Friday night brought together a North Kitsap team that loves to air out the football and a Bremerton defense coming off an astounding 10-turnover performance against Bainbridge that included seven interceptions.
The Vikings took note of Bremerton’s athletic ability in the secondary during practice, and the clash of strengths looked like it was going to make the game one of the year’s better matchups.
“We took it as a challenge and learned from it,” North Kitsap sophomore receiver Logan Sloman said.
But all went well for the North Kitsap passing game as Colton Bower threw for 363 yards and six touchdowns on the way to a 56-21 win over the Knights in Poulsbo. He also ran for 100 yards.
Sloman caught a pair of touchdowns and finished the game with 152 receiving yards on five catches while fellow receiver Jaxson Gore had eight receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns and also had an interception return for a score.
The defense set up the Vikings’ first scoring drive with a stop on 4th-and-6 at the Bremerton 29-yard line. Karson Walsh punched in a score from 2 yards out to give them the lead.
After a three-and-out, the passing game went to work as Sloman took a flat pass from Bower and blazed past the defense 76 yards for a score.
“It all starts up front, giving Colton enough time to throw the football,” North Kitsap coach Jeff Weible said, “which I thought our offensive line for the most part did.
“The kids are just athletic,” Weible added. “They can move their feet and stay in front of their guy. If Colton gets a little bit of time he’s going to pick people apart.”
The Vikings don’t have the biggest offensive line around, but they protect their quarterback well. After Junior Newman caught a 61-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter, Bower picked up 21 and 18 yards on a pair of runs and then hit Sloman on a post route for a 21-yard score.
On the ensuing drive, the North Kitsap defense forced yet another three-and-out and made their way back down the field aided by a couple of Bremerton penalties. Bower found an open Benen Lawler for an 11-yard TD.
Although the Knights managed to hit a couple of big plays, more often than not, the Vikings defense was able to come up with the stop.
“Our goal was to make them drive 80 yards tonight by putting the ball in the end zone on kickoffs,” Weible said. “It’s hard to go [down] a long field in high school football without shooting yourself in the foot.”
North Kitsap pulled away in the second half as Bower twice hooked up with Gore for scores. Gore also grabbed an interception in the fourth quarter and brought it back to the house from 88 yards away. Alexander Hitchings caught the final score midway through the fourth quarter.
The Vikings have two league games left, the next one on Thursday at Bainbridge. Their game against North Mason scheduled for Oct. 26 has been canceled. Weible said their final game, against Kingston, would likely be moved from Oct. 30 to Oct. 28.
North Kitsap 56, Bremerton 21
Brem 7 0 7 7 — 21
NK 14 14 14 14 — 56
NK — Karson Walsh 2 run (DeLuna kick)
NK — Logan Sloman 76 pass from Colton Bower (DeLuna kick)
Brem — Junior Newman 61 pass from Joshua Tapangco (Harvey kick)
NK — Sloman 21 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Benen Lawler 11 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Jaxson Gore 34 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
Brem — Newman 29 pass from Tapangco (Harvey kick)
NKp — Gore 10 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
NK — Gore 88 interception return (DeLuna kick)
NK — Alexander Hitchings 4 pass from Bower (DeLuna kick)
Brem — Jayden Quenga 1 run (Harvey kick)
Passing — NK: Bower 23-29-363 6 TDs, INT. Brem.: Tapangco 5-15-115 2 TDs, 2 INT.
Rushing — NK: Bower 11-100; Harris 6-28; Walsh 5-7, TD; Castillo 1-3; Edwards 1-3. Brem: Quenga 15-94, TD; Tapangco 7-57; Rom. Sorensen 8-35; Moore 9-20; Serrato 9-16.
Receiving — NK: Sloman 5-152, 2 TDs; Gore 8-104, 2 TDs; Guerra 6-59; Castillo 1-28; Lawler 1-11, TD; Edwards 1-5; Hitchings 1-4, TD. Brem.: Newman 4-115, 2 TDs; Serrato 1-0.