POULSBO — This time, North Kitsap kept the football safe and sound, away from the prying hands of the opposing defenses, and the results were spectacular.
With an important zero in the turnover column, the Vikings excelled in all three phases of the game as they routed William F. West 38-7 on Nov. 10 at North Kitsap Stadium.
With the win, North Kitsap (10-0) advances to a state football quarterfinal game in Everett next week against the top-ranked 2A team in the state, Archbishop Murphy (10-1). The semi-final game will be played on Nov. 25. The state championship game will be played Dec. 2 in the Tacoma Dome.
Dax Solis paced the offense once again, carrying the ball 23 times for 165 yards and four touchdowns. It was also another masterpiece performance from the offensive line, which continuously created opportunities for their star ball carrier.
And while the Vikings did not commit any turnover, the defense and special teams caused four, including one on the opening kickoff recovered by junior Riley Solis. This set up a 39-yard field goal by Tainui Elkington to open the scoring.
“We got a turnover on the first play of the game, and we were able to get down and kick a field goal, that was our first field goal all year which is kind of cool,” North Kitsap head coach Jeff Weible said. “We got a couple more turnovers and capitalized on them, and our defense played unbelievable.”
Another fumble caused by defensive lineman Ryan Brooks and recovered by safety Kai Warren also led to points. Getting field position at the W.F. West 15-yard line, it took just three runs for Solis to gain all 15 of those yards and reach the end zone to give North Kitsap a 10-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Vikings defense did well to smother the Bearcats offense, limiting them to just 136 yards rushing and 50 passing. North Kitsap also intercepted quarterback Nole Wollan twice, one each for Tyler Sloman and Taylor Jackson.
“That’s playoff football,” Weible said. “You just can’t turn the ball over and expect to win.”
The Bearcats’ lone touchdown came on a 31-yard pass from Wollan to 6-foot-8 receiver Brandon White, who outleapt his much smaller defender for the score. White finished the game with four receptions for 48 yards.
That score made things a little more interesting. It was 17-7 about halfway through the second quarter.
But the Vikings answered back right away. Quarterback Andrew Blackmore converted a key third down with a 13-yard run. Solis then broke away for a 27-yard dash, setting up his own 3-yard score to restore the three-touchdown lead with 5:06 to go in the second.
Solis added his fourth score on the opening drive of the second half, a 40-yard run. Blackmore added a 13-yard passing touchdown just before the end of the third quarter.