The Gig Harbor football team ushered in the Darrin Reeves era in dominating fashion by shutting out Spanaway Lake, 20-0, on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field.
Reeves stepped up from his defensive coordinator position with the Tides to take the head coaching spot this year and his defensive emphasis was apparent in the victory.
The Tides swarmed to the ball, put pressure on the quarterback and forced interceptions by blanketing receivers all over the field.
The Tides defense gang tackle a Spanaway Lake runner in a 20-0 victory. Bryce Carithers
Colton Oyster came up with the first big defensive play for the Tides with a leaping interception early in the game.
Gig Harbor’s returning all South Sound Conference quarterback Will Landram made the most of the gift by hitting a wide open Brady Altman, who waited for two slanting receivers to clear the zone before running up the sidelines on a deep fade route.
The brought the Tides to the two yard line before Landram scored on a QB sneak to give Gig Harbor a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.
The Gig Harbor defensive line, specifically tackle Nick Fortney were consistently bulldozing their way into the backfield, forcing the Sentinel quarterback to hurry his throws.
“I could tell (Spanaway’s quarterback) was getting frustrated,” Fortney said. “He was starting to try and get the ball off quicker, which led to two great interceptions. I felt we were collapsing the pocket and giving him nowhere to go.”
Late in the second quarter, one of those throws was intercepted by athletic all-league defensive back Christian Parrish who almost got the pick six but was tackled from behind.
The interception preserved the’ Tides 7-0 lead going into halftime.
Gig Harbor has a stingy defense but in addition they have plenty of offensive weapons. The Tides also have added a significant addition to the coaching staff on that side of the ball. Reeves hired former Washington State and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Devard Darling as a wide receiver coach. His knowledge and experience will surely be a positive for the Tides.
QB Will Landram and receiver Colin Montgomery celebrate Landram’s rushing TD in the first half of a 20-0 victory over Spanaway Lake. Bryce Carithers
Gig Harbor took possession of the ball in the second half and Landram threw a deep rainbow to running back Blaze Herbert, who was tackled around the 10-yard line. Tides kicker Boone Leverett, who has an extensive soccer background, hit a 30-yard field goal a few plays later for a 10-0 lead.
Gig Harbor has an explosive running back in Herbert, who makes decisive cuts and is more than willing to put his shoulder down to get extra yards. He provided the play of the night when he trucked a defender near the line of scrimmage and turned on the jets to the end zone for 45 yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
Leverett later added another intermediate field goal to round out the scoring.
Tides linebacker Reece Jennings puts a Sentinel blocker on his back in the physical contest. Bryce Carithers
The Tides gave Reeves a shutout in his first game as head coach. They stopped the Sentinels on fourth down twice in the fourth quarter to preserve the goose egg.
“I think it’s very important that we shut them out,” Fortney said. “It shows all the hard work and dedication we’ve put in during the off season has really paid off. We are a legit team and should not be taken lightly.”
The Tides play at Bonney Lake at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in their final tune-up before facing Peninsula in the Fish Bowl on Sept. 16.
A nation wide theme called “America Out” led students all over the nation to celebrate the USA on Labor Day Weekend. Bryce Carithers
We can’t do it without you. Public service news requires community support.
Sign up now for the Gig Harbor Now weekly newsflash to stay abreast of everything that’s happened in the past seven days.