KINGSTON — When the Kingston Buccaneers varsity football team steps onto their home field tonight, one thing is certain: the team needs to play its best.
That’s the message from Kingston coach Todd Harder, as he and the team prepare for the undefeated Bremerton Knights at 7 p.m. for the homecoming game. The Bucs, 3-1 in the Olympic League, are in high spirits after a 41-28 victory over the Sequim Wolves Oct. 5.
However, the Knights have been a powerhouse.
The Knights (4-0) defeated Sequim 21-6, North Mason 58-31, North Kitsap 34-27. Most recently, Oct. 5, the Knights defeated Port Angeles, 63-7. For the Knights, a win over the Bucs would push their league lead forward. With four games left in the regular season, it would make it difficult, and for some teams in the league impossible, to catch up to the Knights.
A Buccaneer victory, on the other hand, would tie the two teams in league play.
And, if the North Kitsap Vikings defeat Port Angeles, a three-way tie would be created between the Knights, Bucs and Vikings. The Vikings are at Port Angeles today. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“If we beat Bremerton, it’s a huge victory for us,” Harder said.
The win against the Wolves — the first time in history the Bucs have defeated the Sequim team — was what Harder wanted to see in his team. The team played well on both sides of the ball as the Bucs outscored the Wolves 14-7 in the second quarter and 20-14 in the fourth, Harder said. Defense made stops when they had to and when the Wolves looked like they were coming back, the Bucs answered.
To beat the Knights, the Bucs will have to do more of the same. The Bucs need to control the rushing game offensively and defensively. The offensive line, too, cannot become one dimensional, otherwise the Knights will shut them down.
But the Bucs have another advantage: homecoming. And with a good week of practice, Harder said the team is energized.