High School Sports

Turnovers by the half-dozen help doom Fife

North Kitsap’s football team had been waiting for a statement win all season.

The Vikings picked the perfect time to make that statement.

North Kitsap is headed back to state for the second consecutive year after dismantling Fife, 49-7, in a Class 2A West Central District playoff game Friday night.

Coming off last week’s loss in the Olympic League’s 2A title game, North Kitsap (7-3) took out its frustration on the South Puget Sound League’s No. 2 seed in a major way.

“Just real happy for the kids, man — especially after last week,” said North Kitsap coach Jeff Weible, whose team gave up 10 points in the final two minutes in the 17-14 loss to Olympic.

North Kitsap will face, on the road, the winner of Saturday’s game between Lindbergh and River Ridge.

North Kitsap opened Friday’s game with a 13-play scoring drive that ended with Sam Henden finding the end zone from 7 yards out. Fife (7-3) was forced to punt on its first possession and ended up taking a safety after a bad snap from center.

On the Vikings’ next play from scrimmage, running back Sean Crowell took a pitch right, made a nifty cutback on the edge and raced 51 yards for a touchdown. North Kitsap led 16-0 before the game was 10 minutes old.

“We came out and we punched them in the mouth in the first quarter,” Crowell said. “They were just kind of stunned over there.”

Crowell and North Kitsap quarterback Chris Andrews added touchdown runs in the second quarter to build the advantage to 30-0 at halftime.

Kainen Warren’s two field goals in the third quarter made it 36-0.

When Nate Kjormoe hauled in a 52-yard touchdown pass from Andrews early in the fourth quarter, it triggered the running clock.

“I thought we won all three phases of the game,” Weible said. “It was probably the most complete game we’ve had all year. We picked a good time to play it.”

Fife scored its touchdown against North Kitsap’s second-team defense with under two minutes to play.

The Trojans turned the ball over six times. Crowell, in addition to rushing for 102 yards and two touchdowns, recovered two fumbles and had an interception.

“That was big,” North Kitsap linebacker Christian Tom said. “That’s what we’ve been focusing on, getting at the ball.”

For seniors such as Crowell and Tom, the chance to play at least one more week feels fantastic.

Just don’t expect another 49-7 game, right?

“It’s going to get tougher and tougher as this goes along,” Crowell said.