The Shelton football team recovered two first half Central Kitsap fumbles to erase a 14-0 deficit only to see the Cougars rally late to beat the Highclimbers 35 to 31 in a game that started nearly an hour late Friday night.
After Shelton’s first two possessions went three-and-out, CK went 50-yards in five plays and DeAndre Sincere scored the first of his five touchdowns. The Cougars then took advantage of a Shelton fumble, going 55 yards in two plays (Sincere’s second TD was on a 53-yard run) to build that two touchdown lead.
On Shelton’s possession, Central Kitsap forced the ‘Climber to punt but a fumble on the return kept the drive alive and Taylor Toney caught a 17-yard Tyler Giraldes pass for Shelton’s first touchdown.
The Cougars then last their second fumble on the first play of their next drive and the Highclimbers went 46 yards on five plays with Kyle Kimball taking a Giraldes pass 12 yards to tie the game.
Central Kitsap started their next drive on the Shelton 29 after a big Sincere kick off return but the Shelton defense stopped the Cougars at the 15 and CK missed a field goal.
The ‘Climbers then went 80 yards on eight plays with Giraldes throwing his third TD pass, this one to Marshall McCullough from 31 yards out and the teams headed to the locker room at the half with Shelton up 21 to 14.
The Highclimbers’ Kyle Kimball interception stopped the Cougars opening drive of the third quarter but Shelton couldn’t take advantage of CK’s third turnover.
The Cougars then tied the ball game at 21 by going 54 yards on nine plays capped by 10-yard Sincere TD run.
Shelton took back the lead on a 32-yard field goal from Cody Bragg after the ‘Climbers’ next drive stalled, putting Shelton up 24 to 21.
Central Kitsap responded, going 67 yards on four plays. Sincere finished the drive with a 50-yard TD run and the Cougars took a four-point lead, 28-24.
The Highclimbers then put together a 57-yard 12-play drive that Kimball finished by out jumping defenders to pull down a 10-yard TD pass from Giraldes. Shelton took back the lead 31 to 28 with 7 minutes left in the game.
However, Sincere took the kick off 74 yards for his fifth touchdown and CK was back on top 35 to 31, 15 seconds later.
Shelton had plenty of time but their next drive stalled at midfield, giving the Cougars time to run down the clock.
The ‘Climbers finished with 318 yards of offense while CK ended up with 311.
Tyler Giraldes completed 17 of 25 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns to lead Shelton.
Central Kitsap had 263 yards rushing from scrimmage with DeAndre Sincere accounting for 188 yards of that.
The Highclimbers drop to 3-and-5 on the season, 2-and-4 in the South Sound Conference. The loss likely dashed any postseason possibilities for Shelton. They host Capital next Friday in the final South Sound Conference game. MasonWebTV Powered by HCC will be on hand for the game.
The North Mason football team was blanked by seventh ranked North Kitsap 56 to 0. The Bulldogs drop to 1-and-6 on the season, 1-and-4 in the Olympic League. The boys from Belfair host Bremerton next Friday.