It was a hard fought football game at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, and it wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter.
The seventh-seeded Fife High School Trojans forced and recovered a fumble from the No. 10 seed North Kitsap Vikings, and proceeded to run out the clock and on their way to a 24-21 win in the opening round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
Fife (10-1) had taken the lead on a 23-yard field goal by Gabriel Duenas earlier. North Kitsap took possession on what looked to be a game-winning drive, advancing to their own 49-yard line.
On fourth down, North Kitsap running back Isaiah Kahana took the handoff and barreled into the line, only to be hit by Gavin Knapp. The ball popped loose and Fife quarterback Gannon Ginnis, playing defensive back, recovered the ball at the North Kitsap 48.
Fife took over and proceeded to run out the clock on the Vikings’ season. Afterwards, the Trojans celebrated with their fans, while the Vikings left the field dejected.
“This was a well fought battle,” North Kitsap coach Jeff Weible said. “We made a couple of mistakes and that hurt us.”
Fife coach Kent Nevin agreed it was a hard-fought playoff game.
“This was a great high school game,” Nevin said. “It was down and dirty, both of us throwin’ haymakers. They came at us, we came at them, we didn’t back down. It came down to who wanted the ball. We got the stop on fourth down, that was the difference.
“When you play North Kitsap, you need to bring your ‘A’ game.”
Ginnis brought his on offense, rushing for 107 yards on 25 carries and scored all three of Fife’s touchdowns. He was stymied in the passing game, completing just 1 of 8 passes, as his receivers dropped catchable balls.
North Kitsap quarterback Andrew Blackmore was 6 of 12 passing for 155 yards, including a 69-yard pitch and catch to Riley Solis for a second quarter touchdown. He also had an interception, which led to Fife’s first touchdown run by Ginnis.
“We obviously needed to make plays,” Weible said. “We didn’t get it done.”
Katana rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. His second touchdown came with 10:56 left in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 21-21, but giving the ball back to Fife.
The Trojans drove 59 yards in 15 plays to the North Kitsap 6, setting up Duenas’ game-winning kick.
North Kitsap fought hard to take back the lead until Fife forced the decisive fumble on the Vikings’ final drive.
“We never stopped fighting,” Weible said. “This was the kind of game that will help them be successful in life. They did it for their teammates, their friends, their school.”
No. 9 seed Steilacoom 49, at No. 8 Sequim 12: Emeka Egbuka just keeps adding to his impressive sophomore season.
The Sentinels’ standout wide receiver set a school record with 256 receiving yards — 226 coming in the first half — and Steilacoom (10-1) rolled to a first-round win at Silverdale Stadium in Bremerton.
Egbuka caught touchdown passes of 40, 44 and 80 yards in the first half to help the Sentinels build a 28-12 lead. His 256 yards came on eight receptions, breaking Josh Lewis’ previous mark of 244, set in 2013.
At No. 1 seed Hockinson 47, No. 16 Washington 14: Levi Crum threw six touchdown passes, including four to Peyton Brammer, and the defending state champion Hawks cruised to an opening round win at Battle Ground High School, eliminating Washington.
The Patriots (6-5) were held to 12 yards in the first half, but got a late 27-yard touchdown run from Joshua Camacho.
At No. 3 seed Lake Stevens 56, No. 14 Curtis 42: Dallas Landeros’ touchdown run early in the fourth quarter for the undefeated 4A Wesco champions broke a 35-35 tie, and Lake Stevens held on for a state-opening win at home.
Curtis (7-4) had tied the game on quarterback Kyle Russell’s 1-yard plunge with 2:46 remaining in the third quarter.
Landeros’ 13-yard scoring scamper at the 10:31 mark in the fourth gave Lake Stevens the lead back, and triggered a decisive scoring run. Lake Stevens tallied three touchdowns in less than six minutes to put the game away.
Russell, a junior and Oregon baseball commit, threw for three touchdowns, but also had an interception returned for a score in the fourth quarter.
NO. 10 NORTH KITSAP
NO. 7 FIFE
F – Gannon Ginnis 1 run (Gabriel Duenas kick)
NK – Riley Solis 69 pass from Andrew Blackmore (Luca Laura kick)
F – Ginnis 19 run (Duenas kick)
NK – Isaiah Kahana 5 run (Laura kick)
F – Ginnis 19 run (Duenas kick)
NK – Kahana 4 run (Laura kick)
F – Duenas 23 field goal