I picked South Kitsap to win this game. So did the seven other people who make weekly high school football picks for the paper.
The Wolves were hot coming off Week 1’s 40-0 win over Kentridge and managed to beat Newport 33-27 on the road last season. So it’s not going with South Kitsap was a complete homer pick.
Then Friday happened. It was about midway through the second quarter when I said to myself “this game might be over.”
It was only 14-7 Newport at the time, but the Knights were having their way running the ball. South Kitsap was doing next to nothing offensively (scoring its touchdown after a blocked punt set the Wolves up on Newport’s 6). About the only thing SK had going it its favor was the fact that Newport kept committing penalties/mistakes to keep the game closer than it really was.
Newport went into halftime up 21-7 and left Joe Knowles Field with a 35-14 win. So what happened to SK from Week 1 to Week 2?
Well, I’m not sure all that much. Anyone who saw the game saw that the Wolves obviously didn’t tackle well, as they did against Kentridge. But honestly, this was a case of a bigger, more physical Newport team laying the wood on an undersized SK squad.
Newport played bigger at the line of scrimmage, played up on SK’s receivers and didn’t allow Wolves quarterback Cooper Canton to just sit back and fling it to open receivers. The coverage was there. The pressure was there. Newport had the size, and didn’t look like it gave away much in the speed department on SK’s slow grass field.
Honestly, with Narrows League play coming up, if I’m an opponent of South Kitsap, I’m going to try to follow Newport’s blueprint. Not that many opponents are going to be running the wishbone. But I’m out to be the more physical team. I’m going to press those receivers. I’m going to run it inside. I’m going to try to sustain drives and take advantage of SK’s short kickoffs.
Newport sure looked like a team that could make some noise come playoff time. I’m not sure what type of team the Wolves have after two weeks. We’ll have to see what Gig Harbor has to say next Friday.