Over the past eight weeks, Peninsula High football games have resembled a monster truck show, and the Seahawks’ opponents keep getting flattened like a bunch of station wagons.
Peninsula won its eighth consecutive game Friday night, owning both sides of the ball to claim a 45-0 victory over the Nathan Hale Raiders in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs at Roy Anderson Field.
The Seahawks (9-2) haven’t lost since a 28-21 setback to Union in Week 3, but they’ll likely get their toughest test next week, when they face the four-time defending state champion Bellevue Wolverines in the state quarterfinals.
“You would think that we might be trying to look forward to Bellevue, but we always look at the first test we have,” said Peninsula quarterback Austin Filkins, who threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
It will be Peninsula’s first trip to the state quarterfinals since 1992, when the Seahawks lost to Hazen, 16-14.
Peninsula hasn’t been challenged since the loss to Union, beating opponents by an average of 41 points per game.
The Seahawks started a bit slow against the Raiders, turning the ball over on downs before Nathan Hale marched 48 yards. But Hale’s Colin Davies missed a 38-yard field goal off the upright.
It was all Peninsula after that. Filkins capped a 13-play, 79-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run, and Peninsula had a 7-0 lead after one quarter.
At halftime, the margin grew to 21-0 as Jimmy Price and Conner Walch scored on short runs.
In the third quarter, Filkins threw TD passes to Kyle Self and Alex Weymiller to make it 35-0. The senior quarterback completed 14 of 18 throws.
“They were aware of all the deep stuff we have with Weymiller all the time,” Filkins said, “so we came in knowing we needed the underneath stuff. It worked well.”
Meanwhile, Peninsula’s defense kept Hale’s wing-T attack in check, collecting four interceptions and recovering two fumbles.
“We were ready to look the man in the mirror,” said senior linebacker Austin Wheat, who scored on a 7-yard interception return for the game’s final points. “We told ourselves to give everything we had, and just go full out.”