The Gig Harbor football team received a lot of hype heading into the 2015 season, garnering a No. 2 Class 4A ranking from The News Tribune, among others. On Friday night in the Fish Bowl against rival Peninsula, the Tides showed exactly why they’re considered strong favorites to contend for the Class 4A state title.
Gig Harbor controlled the game from start to finish on both sides of the ball, beating the Seahawks, 40-14, in front of thousands of fans at Roy Anderson Field. For senior quarterback Davis Alexander, it felt good to live up to the hype in the first game of the season.
“Of course, you always want to come out and prove your point,” Alexander said. “But we’re just getting started. It doesn’t mean anything yet.”
Alexander finished 17 for 26, throwing for two touchdowns and 251 passing yards. He also added 81 yards on the ground and another touchdown. Senior running back Adrian Valona did his part as well, racking up 86 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns behind an impressive Gig Harbor offensive line.
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As usual, Valona deflected credit to the offensive line.
“They were perfect, absolutely perfect,” Valona said. “No mistakes, the communication was perfect. Davis wasn’t sacked once. I was barely touched in the backfield. Absolutely perfect job.”
Senior left tackle Sean Reemts said he was happy with the play of the offensive line.
“We got into a little slow start in the beginning, but we started getting into the groove of it and really got it going,” Reemts said. “We were solid.”
Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler now boasts a 3-1 record in the Fish Bowl. This year’s team is likely his best yet, with a dominant, physical, defense, and an offense with weapons everywhere. In addition to Alexander and Valona, Gig Harbor (1-0 overall) features four, speedy wide receivers who can make big plays at any time.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Chantler said. “As a coach, you feel like you’re always calling the right play.”
Wide reciever Noah Samsen, the 2014 Narrows 4A offensive MVP, didn’t even touch the ball until the third quarter. But senior wideout Cory Condon was happy to pick up the slack, racking up a huge game, with nine catches for 123 yards.
“Cory Condon is a good receiver, but gets overshadowed by (the other receivers),” Chantler said. “He blows up tonight and has a huge game. We’ve got a lot of weapons. It makes me look like I’m a pretty smart guy. It’s a good recipe for success.”
▪ Gig Harbor now has a 21-16 edge over Peninsula in the all-time Fish Bowl series.
▪ Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler is now 3-1 in the Fish Bowl.
▪ 2014 Narrows 4A offensive MVP Noah Samsen didn’t get his first reception until the third quarter, but it was a big one: A 50-yard touchdown reception down the far-right sideline.
▪ Peninsula junior QB Ryder Johnson had a tough debut, going 8 for 18 for 50 yards through the air.
▪ Peninsula employed a by-committee approach for the running back spot. Junior Kenny Easton and junior Cameron Lewis split carries, finishing with 42 and 43 yards, respectively.
Peninsula 0 6 0 8—14
Gig Harbor 6 20 14 0—40