Kingston running back Sam Reber breaks through the East Jefferson defense. Reber led the Bucs in rushing in their 12-7 victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kingston running back Sam Reber breaks through the East Jefferson defense. Reber led the Bucs in rushing in their 12-7 victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Kingston wins 1st game in defensive battle

As the clock wound down and Kingston’s first victory of the season was a certainty, the team had a chance to relish the situation.

After a stop on fourth down, the Bucs took over possession with about a minute left in the game. They got into victory formation and took the requisite kneel-downs.

It was the perfect end to a hard-fought win — almost. The celebratory Gatorade bath missed its intended target. But that didn’t damper the spirit of the players and coaches following Kingston’s 12-7 win over East Jefferson on Friday.

“Feels fantastic,” said Kingston coach Billy Russo, his first at the helm of the program. “It was a big stepping stone, a big win for these guys.”

The Bucs could have had more than just the 12 points — they had two touchdowns called back on holding penalties, including one on their opening drive — but they would always find a way to press on in the face of adversity.

“We keep seeing flashes, we just have to learn how to finish [those drives],” Russo said.

They got another shot at the end zone midway through the first quarter and were able to break through. Quarterback Kyler Coe-Yarr swung a pass out to Kade Claymore, who evaded a couple of defenders and took it to the house from 16 yards out.

Coe-Yarr finished the game with 113 yards passing and running combined. Claymore had three receptions for 31 yards.

But it was a low-scoring affair as yards were hard to come by for both teams. “They did a great job adjusting and taking away our key plays,” Russo said.

The defensive units dominated, and Kingston’s ended up providing the game-winning score. As East Jefferson running back Gerald Lindsey ran to the left, the ball came loose. It was scooped up by Lief Nelson, who rumbled 22 yards for a touchdown.

Kingston recovered two more fumbles in the game — one by William Zacher and the other by Josh Robison — and also recovered a muffed punt. The defense nearly pitched a shutout, allowing only a late-fourth quarter touchdown by Lonnie Kenney on a quarterback sneak.

The victory improves Kingston’s record to 1-2 on the season with another good matchup against Port Angeles next week. Russo said he and his staff have been working hard to build the foundation to turn the program around. “They’re buying in and it looks good,” Russo said.

Kingston 12, East Jefferson 7

EJ 0 0 0 7 — 7

KN 6 0 6 0 — 12

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

Kingston — Kade Claymore 16 pass from Kyler Coe-Yarr (conversion failed)

Third Quarter

Kingston — Lief Nelson 22 fumble recovery return (conversion failed)

Fourth Quarter

East Jefferson — Lonnie Kenney 4 run (kick good)

Individual Statistics

Passing — Kingston: Coe-Yarr 8-24-72, TD, 2 INT; Claymore 0-1-0. East Jefferson: Kenney 1-7-17; Lawson 0-3-0.

Rushing — Kingston: Reber 16-43; Coe-Yarr 6-39; Nelson 8-19; Claymore 5-9; Setterlund 1(-6). East Jefferson: Jones 22-96; Kenney 2-8, TD; Lindsey 2-5; Massie 2-3; Cerna 2(-2); Lawson 3-(-13).

Receiving — Kingston: Claymore 3-31, TD; Turgeon 2-25; Setterlund 1-8; Baze 1-5; Nelson 1-5. East Jefferson: Lindsay, 1-17.

More in Sports

JR Ritchie threw five shutout innings for Bainbridge and also had two singles and a walk in four plate appearances against North Kitsap on Wednesday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge fires on all cylinders in 10-0 win over N. Kitsap

JR Ritchie did a little bit of everything for Bainbridge in Wednesday’s… Continue reading

Sarah Hoyt delivers an RBI in the sixth inning of a 14-12 win over Gig Harbor. (Mark Krulish |Kitsap News Group)
South Kitsap outslugs Gig Harbor, 14-12, to improve to 5-0

South Kitsap’s bats have been hot all season long. Entering Monday’s game… Continue reading

Kendall Becker of North Kitsap is safe at home ahead of the tag against Port Angeles. Pierre LaBossiere/For the North Kitsap Herald
PA comes from behind to beat NK in softball

North Kitsap led or the game was tied most of the contest,… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen (front) takes the baton from Genesi Funston in the 4x200 relay. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK’s Cullen wins 4 events at meet with Bainbridge, CK

Alyssa Cullen may have lost out on her junior year track season,… Continue reading

Jaxson Gore (22) makes the throw to complete the double play against Central Kitsap. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Not pretty but NK beats CK 12-6

Friday’s matchup between two 4-0 teams wasn’t as clean as you’d might… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Emotions run the gamut at end of ‘fall’ season

A few weeks ago I wrote about expecting the unexpected in this… Continue reading

Bainbridge's Damoni Mckenna-Greenawalt and North Kitsap's Angel Chavez sprint for a loose ball. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge boys shut out North Kitsap in soccer

Bainbridge broke open a fast-paced, physical match with North Kitsap in the… Continue reading

<em>Coach Ron Allen and the Piranha’s kick things off with some practice laps.</em>		Ken Park/North Kitsap Herald
Piranha’s return to Poulsbo pool

They swam outdoors, even went to Fife to train

Lillian Pruden puts a shot past the Kingston blockers during North Kitsap’s final volleyball match of the season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK spikes Kingston in battle of top teams

North Kitsap and Kingston finished first in their respective Olympic League divisions,… Continue reading

Chandler Lindstrom catches a 63-yard touchdown for Central Kitsap against Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Sequim Gazette)
Week 5 Olympic League Football Roundup

Bainbridge 28, South Kitsap 14 PJ Miller’s 2-yard touchdown run in the… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Jack Mielke spins his way into the end zone in the Spartans’ 28-14 win over South Kitsap on Friday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge ends football season with romp over SK

Bainbridge legend Tom Paski and assistant coach John Fox once promised to… Continue reading

North Kitsap running back Kelly Wanzek bursts through the line during Thursday night’s win over Olympic. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap caps perfect season with victory over Olympic

Normally, an undefeated season ends with with a victory at the Tacoma… Continue reading