Colton Bower is one of the last players you’ll ever hear talking about individual records, but even North Kitsap’s intensely team-focused senior quarterback allowed himself to enjoy his moment in the spotlight Friday night.
Needing 256 yards to break Jared Prince’s school record for passing yards in a season, Bower completed 17-of-21 passes for 299 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-0 win over Kingston. Bower broke the record on his last pass of the night, a 65-yard TD to Alexander Hitchings just before the end of the first half.
Although Bower demurred as usually in a post-game interview, praising his offensive line, receivers and his coaches instead, he finally indulged in his place in the record books.
Bower, who has 2,094 passing yards for the season, said: “It’s awesome; it feels good to finally break it.”
Cheering him along was Prince himself — the 2004 NK graduate is now a teacher and assistant coach, and the two have worked closely since Bower’s freshman year.
“I think anything is possible with that kid,” Prince said when asked if he thought Bower could break his record. “I’ve coached him in baseball and football since he was a freshman. His character, his work ethic, the kind of kid he is; I just think good things happen to good people and what you see out there every week is the result of who he is and what he does.”
Of Prince, Bower said: “He’s such a good mentor, leader, teacher, person… “I can’t say enough good things about him. I love him to death, and I’m so happy he could be a part of it.”
Bower and Prince were both three-sport athletes at North Kitsap, particularly excelling in football and baseball; Prince played baseball at Washington State University, and Bower is committed to play there; and both are known for their leadership, athleticism and passing ability.
“He’s the ultimate kid you’d want in your program,” head coach Weible said. “He has great grades, he’s a great leader by example and has the respect of his teammates. I’ll be real lucky if I get an opportunity to coach another one like him.”
That respect for Bower isn’t limited to folks around North Kitsap.
A few weeks ago following North Kitsap’s win over Olympic, Trojans coach Sal Quitevis chatted with Bower’s father, John, after telling Colton what a pleasure it was to coach against him the past four years.
“You’ve done a great job, dad,” Quitevis said to John.
The coaching staff was hoping to have Bower out of the game by halftime as staying healthy for the playoffs was paramount, and things went well from the beginning as North Kitsap’s first play from scrimmage was a 46-yard touchdown from Bower to Logan Sloman.
Bower found Sloman again later in the first quarter on a 2-yard score, and Ethan Guerra had a short interception return for a score to give the Vikings a 21-0 lead after one quarter. His third score went to Benen Lawler on a 23-yard pass, and he then hit Hitchings for an 18-yard touchdown. Lincoln Castillo caught then caught a 5-yard score.
Needing 22 yards to break the record with under a minute to go in the half, Bower completed a pass to Hitchings over the middle that looked like it would be enough to put him over the top, but Hitchings managed to shed his tackler and sprint down the left sideline for a 65-yard score to leave no doubt.
The Vikings should find out who their opponent is in the district round by Saturday. A victory would likely give them two state 2A playoff home games as they will likely be seeded in the top four in the tourney.
”After this, we just have to reset and take one week at a time,” Bower said, “have a good week of practice and go into it like it could be our last game, because that’s the reality of it. We can’t expect to make it and then fall short.”
N. Kitsap 56, Kingston 0
Kin 0 0 0 0 — 0
NK 21 28 7 0 — 56
North Kitsap — Logan Sloman 46 pass from Colton Bower (Diego DeLuna kick)
NK — Sloman 2 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Ethan Guerra 14 interception return (DeLuna kick)
NK — Benen Lawler 23 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Alexander Hitchings 18 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Lincoln Castillo 5 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Hitchings 65 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Beau Pahrmann 9 run (DeLuna kick)
Passing — NK: Bower 17-21-299 6 TDs; Pahrmann 2-2-36. Kingston: Standley 7-19-71, INT.
Rushing — NK: Harris 3-44; Pahrmann 2-14, TD; Holmes 3-10; C. Edwards 2-9; Kistler 1-8; Lawler 2-5; Castillo 1-4; Dungy 1-4; Randle 1-(-2); Bower 2-(-7). Kingston: Reber 10-21; Standley 15-7; Planck 1-0; Singer 1-(-4).
Receiving — NK: Hitchings 7-132, 2 TDs; Sloman 4-85, 2 TDs; Castillo 3-37, TD; Anderson 2-36; Lawler 1-23, TD; Harris 1-12; Guerra 1-10. Kingston: Walter 6-67; Moff 1-4.