SK football more optimistic now that streak’s over

South Kitsap football coach Dan Ericson used a construction analogy to describe the feeling of his team finally winning a game.

“It certainly felt good to be the hammer and not the nail,” he said.

Students on the football field and in the bleachers celebrated a Wolves victory Sept. 9 at Kitsap Bank Stadium, beating Rogers 42-0. The Wolves were 0-8 last year.

For Ericson, it felt nice to be in control the entire game. “To get not only a victory, but also a convincing victory…”

He talked about his offensive game plan and how it reflected the run-heavy attack used by the military academy colleges of Navy, Army and Air Force. He said that style gives his team the chance to “get that clock moving, control the ground, limit the possessions of the opponent… That’s what we’ve chosen to do, to compete in this league of high-powered offenses.”

The strategy certainly worked in the Rogers game. That 42-point performance was the most points scored in a game by the Wolves since 2019 when they scored 31 points, also against Rogers Rams.

South Kitsap’s offense also scored high marks in its game Sept. 23, a close 42-33 loss to Olympia. It was a positive change for an offense that only averaged 8.1 points per game last season.

“It may not be the sexiest style of football, but it’s what is going to work for us,” Ericson said.

The defense has also taken a step up from last season with a mentality of keeping the play in front of them at all times. Opposing teams thrived on offense against the Wolves in 2021, with no opponent scoring less than 42 points in a game. This year, the Wolves only allowed a total of six points through the first two games, which kept them competitive in a 6-0 loss to Bethel in their opener.

South Kitsap also kept within striking distance against No. 1 Puyallup Sept. 17 throughout the first half before eventually losing 28-7. To go against one of the best teams in the state and play competitively was a moral victory for Ericson. “We made three mistakes on defense, and they were really critical,” he said.

Despite the mistakes, Ericson said the team is looking much better and is more enthusiastic, especially with the zero in the win column now erased.

“Nobody has to talk about that anymore,” he said, “as far as losing streak. That’s gone now, which we needed to have happen. Now the question is how far we can go.”