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  • Wolves ‘outplayed in all phases’

    86972porchardWEB GarciaandGuerrero091815

    PURDY — South Kitsap is not scheduled to play Peninsula next season.

    For the Wolves, that might have been the best news in the aftermath of their 45-3 nonleague loss Sept. 11 at Roy Anderson Field.

    South (1-1) was outscored 88-3 during the two-year series against the Seahawks.

    “It wasn’t one thing you can put your finger on,” South coach Gavin Kralik said. “We’ve definitely got to get better, but ... they outplayed us in all phases.”

    The running game might be a good starting point. Peninsula (1-1) produced 249 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries. The Seahawks’ 6.9 yards per carry nearly was identical to their production last year against the Wolves.

    “I’m more concerned about us pass protecting,” Kralik said when asked about his team’s struggles to stop the run. “I feel like our offense didn’t sustain drives, especially early on. Our defense was on the field for a long time and so that contributed to being difficult to get off the field at times on defense.”

    South went three-and-out during its first possession and only produced five first downs during the opening half. Senior quarterback Jake Taylor, who completed 17 of 40 passes for 163 yards and was intercepted twice, looked strong at times, including a 16-yard completion to classmate Cole Craner during the second period. But earlier in the quarter, Taylor and his receivers could not connect on a pair of deep passes that could have resulted in touchdowns.

    “We’re a little off,” Kralik said. “No question about it.”

    And the Seahawks capitalized. Peninsula scored on 4 of 5 first-half possessions. After a 20-yard field goal by junior Danny Jackson in the first quarter, the Seahawks added three touchdowns before the intermission. Junior Evan Johnson and senior Armon Weaver scored on 2- and 5-yard runs, respectively. Peninsula’s final score of the half came on a 37-yard screen pass from junior Ryder Johnson to classmate Cameron Lewis.

    Enter the defense.

    The Seahawks, who put consistent pressure on Taylor, took advantage of that to open the second half when he was intercepted by junior safety Blake Cantu, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown.

    “That was a major emphasis all week to be able to create pressure,” Peninsula coach Ross Filkins said. “I feel good about the growth we demonstrated on the d-line.”

    Lewis, who had a game-high 136 yards on 17 carries, extended the Seahawks’ lead to 38-0 late in the third quarter on a 5-yard run. The running clock was activated when Ryder Johnson found junior wide receiver Deboreae McClain for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 9 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the game.

    The Wolves’ lone points came with 40 seconds remaining when Kralik eschewed going for it on fourth-and-goal at Peninsula’s 4-yard line. Instead, senior Nolan Souza converted a 20-yard field goal.

    “Our kids worked hard to get down the field and I felt like we owed it to them to get some points on the field and have something to show for that drive,” Kralik said.

    Kralik felt his team competed and displayed “good body language,” which he said was a significant improvement from when he coached the team’s spring practices. But much more progression is needed before South’s next game Sept. 18 at Olympia.

    “It’s not as much about Olympia and traveling down there as it is us fixing ourselves right now,” Kralik said.

    Even though he inherited a program that has produced losing records in three of the last five seasons, Kralik refused to concede that outcomes, such as Peninsula, were an inherent function of a rebuilding process.

    “I wouldn’t say that,” Kralik said. “This is a bit of adversity we hit now, but we’re going to work and get better and be a different program next week.”

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  • Peninsula cruises past Lakeside and into Class 3A state playoffs

    Fifth-ranked Peninsula High School had no issues shifting into playoff overdrive Saturday night.

    Handoff to running back Major Ali – check. Handoff to backup tailback Jared Boerner – check. Sprinkle in carries to big-play receivers Kyle Olson-Urbon and Matt Shirley – check.

    The Seahawks rolled up 380 first-half yards, and put this game away early — 47-6 over Lakeside of Seattle in a district game at Roy Anderson Field.

    Peninsula (9-1) won its ninth consecutive game, and will host Oak Harbor next weekend in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs. Lakeside, the fourth-place team in the Metro League Mountain Division, ends its season one step short of reaching the state tournament for the first time since 1987.

    “It was an all right start,” Seahawks quarterback Robert Kvinsland said with a half-smirk. “We are hoping for a long (playoff) journey this year.”

