to be the most here for sure,” said Bremerton head coach Paul ThÃ©riault.
I’ve been covering high school football for over 20 years and can’t remember watching a game with 10 turnovers for a team. Bremerton has knocked out Bainbridge first-year quarterback Jack Grant seven times. Junior Newman had three of those interceptions, including a 35-yard pick-six at the end of the third quarter to give the Knights a 12-0 lead.
Newman, who also finished with a pair of attacking touchdowns, earned ThÃ©riault’s Player of the Game title.
“He was very positive in picking up everyone,” said ThÃ©riault. âEven at halftime he was over there saying, ‘Let’s go, let’s go. “
If Newman’s choice stood out as Bremerton gave himself some breathing space in the second half, it was Bainbridge’s first turnaround that could have changed the course of the game for the Spartans.
Bainbridge received the opening kickoff and traveled 73 yards in eight plays to settle on the Bremerton 1-yard line. The Spartans tried using a heavy package, putting lineman Connor Sweeny in the backfield, but the game backfired. Bremerton linebacker Roiel Sorensen threw a blitz and hit Sweeny just as he received Grant’s transfer.
The Knights got the ball back, and it would be the closest the Spartans would get to the end zone. Bainbridge spent the next three and a half quarters continuing to give the ball away. Grant, who entered the game with nine touchdowns and no interceptions in Bainbridge’s two previous games (wins over Sequim and Kingston), allowed two fumbles in addition to his seven interceptions.
âI told our kids to believe in their abilities and their speed and to play aggressively,â said Knights defensive coordinator Derrick Saulsberry Sr., âand they did.
âAll week we just got on with it, honestly,â Newman added. “Everyone is just more closed in, more focused on a team mentality.”
Improving to 4-1 on aggregate and 3-1 in Olympic League 2A, Bremerton has received a boost in his roster in recent weeks. Quick junior running back Jayden Quenga, who came back from a two-game suspension last week, scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns against Bainbridge to help put the game on the sidelines.
Senior defensive backs Rupe Wilson and D’Angelo Moore, two basketball players who were questionable for playing football this fall, saw plenty of action on Friday night. Wilson recorded two interceptions and Moore added another pick.
âThey are three of the fastest guys on the team,â said ThÃ©riault.
With the loss, Bainbridge (2-4, 2-2) is likely off the playoff list as the only 3A team in the Olympic League. The Spartans, who need to make the top three in the league to stand a chance in the playoffs, have now lost to Olympic and Bremerton and still have league-leading North Kitsap on their schedule.
Bremerton, meanwhile, is tied for second Olympic place. The Olympics beat Bremerton in Week 5 and the Knights play North Kitsap in Week 7. If Bremerton can beat the Vikings, ranked No. 4 in 2A by the Associated Press, there would likely be a tie. three at the top of the league standings.
ThÃ©riault said the Knights plan to go to Poulsbo and give North Kitsap their best shot.
“We are going to do whatever we can do,” he said.
Same story for Vikings, Buccaneers, Wolves
Only a few years ago, North Kitsap against Sequim was among the best games on the Olympic League calendar.
This was not the case on Friday night as the Vikings traveled to Sequim and came away with a 49-7 win as North Kitsap improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the game. of the Olympic League 2A. This is the Vikings’ third consecutive victory over Sequim (1-5, 1-4), who beat North Kitsap 16-14 in the 2018 season en route to the league title.
North Kitsap senior quarterback Colton Bower completed 17 of 23 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns while adding 54 rushing yards and two more scores. Bower’s pass touchdowns went to Logan Sloman (2), Karson Walsh and Benen Lawler.
Kingston, who won a game against Jackson’s junior varsity team in week two, has yet to win against the varsity competition. The Buccaneers lost 31-6 against visiting Port Angeles to drop to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in Olympic League 2A. Kingston will face the Olympics on the road in Week 7.
South Kitsap (0-5 overall and in the league) also remains winless after being shutout 51-0 at home against Emerald Ridge in the South Puget Sound League 4A game. It was the last home game of the season for Wolves, who were outscored 236-43 this fall.
Perhaps the last ray of hope for Wolves this season comes in the form of a road game at Bethel in Week 7. The Braves headed to Saturday’s game at Rogers as a another winless team from the SPSL.
In two West Sound games on Thursday, Klahowya shut out Vashon 34-0 and Olympic beat North Mason 40-25.
Jeff Graham covers high school sports for the Kitsap Sun. Contact him at [email protected]