Gig Harbor rallies for win; Peninsula takes a no-doubter
Gig Harbor rallied from an early 14-point deficit, outscoring Capital by 37 points the rest of the way to win 44-21 on Friday, Sept. 23.
Capital used two short touchdown passes to jump out in front 14-0. The Tides (3-1, 1-1 South Sound Conference) appeared shocked to be in a big hole after losing an emotional Fish Bowl to Peninsula the previous week.
“Our thought process is to win the next play, good or bad we have to win the next play,” Gig Harbor coach Darrin Reeves said. “It was awesome to see the guys echoing that on the sidelines, and then going and doing just that.”
The Tides turned off the Cougar offense and Gig Harbor quarterback Will Landram turned on. He threw for four touchdowns on the night, the first a 53-yard run-and-catch to running back Blaze Herbert that made the score 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Landram’s second TD, a 15-yarder to receiver Gavin Nash, knotted the score at 14 at halftime.
Gig Harbor sophomore kicker Boone Leverett opened the second-half scoring with a 42-yard field goal. Leverett has a strong leg, even hitting some 50 yarders in practice.
Another emerging weapon for the Tides is junior wide receiver Ben Stevens. He used his blazing speed to run away from defenders for a 15-yard touchdown, making it 24-14. Senior tailback Herbert added an 18-yard score in the third quarter, which ended with Gig Harbor on top 30-21.
The fourth quarter was dominated by the blue as the defense smothered the Cougars. Nic Fortney and Ben Stephens recorded sacks, Colton Oyster had an interception and seven tackles, and Matt Ehler chipped in with four solo tackles. Nash intercepted two passes on the defensive side, completing a fantastic night of football for the senior.
Landram threw two more touchdown passes to complete the scoring — a 38-yard strike to Stevens and a 12-yarder to Herbert.
Herbert accounted for all 139 of the Tides’ rushing yards with a touchdown on the ground in addition to two receptions for 70 yards and a score.
Landram finished 18-28 for 347 yards and four touchdowns against only one interception.
Stevens had his best game as a Tide with five catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Nash had five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. The speedy Carson Griffin, who has contributed for big plays during the season, had a 42-yard catch as well.
The Tides host Timberline (3-1, 2-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Roy Anderson Field.
Seahawks start fast, then go from there
The Peninsula Seahawks (3-1, 2-0) thrashed North Thurston 48-12 on Friday.
The Seahawks scored on their very first play. Quarterback Payton Knowles ran for 80 yards and a touchdown, putting Peninsula up 7-0 before fans had time to find their seats.
After a Rams punt, the Seahawks engineered an 8-play, 64-yard drive. Issac Smith cashed in from four yards out and the score was quickly 14-0.
Their next score was even quicker — the whole drive consisted of two plays, covering 45 yards in 30 seconds. Running back Brady Laybourn — back from an ankle injury — took it to the house with a 11-yard run and the Seahawks were in command at 20-0.
Two North Thurston scoring drives book-ended another score by Smith, this time a 25-yard run. The halftime score was Peninsula 27, North Thurston 12.
The Seahawks defense pitched a second-half shutout. For the game, the Peninsula defense collected two interceptions and recovered two fumbles, the second returned 20 yards by linebacker Landon Watson for a touchdown.
Senior Aiden Lester scored on a 1-yard run and Knowles hit wide receiver Dane Meddaugh for a 62-yard score to round out the scoring.
Knowles turned in an efficient night of quarterbacking. The dual threat finished with 111 yards rushing on only four attempts, leading the Seahawks on the ground. He was also 10-12 for 184 yards and a TD in the air. He accounted for 295 yards of Peninsula’s total of 449 yards of offense.
Peninsula faces River Ridge at South Sound Stadium in Lacey at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. River Ridge is winless at 0-3-1 after being walloped by Yelm, 68-7.