    The Seahawks scored on their first four drives, opening the game by going 80 yards on eight plays. And it was Shirley who took a handoff on a sweep run, darted through a crease and was gone for a 43-yard touchdown at the 9:34 mark.

    The Lions (6-4) never found any traction. They fumbled on their opening series, leading to the first of Major Ali’s three touchdown runs — this time a 9-yarder to put the Seahawks up 14-0.

    Kvinsland’s 41-yard pass to Shirley set up Ali’s second score, a 3-yard up-the-gut gallop for a 21-0 Seahawks advantage with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.

    And two minutes later, after a Lions’ punt, Olson-Urbon dazzled by breaking off a 43-yard touchdown run, and Peninsula was in control, up 28-0.

    “They had short fields and playmakers — and that is usually good recipe for success,” Lakeside coach Casey Selfridge said.

    The Lions crossed midfield once early in the second quarter, but were done in by four turnovers and four sacks to quarterback Sam Schrader. The last sack did in the 5-foot-10 senior, who was knocked out of the game with 45.4 seconds remaining in the first half with a shoulder injury.

    Jared Boerner’s 18-yard scoring run with 79 seconds remaining before halftime gave Peninsula a 41-0 lead. The second half was played under a running-clock mercy rule.

    “It is great. We are such a balanced offense,” Kvinsland said. “It makes it really hard for defenses, and it makes it very effective for us.”

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  • No. 5 Peninsula gets a scare, but Seahawks rally to beat No. 8 Auburn Mountainview, 25-20

    Contributing writerOctober 17, 2014 

    Peninsula running back Major Ali (1) and his teammates celebrate his go-ahead touchdown run late in the fourth quarter of a 3A SPSL match Friday night at Auburn Memorial Stadium. Ali finished with 150 yards on 37 carries — 102 yards in the second half alone as the Seahawks defeated Auburn Mountainview, 25-20. DEAN J. KOEPFLER — Staff photographer

    No. 8-ranked Auburn Mountainview gave No. 5 Peninsula a scare, but in the end, it was too much Major Ali as the Seahawks won a thriller at Auburn Memorial Stadium, 25-20.

    Down 20-19 with 3 minutes, 16 seconds to play, Peninsula engineered an 80-yard, game-winning drive, capped off by a 7-yard touchdown from Ali, the Seahawks’ senior power running back.

    “I was thinking we’d get a field goal, to be honest,” Ali said. “I didn’t think we’d march all the way down and score, but it was nice to get it in.”

    Ali finished with 150 yards on 37 carries — 102 of those coming in the second half.

    “We felt like if we could drag it into the second half, we would have a great opportunity to try to win that game late,” Seahawks coach Ross Filkins said. “We put it on our line and Major was running downhill and we were able to get the run established.”

    Auburn Mountainview coach Jared Gervais tipped his cap to the opponents.

    “They’re a good, physical team,” Gervais said. “There’s a reason they’re ranked fifth in state and no one argues that statement. They’re a good football team. We (messed) up on a few plays and just came up on the wrong end, just barely. I’m pretty proud of the way the guys played.”

    On 4th-and-8 at the Peninsula 9-yard-line, Lions’ junior quarterback Gresch Jensen found Ki’jan Weisinger in the back corner of the end zone to put the Lions up by one.

    “Just them trusting each other to get open. That’s something we’ve been working on. Just trying to build that trust, that camaraderie between the receivers and quarterback,” Gervais said.

    Jensen finished with 202 yards on 22 of 37 passing, but it wasn’t enough.

    On the final drive, Auburn Mountainview was called for a helmet-to-helmet penalty deep in its own territory, setting up the game-winning touchdown for Ali. Peninsula senior quarterback Robert Kvinsland finished with 110 yards on 13 of 30 passing, struggling a bit in the first half, but finding his rhythm in the second. He completed five passes on the final drive, willing the Seahawks down the field for the winning score.

    “Robert did a great job of settling down and making his reads there,” Filkins said.

