Peninsula, Gig Harbor find out first-round football foes

Posted on November 3rd, 2021 By:

Gig Harbor travels across the state while Peninsula plays at home Saturday in the opening round of the state 3A football playoffs.

The Seahawks, as the South Sound Conference’s second seed, will entertain Edmonds-Woodway in a 7 p.m. contest at Roy Anderson Field. The league’s third-seeded Tides depart Friday for a 1 p.m. contest Saturday against Mount Spokane at Union Stadium north of Spokane.

Gig Harbor's Colin Montgomery hauls in a pass from Will Landram.

Gig Harbor’s Colin Montgomery hauls in a pass during the Fish Bowl. The Tides grabbed a 28-0 halftime lead only to fall in overtime, 35-28. Both have reached the state playoffs. Photo courtesy of Ed Johnson

Peninsula finished the season 6-1 and unbeaten in league, dropping only its season opener to top-ranked Bellevue. The Seahawks are ranked 10th in the state. Edmonds-Woodway (4-3, 4-1 Wesco 3A South) lost its first three games, but reversed course with four consecutive wins. The Warriors are rated as the state’s 27th-strongest 3A team.

The fine regular season rewarded Peninsula with a playoff contest on its familiar turf in front of its own fans.

“Our players have done a great job of showing up at practice with a great attitude,” said Seahawks coach Ross Filkins. “They improved tremendously from Week 1 to Week 10. That earned them a home (playoff) game. It’s a testament to their hard work. It’s an exciting time for our community and a great opportunity for us.”

Edmonds-Woodway is a consistently strong program under 26th-year head coach John Gradwohl, who has won more than 150 games. The same can be said for Peninsula, where Filkins has won 167 games, also in 26 seasons.

“They do a really good job year in and year out,” said Filkins. “They’ll be well prepared. We know we have our work cut out for us, but we have a good plan. It’ll be a big challenge. They’ve got some really good athletes and their program is accustomed to the postseason. We know they’ll be prepared and we’ll be prepared, so we look forward to a great game.”

Mount Spokane (6-2) finished as the top 3A team in the Greater Spokane 2A/3A/4A League. It’s only two losses came at the hands of strong 4A teams — 21-19 to Shadle Park (7-2) and 28-20 to Gonzaga Prep (9-0). The Wildcats, who outscored opponents 274-86, are ranked No. 18 among 3A teams; Gig Harbor (4-3, 6-3) is 20th.

“They have a strong program and play in a brand new stadium,” said Tides coach George Fairhart, who, speaking of coaching wins, has about 200. “Our team has been busy preparing for a long road trip against a top-notch program … just how we like it.”

Winners advance to the quarterfinals; losers are done.