POULSBO — North Kitsap’s journey through the 2A state football playoffs begins tonight with a record-breaking running back leading the charge.
North Kitsap senior Dax Solis broke the school record for rushing yards in both a single game and a season during last week’s 66-25 win over Eatonville. He rushed for over 360 yards in the contest, giving him 1,606 yards for the year, pushing him past Tom Mariner’s school record of 1,596 set in 1948. For his performance, Solis was named a WIAA athlete of the week.
Solis and the Vikings welcome William F. West High School (8-2, 4-1) of Chehalis, which finished in second place in the 2A Evergreen Conference, to North Kitsap Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Bearcats won a thriller last weekend against Woodland, 38-35, to advance to the state tournament. They averaged 26 points per game this season in league play, losing only to league champion Tumwater.
But the Vikings (9-0) are rolling with an offensive line firing on all cylinders and a talented running back capable of taking advantage of any opening provided. They also have a steady passing game thanks to junior quarterback Andrew Blackmore and a deep stable of pass-catchers, led by the 6-foot-3 senior Kai Warren.
As always, it will be of utmost importance for the Vikings to take care of the football. The team committed three fumbles last week that helped keep Eatonville in the game during the first half.
The winner of tonight’s matchup will hit the road next weekend to face off against the winner of a first-round matchup between Archbishop Murphy and River Ridge.
State volleyball tournament
The North Kitsap and Kingston volleyball teams will hit the court at the state tournament this weekend at St Martins University in Lacey.
The Vikings (16-1) won their first district championship since 2014 at Franklin Pierce High School last weekend and look to carry that momentum into the state tournament.
North Kitsap played at 9 this morning against Lynden High School (13-5), but lost in straight sets, 3-0. A win in that contest would have sent them on to the quarterfinals to play Sehome at 5 p.m. Instead, the loss puts the Vikings out of the running for the state title or the top six, but they could still place seventh or eighth. Their next match is against East Valley (Spokane) at 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, Kingston (11-9) finished fourth at districts after falling to North Kitsap and then White River in the third place game. They start their tournament with a game against 2015 champion Burlington-Edison (16-1) at 11 a.m. on Friday morning. Advancing past that game would give them a matchup with either Selah or Fife.
The semifinals and finals are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Nov. 11.
Girls soccer state quarterfinals
After a convincing 4-1 win over South Whidbey on Nov. 7, Klahowya (18-1) will take the ferry across the Puget Sound to take on Kings High School in Shoreline at noon on Nov. 11.
Kings (12-8) is coming off a 7-1 victory over Elma in the first round of the state tournament, and will take on an Eagles squad that has scored 98 goals in 19 contests this season. The winner will book a trip to the 1A semifinals at Shoreline Stadium next weekend, playing the winner of a match between Seattle Academy and King’s Way Christian.
In the 2A tournament, North Kitsap is the last team standing in the Kitsap Daily News coverage area, defeating Hockinson in penalty kicks in the first round.
Charlotte Bond saved her team’s season with a late goal to send the match to extra time. In the shootout, Jamison Jacobson scored in the seventh round to send her team on to the quarterfinals.
On Nov. 11, the Vikings will travel to the East Renton Highlands to take on Liberty High School (16-2-1), the No. 1 team out of the KingCo League, which has not lost a match since Sept. 26. The winner will play either West Valley or Port Angeles at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Shoreline Stadium.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com.