EAST BREMERTON — No mistakes, no letdowns. Central Kitsap took the field against North Thurston on Thursday night and took care of business.
In what could have easily been a trap game for the Cougars, the offense roared and the defense held firm in a 46-6 win over the 2-4 Rams at Silverdale Stadium.
Alex Refilong led the rushing attack with 196 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, and quarterback Elijah McGee scored three times and completed 10 of 16 passes for 133 yards.
“That’s one we should win, one we have to win to keep our hopes alive,” head coach Mark Keel said.
Central Kitsap had gotten off to a slow start two weeks ago against Shelton, an opponent with a similar record. While the result was certainly positive, a 50-0 victory, the team knew they needed to be sharper from the outset. On their first drive of the night, the Cougars went 54 yards down the field and McGee capped it with a nine-yard touchdown run.
“We talked about that all week long,” Keel said. “We’re a young team, we’re learning. It was a learning process for us, and we scored on our first possession tonight.”
The offensive fireworks continued from there. Refilong gave the Cougars a 14-0 lead in the second quarter when he broke free for a 43-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
“I was super nauseous after that one,” Refilong said.
The senior back did not play too many snaps in the second half, as he had been under the weather much of the week, battling something flu-like. Fortunately, he wasn’t needed much in the second half. By the time Refilong scored his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run, Central Kitsap was ahead 32-0.
The Cougars had everything going their way, even when things went wrong. A broken play on an extra point attempt ended up with kicker Tyler Cannon lobbing a pass to Nigal Hardee, normally a defensive back, in the end zone for a two-point conversion.
“I’ve never had that happen to me before,” Hardee said.
Central Kitsap improves to 3-2 in the South Sound Conference — 5-2 overall — with two games to go. Five wins should be enough to put the Cougars in the playoffs, while four wins would likely see them depend upon tiebreakers. A victory on the road Thursday at Ingersoll Stadium in Olympia against Capital would help put them on the easier path to the postseason.
“Capital next week, I feel really good about that,” Hardee said. “We’re going to keep this train going.”
Central Kitsap 46, North Thurston 6
NT 0 0 0 6 — 6
CK 7 17 15 7 — 46
CK — McGee 9 run (Cannon kick)
CK — Refilong 43 run (Cannon kick)
CK — McGee 5 run (Cannon kick)
CK — Cannon 30 field goal
CK — Refilong 4 run (Hardee pass from Cannon)
CK — McGee 1 run (Cannon kick)
CK — Willis 4 run (Cannon kick)
NT — Garcia 8 run (kick failed)
Rushing — CK: Refilong 22-196, 2 TDs; McGee 8-45, 3 TDs; Willis 7-39, TD; Flaugher 2-13, Blue 2-6, Balagas 1-6. NT: Martinez 8-41, Garcia 7-29, TD; Campbell 4-10, Marcott 7-7, Rodriguez 2-4, Maggard 1-(-6).
Passing — CK: McGee 10-16-133; Flaugher 4-7-39. NT: Maggard 5-13-84.
Receiving — CK: Webb 3-44, Almonte 2-39, Davis 2-33, McGee 1-16, Blue 1-14, Willis 1-8, Pusi 1-8, Lindstrom 1-6, Balagas 1-3, Keel 1-1. NT: Rodriguez 1-43, Boggs 2-25, Marcott 1-16, Lamp-Owino 1-10.