Krulish: Plenty of drama left to come on the gridiron this fall

It’s hard to believe there are just a few weeks left in the 2019 football season, but the calendar has flipped to October and teams around the West Sound are deep into their league schedules.

Through five weeks, we’ve already seen some tremendous games and individual performances.

Central Kitsap was the talk of the region in week one as its tremendous defense gave up just a field goal on a short field against a high-powered Olympic team in the Battle of Bucklin Hill. Then, South Kitsap stole the spotlight with an emotional 31-17 win over Rogers with legendary head coach Ed Fisher in the house.

North Kitsap and Bremerton engaged in an incredible game in week four in which the Vikings erased a 21-7 first-quarter deficit. It was a showcase for some of the Olympic League’s best young talent in Colton Bower, Jayden Quenga and Junior Newman — players who will thrill us for the next couple of seasons. That was the week after North Kitsap freshman Diego DeLuna kicked three field goals to lift the Vikings to victory over Sequim, the only league team to beat them last season.

On Friday night, Olympic’s Trent Feistner had one of the best rushing performances in recent history, going off for 333 yards and two touchdowns against Port Angeles.

The Olympic League, in particular, is shaping up to have a tremendous finish. There are only three district playoff spots available to the league this year and no clear favorite, though four teams seem to have separated from the rest of the pack.

Olympic currently sits in first place with a 3-0 league record but North Kitsap and Bremerton both have a game in hand while Sequim is 2-1, having lost to North Kitsap.

The Trojans have three of their toughest tests still ahead — Sequim, Bremerton and North Kitsap — but that also gives them a greater degree of control over their destiny. Unfortunately, the team is pretty banged up right now. Malcolm Dewalt, who is one of their best athletes, is likely lost for the season and quarterback Zeke Gillick is week-to-week, though there is hope he can return. The good news is No. 1 running back Clayton Talarico could be back as soon as this week.

Bremerton has looked impressive in its two league games despite going 1-1. The Knights made a few mistakes at crucial times in the second half against North Kitsap, but they had no trouble with North Mason. They have enough playmakers to attack from any part of their Wing-T formation, both running and throwing the football, which has made them difficult to shut down so far. They should get a boost from their next two games — at Port Angeles and at Kingston — before coming home for a showdown with Olympic on Oct. 25. Needless to say, there will be plenty on the line in that game.

And then there’s North Kitsap, long the class of the Olympic League. The Vikings are quite young this season and going through plenty of growing pains that should pay off in future seasons. They have already dispatched Sequim and Bremerton, and should certainly be favored in their next three league games against Kingston, North Mason and Port Angeles.

The Vikings close the regular season Nov. 1 at Olympic. It’s certainly within the realm of possibility — though by no means a guarantee — that the Vikings will be playing to tie the Trojans for first place. If that turns out to be the case, the Bremerton-Sequim game that night could serve as a de facto play-in game because both teams would have at least two losses in that scenario. Of course, if there are any upsets during that span, then all bets are off.

The playoff chase is also on for Central Kitsap, currently 2-1 and in a three-way tie for third place with Gig Harbor and Capital, both of which are still ahead on the Cougars’ schedule. There’s no doubt that their defense is one of the best around but the offense hasn’t kept pace without starting quarterback Josh Flaugher and top receiver Jason Almonte. Central Kitsap has just three field goals and one touchdown in the past three games.

Might there be a third game with huge playoff implications on Nov. 1? Only time will tell.

Grab the popcorn, don’t forget your umbrella and buckle up. We’re in for a wild ride on the gridiron over the next few weeks.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.

More in Sports

Seattle sports teams and major event organizers issue public plea: Stay home

When the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders FC and Storm speak, will fans heed… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Kobe McMillian was one of three Vikings name to the AP’s 2A All-State team. McMillian and Jonas La Tour were first-team selections and Shaa Humphrey was an Honorable Mention. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Three Vikings named to Associated Press All-State teams

Sportswriters and editors from the Associated Press have selected three Vikings for… Continue reading

Shaa Humphrey
Athlete of the Week: Shaa Humphrey, North Kitsap boys basketball

North Kitsap captured its first ever boys hoops championship this past weekend,… Continue reading

Logan Chmielewski, playing for Team Cascade, opened the 18th Annual West Sound All-Star game with a pair of 3-pointers, but Team Puget Sound prevailed 90-83. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Team Puget Sound prevails at the 18th Annual West Sound Senior All-Star Games

BREMERTON — Mere days after leading one of the greatest comebacks in… Continue reading

The North Kitsap Vikings are the 2019-2020 2A boys basketball state champions. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Vikings reign! NK captures first-ever boys hoops title

North Kitsap defeated Clarkston 56-53 in the championship game

Logan Chmielewski goes up for a basket in North Kitsap’s 64-43 win over White River on Thursday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap takes on No. 1 Lynden tonight in Yakima

The Vikings have won two in a row at state and now take on the defending 2A champions in the semifinals

North Kitsap’s Shaa Humphrey and Logan Chmielewski, with Jonas La Tour and Aiden Olmstead in the background, run onto the court to celebrate their comeback victory in the 2A state quarterfinals over White River. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Second half explosion propels North Kitsap into the state semifinals

Their next game is Thursday at 7:15 p.m. against No. 1 Lynden

KTAC President’s Day Racquetball tournament results

EAST BREMERTON — The Kitsap Tennis & Athletic Center recently had their… Continue reading

Central Kitsap senior Colby White finally got his chance to play at the Tacoma Dome and led his team with 17 points against Marysville-Pilchuck. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
No. 3 Marysville-Pilchuck ends Central Kitsap’s playoff run at state

TACOMA — Back in November, looking over the Central Kitsap roster and… Continue reading

Holly Beaudoin
Athlete of the Week: Holly Beaudoin, North Kitsap girls wrestling

Holly Beaudoin capped off an incredible four-year wrestling career at North Kitsap… Continue reading