For much of the first half Friday, neither Gig Harbor High School nor Peninsula appeared capable of denting the other team’s defense.
Then came the final five minutes of the second quarter. Peninsula’s offense came to life, fueling a three-touchdown outburst to help the Seahawks to a 37-6 victory over rival Gig Harbor in the 34th annual Fish Bowl at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
“We had a good week of preparation coming in, and we knew there were some things that we wanted to take advantage of,” Seahawks coach Ross Filkins said.
“It was frustrating initially because we wanted to get off to a fast start and play some Seahawk football right out of the gate. But Gig Harbor’s a good team, and they were doing some creative things, and it took us a while to kind of sort those out.”
Leading 3-0, Peninsula broke it open.
A short punt gave the Seahawks (1-1) the ball in Tides territory, and quarterback Austin Filkins finished the drive with a 3-yard TD run on fourth-and-goal.
Gig Harbor (0-2) was forced to punt on its next series, and it took only one play for Filkins to get his team back into the end zone.
Will Hopkins hauled in a deep pass down the right sideline and shook off a tackle for a 58-yard score.
“It was a last-second call,” Hopkins said. “They put me in, and they just said, ‘Run fast,’ so I ran fast.”
With 44 seconds left in the half, Ben Smith blocked a Tides’ punt, and Jimmy Price recovered in the end zone for a 24-0 lead.
“We were trying to block that one,” Price said. “We were trying to get some momentum going our way, and we just went for it.”
Gig Harbor leads the all-time series 18-16, but Peninsula has won the past two outings handily, following a 48-9 triumph last season.
“We didn’t play well, we didn’t execute, we didn’t match their intensity,” first-year Tides coach Aaron Chantler said. “There’s not a whole lot of answers right now.”