KINGSTON — Kaipo Retome’s eyes lit up when talk turned to Bremerton’s big game next week with their crosstown rival Olympic.
“Ooh, that’s the big one right there,” Retome said.
The Knights may have been looking ahead to what will boil down to a playoff game next week, they still had to deal with the tough Kingston team in front of them on Friday night.
It was a close game throughout, but Bremerton fullback Sean Booker scored twice in the fourth quarter to help the Knights to a 30-20 victory. Booker bulled his way straight up the middle on a 10-yard touchdown run with 5:43 to go in the fourth quarter to put Bremerton up 22-14. Four minutes later, he scored again on an 18-yard run.
Playing without starting quarterback Kelo Logova and running backs Ethan Farley, Jayden Quenga and Darick DeJesus, it was truly next man up for Bremerton. Booker only carried the ball eight times, but he was able to pick up 95 yards and those two scores.
“He came in and filled at fullback when Ethan got hurt and he’s done a great job,” said Bremerton head coach Paul Theriault.
Kimo Retome, another player filling in for an injured Knight, scored on the opening kickoff after stripping Kingston’s return man and taking the ball 20 yards to the end zone. Kimo Retome also added 87 yards on 13 carries.
But Kingston had an answer for much of the game, and that was the tough, physical running of Garrett Sitting-Dog. The Bucs’ bruiser rushed for 149 yards on the night and a first quarter touchdown that pulled Kingston back within two. Unfortunately, he left the game late in the third quarter with an injury.
Sophomore Joshua Tapangco got the nod to replace Logova at quarterback and he rushed for 52 yards and Bremerton’s second touchdown of the night. The Knights led 16-6 at halftime.
Kingston quarterback Kyle Coe-Yarr scored on a sneak late in the third quarter to pull his team within two. The Buccaneers defense was stout throughout much of the second half, including a red zone stand in the fourth quarter that kept the score 16-14.
“I thought we fought, we played hard, that was something to be proud of,” said Kingston head coach Alec Grimm. “There were just some unfortunate mistakes.”
Both teams frittered away a few opportunities to change the game as the two teams combined for five turnovers and a number of penalty flags. The Knights also let a couple of interception chances slip through their fingers, which helped keep the game close.
With three minutes to go, the Bucs had one final shot to tie the game, but were unable to make their way downfield. A couple of incompletions followed by a halfback pass that fell just short of its intended target led them to turn over the ball on downs.
Booker followed that drive with his second touchdown for Bremerton, though the Bucs didn’t give up and mounted one final drive, which ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Coe-Yarr to Cameron Cheeseman.
“We want people to realize we’re going to compete and fight hard no matter what,” Grimm said.
With two weeks to go in the regular season, three of the four teams battling for just three district playoff spots now have one loss on their record — Bremerton, Olympic and Sequim.
The Knights face their big rival, Olympic, next week at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. The Trojans have won five out of the past six matchups, and this one looks like it will end up being a de facto playoff game. The losing team will likely not be able to reach the postseason without an upset or two in the final week.
“We fix those mistakes and we’re pretty good,” Retome said. “I’m confident of that.”
Bremerton 30, Kingston 20
Brem 16 0 14 — 30
King 6 0 8 8 — 20
Bremerton — Kimo Retome 20 fumble recovery (Retome run)
Kingston — Garrett Sitting-Dog 8 run (run failed)
Bremerton — Joshua Tapangco 11 run (Kanye Taylor run)
Kingston — Kyler Coe-Yarr 1 run (Moran run)
Bremerton — Sean Booker 10 run (pass failed)
Bremerton — Booker 18 run (Retome run)
Kingston — Cameron Cheeseman 10 pass from Coe-Yarr (run failed)
Rushing: Bremerton: Booker 8-95, 2 TDs; Ki. Retome 13-87, Tapangco 11-52, TD; Taylor 10-26, Penitusi 1-6. Kingston: Sitting-Dog 16-149, TD; Moran 8-31, Marquez, 4-23, Armin 4-7, Sweeney 4(-1), Coe-Yarr 5 (-7), TD.
Passing: Bremerton: Tapangco 0-3-0, 2 INT; Moran 0-1-0. Kingston: Coe-Yarr 5-10-43, TD.
Receiving: Kingston: Armin 1-16, Moran 2-10, Cheeseman 1-10, TD; Sitting-Dog 1-7.