The Gig Harbor High football team got back to its winning ways on Friday, beating Yelm, 37-29. The Tides led 37-14 at one point in the fourth quarter.
“We kind of struggled down the stretch, but it was nice to get the offense moving again,” Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler said. “We made some tweaks up front. The score doesn’t look like we played a strong defensive game, but I was happy with how the defense played. They were put in tough spots. Being a young team, we’re still working on finishing. We need to know how to finish and keep executing.”
Gig Harbor (2-2 overall, 1-1 SSC 3A) was still plagued by turnovers, committing four in the game, three of which were fumbles.
“The fact that we’re still putting up so many points with that many turnovers is kind of crazy,” Chantler said.
The Tides are averaging 28.8 points per game through the first four games of the season.
“With so many new guys out there, we knew there’d be some growing pains,” Chantler said. “We’ve had two high point total games, so we’ve been happy with the point total. We’ve got some work to do to be more sound fundamentally. If we’re scoring 28, 35 (points), we should be winning a lot of games. It’ll be up and down all year.”
Gig Harbor started its third different quarterback of the year, with sophomore Ben Hollenbeck getting the nod. Hollenbeck added a speed dimension for the Tides, running for 140 yards on 12 carries.
“We said, ‘Well, we’ll throw him out there,’” Chantler said. “He had a pretty good game. We really committed to the run. We were pleasantly surprised with how well he played in his first start.”
With three different quarterbacks getting playing time this season already for the Tides, the QB situation has become murky. Chantler said he has “no idea” who will get the start Friday (Sept. 30) on the road at Central Kitsap.
“We’re trying to figure it out as a staff,” Chantler said. “It wasn’t the plan last week to give Hollenbeck the whole game. … We compete every week. We have no idea if he’s our guy moving forward. Last week, he had the element of surprise working for him. He won’t have that this week. We’ll see if he’s still able to be effective.”
While the opportunities have been present, none of the QBs on the roster have taken the position and run away with it.
“Until we can get a guy that can consistently make good decisions and hold onto the ball, we’re going to keep rotating them,” Chantler said.
Regardless of how the quarterback situation shakes out, Gig Harbor was able to get back into the win column after a rough Fish Bowl.
“To us, (Fish Bowl) was just a league game,” Chantler said. “So there wasn’t some huge hangover effect. We knew dropping a league game was tough for playoff positioning. This one was kind of a must-win game. We don’t want to start 0-2, so our backs were kind of up against the wall.”