BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — It wasn’t the result the North Kitsap Vikings football team envisioned in its opening game of the season. The Vikings made the return trip across the Agate Pass Bridge without a victory in their pockets, as the Bainbridge Spartans cruised to a 41-7 victory Friday night.
“Bainbridge executed and we didn’t,” said Vikings coach Steve Frease. “We couldn’t get our defense off the field. We had too many missed tackles and mental mistakes. We got outplayed in the line and if that happens, it makes for a long evening.”
Spartans running back Dayton Gilbreath scored four touchdowns and rushed for more than 100 yards in the victory for Bainbridge.
While trailing Bainbridge 21-0, the Vikings finally were able to get on the scoreboard during their opening drive of the third quarter.
“We went to Ryan Cleaver on a bubble screen and he took it the distance for a touchdown. It was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Kevin (Stringer),” Frease said. “That gave us a spark and some momentum.”
Unfortunately for North, Bainbridge scored on its ensuing possession extending its lead to 28-7 midway through the third quarter. Bainbridge tacked on two more touchdowns while the Vikings’ offense was held in check.
Despite the lopsided defeat, Frease said his squad played its best against its arch-rivals.
“Our kids played hard and definitely put the effort out there,” Frease said. “Kyle Brose (running back) ran pretty hard and had a decent game.”
The Vikings will look for their first victory of the season against South Kitsap this Friday night in Port Orchard.
“Our guys are ready to get back on the field to prove themselves and play a better game than we did (against Bainbridge),” Frease said.
The cross county rivalry which was has been dubbed “The Civil War” in the past seasons, is a match up Frease eagerly anticipates.
“It’s a heated contest. We don’t get the chance to play them every year, but we always look forward to playing against them,” Frease said. “It gives us a chance to see how we measure up. South has a tremendous tradition and are one of the better programs in the state.”
SK running back Stephen Tucker is the focal point of the Wolves’ offensive attack.
“We’ve seen the game film and he is an impressive kid who’s a three-year starter for them. He’s the typical South Kitsap running back who isn’t going to fool you but likes to smash you in the mouth,” Frease said. He expects the Vikings to perform better as the season progresses.
“We have to take it one day at a time,” he said. “I am hoping by the time league play hits we will be clicking on all cylinders. It is really early in the season and we’re not very polished at this point. I know we can get better.”