It was the kind of game football fans crave for, dream of, and sometimes cry over - two well matched teams under the stadium lights battling it out neck and neck, quarter after quarter, until the bitter end. But unfortunately for Bremerton, the bitter end came in the form of an Alex Barrett (5), game winning, 37 yard field goal in double overtime. Putting an end to the Knight's Homecoming hopes, the Kingston Buccaneers nipped the Bremerton Knights at Bremerton Memorial Stadium last Friday, 24-21.
You could tell it would be a different game for Kingston from the onset. Where last week's game against North Mason was primarily a rough and tumble defense on the ground, Bremerton opened their first quarter drive with a dynamic passing offense that tested Kingston's secondary early and set up a breaking run to the end zone by senior Knight, Ethan Hacker (44). The Knights closed the first quarter 7-0 over the Bucs.
Kingston came back more aggressively in the second quarter with it's own air game. An English-Wright combination found the goal line in 6 minutes but Alex Barrett's low try for an extra point was blocked by junior Anthony Lopez (52) for Bremerton, keeping the Bucs down a point through the half.
The third quarter opened with dashed hope for the Buccaneers. Soon after sophomore Sloman Tyler (53) drug down Bremerton's QB on the run, Knight Richard Bios (22) broke through and out ran Kingston's defense for a 38 yard touchdown. The extra point put Bremerton up 14-6 in under 4 minutes. Not settling, Kingston came back quickly with a bit of piracy - looting long yardage with a series of pass and run plays that brought the Bucs near the 20. If fans hadn't noticed Max English's improved passing game, they certainly noticed that he found his legs as he ran 19 yards only to bully his lanky frame through three Knight defenders, scoring with a "take no prisoners" keeper. The extra point turned out to be a 2-point conversion, turning the dramatic drive to a tie game, 14-14.
While the remainder of Q3 slowed to a grind, the fourth opened with another Buccaneer breakout. Forced left under pressure, and with senior Tanner Draper (18) clearing a path, the long reach of quarterback Max English (13) touched the goal line in a dramatic dive. In under a minute the score popped up 21-14 but the Knight's weren't finished. Backed by a Homecoming crowd that could put the Seahawk's 12th man to shame, the Knights tied the score with 1:40 on the clock. As the seconds passed, Kingston struggled to break through but was forced to punt, losing possession, but recovering a fumbled return. The run up to overtime was drama in itself.
In retrospect, it is arguable that Bremerton snatched their overtime defeat from the jaws of victory. Slapped with a penalty for an extra player on the field, their first field goal attempt was pushed back 5 yards and the Dylan Reed attempt fell short. In the second overtime period, Kingston didn't make mistakes and the Alex Barrett 37 yard try hit the sweet spot. Buccaneers win 24-21.
Kingston's victory over the Bremerton Knights promotes Kingston to 3rd place in the conference with an overall 2-3 and 2-1 conference. But their own Homecoming game takes them up against the powerful #2 in conference, the Olympic Trojans, another Bremerton team. The big difference is that Olympic is 5-0 overall, tied with North Kitsap in conference, and hasn't given up a single point. The Buccaneers have given up 40. Be that as it may, with heart, hard work, great fans and a little piracy, you never know what will happen. See you at the game.