Football Week 1: the first chance for new faces to impress as rivalries rekindle

Kingston at Klahowya, 6:30 p.m.

The Eagles host their first football game on campus and welcome the Buccaneers in a rematch of last year’s Week 1 game. Klahowya won last year’s game pretty handily, but the program graduated quite a few of its players, including its starting quarterback and top three receivers. Kingston, on the other hand, returns much more experience this season and should be better prepared for this matchup. This game should feature plenty of running plays as each team has a potential 1,000-yard back — Hunter Wallis of Klahowya and Garrett Sitting-Dog of Kingston.

Black Hills at Bremerton, 6:30 p.m.

The Knights get to open up at home this year after hitting the road for four of their first five games in 2018. They faced Black Hills last season in their opener and were beaten 50-19 in Tumwater. Both of these teams lost quite a few seniors to graduation and will debut with retooled lineups. Bremerton still has their quarterback Kelo Logova and a full year under his belt should help the passing game be more efficient and effective. There are also a host of new handoff options, including Kaipo Retome, Darick DeJesus and Kanye Taylor. It will be another tough first game for the Knights, but the experience against a good team should help them later on in the season.

Olympic at Central Kitsap, 7 p.m

The 42nd Battle of Bucklin Hill will feature several of the West Sound’s best football players in a matchup that pits strength against strength. The Olympic passing attack was prolific last season and it will go up against the West Sound’s best defense in the Cougars. Meanwhile, a less experienced Central Kitsap offense will go up against a Trojans defense that struggled to stop opponents last season. This game also features the opening of a brand new stadium, this one on Central Kitsap’s campus.

North Kitsap at Bainbridge, 7 p.m.

These two teams played an ugly, but dramatic game to open 2018 with North Kitsap scraping past Bainbridge, 20-17. Noah North rushed for 133 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Like many other teams, wildfire smoke kept the Vikings indoors for much of the first week of practice; it even necessitated moving the game to Saturday. They will play under the lights this year and fans will get their first look at the new offense led by sophomore Colton Bower and a tenacious, athletic defense.

South Kitsap at Sumner, 7 p.m.

The Dan Ericson era of South Kitsap football gets started on the road against the Spartans, who should be one of the better teams in the SPSL this season. Both teams are big, physical and like to run the football, so this game will likely be won in the trenches. It will take more than one game to see how this program has progressed with a new coaching staff and boosted participation numbers, but a good competitive match would certainly get the season off on the right foot.

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