Tides look to end Fish Bowl losing streak Friday night

Posted on September 16th, 2021 By:

The stage is set for one the most — if not the most — exciting football nights in the Gig Harbor area Friday when Peninsula hosts Gig Harbor in the annual Fish Bowl game.

Gig Harbor Will Landram tosses a pass during practice

Junior quarterback Will Landram has led Gig Harbor to two impressive opening-season wins. Kevin Doucette / Gig Harbor Now

“I am really looking forward to just returning to the great community rivalry,” Peninsula head coach Ross Filkins said. “This is probably the best crosstown rivalry in the state, and it brings out the best in the community, and I am just excited to have everyone back and just for the whole experience.”

Peninsula has won five straight Fish Bowls, including a decisive 36-12 victory last season in which the Seahawks put up 26 points in the first half. This season, the Tides hope to end the losing streak.

“We will have to get off to a hot start,” said Tides junior quarterback Will Landram. “We cannot start out flat against those guys.”

Peninsula quarterback races around left end during a season-opening loss to Bellevue.

Peninsula quarterback Jake Bice races around left end during a season-opening loss to Bellevue. Kevin Doucette / Gig Harbor Now

Both the Tides and Seahawks are coming off impressive wins. Gig Harbor improved to 2-0 with a convincing 39-19 non-league victory against Bonney Lake Friday at Roy Anderson Field. Landram threw for four touchdowns, including bombs of 55 and 47 yards to Washington State University commit Hudson Cedarland.

“Certainly we will have to know where he is,” Filkins said of Cedarland, who is the 14th-ranked player in the state. “But they have a lot of other good players … We know we have our work cut out for us.”

The Seahawks are also coming off an impressive non-league win. On Thursday, they blanked Mount Rainer 41-0 as Ethan Hogan rushed for three touchdowns.

A Gig Harbor player gets a few blocks while running the ball in practice.

Gig Harbor practices in preparation for the annual Fish Bowl against crosstown rival Peninsula. Kevin Doucette / Gig Harbor Now

Gig Harbor head coach George Fairhart said in big games like this, it will come down to which team can limit its errors.

“We know Peninsula is a solid team that will not make many mistakes,” he said. “If we want to keep up with them, we are going to have to do the same. How we react after a turnover could determine the outcome.”

While the Seahawks are just 1-1, their loss came to second-ranked Bellevue to open the season. Currently Peninsula is ranked 12th among 3A schools and Gig Harbor is 24th.

Friday night’s rivalry duel will display two different styles of offenses. The Tides have been successful through the air, relying on the impressive arm of Landram, while the Tides have been a run-first unit and have found success on the ground.

Fairhart said he is looking forward to having the fans, the band, the student body and the stadium full on both sides of the field come Friday night. The Fish Bowl is special, he added, because not everyone follows the entire season, but everybody knows about the Fish Bowl.

Gig Harbor linebacker/wide receiver Hudson Cedarland practices on the Tides' field.

Hudson Cedarland is a top linebacker recruit to Washington State University and a big receiving threat for the Tides. Kevin Doucette / Gig Harbor Now

“To me, football games are not just a game, but with so many different things going on it is a whole event,” he said.

The Fish Bowl certainly is an event, and Roy Anderson Field is expected to be packed Friday night. The mask mandate is in effect in Pierce County so remember to follow the rules and arrive early.

Fairhart said the Fish Bowl is a great rivalry that is important to a lot of people. And while outside of the lines the athletes may be friends, on the field this is a clash in which each team has intimate knowledge of each other and a game each team always wants to win.

“The Fish Bowl is a benchmark for both Gig Harbor and Peninsula every season,” Cedarland said. “Winning that game would be incredible, especially with the five-year drought we have right now. I think this is our year to do it.”