Whether or not Friday night represented North Kitsap’s final game of the season has yet to be determined. But if the season is over, the Vikings went out with a bang.
Quarterback Colton Bower had perhaps the finest game in Vikings history, throwing for 407 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for 102 yards on 10 carries in a 41-7 win over Bremerton. It wasn’t immediately known if his passing totals are a single-game school record, but it’s reasonable to think it would rank up there.
Coach Jeff Weible gave credit to assistants Chris Richardson and Dan Schoonmaker.
“They’ve done a fabulous job of putting the offense in this year. The kids have taken to it, and it suits Colton really well,” Weible said.
For the second consecutive game, North Kitsap marched down the field for a TD on 13 plays on their opening possession. Bower had completions of 18 and 20 yards to Jaxson Gore before finishing it off with a 24-yard pass to Aiden King on a third-and-goal.
“It sets the tone for the whole game early,” Bower said. “We go three-and-out, the momentum is theirs.”
The Vikings went back down the field on their second drive, capping it off with a 2-yard pass from Bower to Gore. Bower’s third touchdown strike went to freshman Logan Sloman in the second quarter to give North Kitsap a 21-0 lead.
Running back Karsen Walsh led the rushing with 15 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns, but his scores were set up by the passing game. Bower dropped in a beauty to a wide-open Lincoln Castillo for 57 yards, which set up Walsh’s 2-yard scamper in the third quarter.
Bremerton had a little life in the third quarter after sophomore Jayden Quenga ripped off a couple of big runs and finished off a drive with a 2-yard TD.
“I give Bremerton all the credit in the world,” Weible said. “They moved the ball really well. They have phenomenal speed and good athletes. We got our backs against the wall. The kids bowed their neck and did a great job.”
Walsh’s second score came in the fourth quarter after Bower hit Keilbart for a 56-yard completion that went to the 2-yard line. That put the Vikings ahead 35-7. Bower connected with Castillo early in the fourth for a 31-yarder to close out the scoring.
Keilbart, a senior, had four receptions for 106 yards. King added five catches for 103 yards, and Castillo chipped in four catches for 95 yards. The offensive line kept Bower protected; he rarely faced fierce pressure.
“I can’t do it without those guys — the receivers, the line,” Bower said.
Following the game Bower said he wasn’t as interested in setting a record as he was in making sure his team got the win.
“That’s what matters, and I’m hoping we get another game,” he said.
Next week is the final one for “fall” sports. The Vikings have only played four contests; many schools will get to play at least five and a few, such as Bainbridge and Shelton, will even get six.
“We just have kids that have bought into this process and have just, even through COVID, worked hard and made sure they were prepared to play,” Weible said. “It’s disappointing we can’t fulfill our obligation.”
They were originally scheduled to play South Kitsap Saturday, and Olympic the following Thursday, but neither of those games will be played. Bremerton stepped forward after thrashing the league’s North Division in its first three games.
The school is working on getting another game, but Weible expressed dismay at the possibility of not playing again this season. “If there’s any team in this league that deserves to play another game, it’s us,” Weible said.
Their résumé is short, but impressive. After an exciting 26-25 comeback win over Central Kitsap in week one, the Vikings outscored Sequim, Bainbridge and Bremerton by a combined 130-15.
“We have to be grateful for what we get,” Bower said. “I’m proud of all of our seniors. It’s good to go out on this note for them if it is our last game.”
North Kitsap 41, Bremerton 7
NK 14 7 7 13 — 41
Bremerton 0 0 7 0 — 7
North Kitsap — Aiden King 24 pass from Colton Bower (Gore kick)
NK — Jaxson Gore 2 pass from Bower (Gore kick)
NK — Logan Sloman 20 pass from Bower (Gore kick)
Bremerton — Jayden Quenga 2 run (Harvey kick)
NK — Karsen Walsh 2 run (Gore kick)
NK — Walsh 1 run (Gore kick)
NK Kitsap — Lincoln Castillo 31 pass from Bower (kick failed)
Passing — NK: Bower 20-31-407, 4 TDs, INT. Bremerton: Logova 4-16-79; Michaelson 0-2, INT.
Rushing — NK: Bower 10-102; Walsh 15-51, 2 TDs; Howard 5-14; Castillo 1-12; Wanzek 7-7; Sloman 1-0. Bremerton: Quenga 8-108, TD; Retome 3-29; Lewis 2-24; Paden 4-23; Farley 6-19; Logova 5-16; Hurt 4-11.
Receiving — NK: Keilbart 4-106; King 5-103, TD; Castillo 4-95, TD; Gore 4-53, TD; Sloman 2-47, TD; Soria 1-3. Bremerton: Wilson 3-61; Newman 1-18.