    The win all but guarantees Peninsula its third consecutive 3A SPSL title. The Seahawks move to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in league. Their final two games are against Auburn Riverside and Bonney Lake, two teams at the bottom of the standings. Auburn Mountainview falls to 6-1, 4-1.

    The Lions will move on from the loss and face new 3A SPSL rival Auburn next week.

    “If we can’t get fired up and excited to play Auburn for the first time in seven years, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you,” Gervais said.

     

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  • Special needs team manager embodies Peninsula spirit, culture

    Staff writerOctober 15, 2014

    "We’re 4-0!" Christian Portillo proudly decared with a smile before a Monday afternoon Peninsula High football practice at Roy Anderson Field.

    Portillo, a developmentally-delayed 16-year-old, helps the Seahawks as an equipment manager. But he feels — as do the players — like he’s part of the team.

    "He’s just as big a part of the team as anybody else," senior wide receiver Matt Shirley said. "He’s here every day, he’s at every game, and he dresses up with all of us."

    Senior left tackle Hayden Smith said Portillo means "everything" to the team, and has been embraced wholeheartedly.

    "He comes everywhere with us," Smith said. "People see him in the hallways and everyone says, ‘Hey, Christian!’ He just loves it and we love him."

    Last week, the Peninsula football team voted Portillo as an honorary captain for the homecoming game against Enumclaw. Portillo took the field with the other captains, going out to midfield for the coin toss.

    "He was just so excited," Smith said. "I’ve never seen him so excited. Walking out there with us, he was just jumping up and down. We had to tell him to slow down — he was going out there so fast."

    Filkins said he was proud of his team for voting Portillo as a captain for the game.

    "That’s a great honor," Filkins said. "We’ve got some players with a lot of respect who haven’t had a chance to do that yet. That was awesome to see Christian out there."

    If Portillo didn’t suffer from seizures — which have prevented him from being medically cleared to suit up — Filkins said he would be a force on the field.

    "He’s quiet, focused, but very intense," Filkins said. "He’s extremely competitive. He’s also extremely physical. He’d be a handful with a helmet and pads on, for sure."

    Smith, who knows a thing or two about physicality as the team’s left tackle, agreed with his coach.

    "He’s tough," Smith said. "He’s always there with us — lifting weights even — anything he can do. He just wants to be out on the field more than anything."

    Portillo might take his work seriously, but he’s got a humorous side, too.

    "He’ll take (quarterback Robert) Kvinsland’s ball or tell him he’ll beat him in a race," Shirley said. "Or with (running back) Major Ali, he’ll tell him how much faster he is. He’ll just mess around, pull little jokes. He’ll squirt you with water or something."

    Peninsula High School’s Employment Training and Transition teacher Wendy Christiansen said his role with the football team is a good example of Peninsula’s friendly culture.

    "I just love the way people of all abilities are accepted, included and encouraged," Christiansen said. "The beacon of that is Christian with the football team. The staff and students see what people can do."

    Filkins said he sees Portillo’s work ethic as an embodiment of the Peninsula football program and the attitude Filkins aims to instill in his players.

    "He’s a big part of our team," Filkins said. "He’s a little bit of a microcosm — someone who’s an exemplar of what we’re trying to do in terms of continuing to get better every day, take what we do seriously, but enjoy it at the same time."

    And he’s always optimistic about the Seahawks’ chances. Peninsula heads to Auburn this Friday to face undefeated Auburn Mountainview in a game that will likely decide the league title. Portillo has no doubt who will come out on top.

    "Yeah, (we’ll win)," he said.

    Peninsula senior wide receiver Matt Shirley bumps fists with senior team manager Christian Portillo. LEE GILES III — Staff photographer

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  • 1
School Name*W-L*Pct.*PF*PAW-LPct.PFPAStrk
Sumner8-01.00029110811-10.9174451601 L
Auburn Mountainview5-20.7142251928-30.7273692891 L
Lakes5-20.71426616110-30.7695793141 L
Bonney Lake4-30.5711351547-50.5832692811 L
Peninsula3-40.4291371404-60.4002262172 L
Enumclaw2-50.2861722173-70.3002413273 L
Auburn2-60.2501942923-80.2733004021 W
Auburn Riverside0-70.0001022581-90.1001633731 W