Nathaniel Holcomb wasn’t being brash heading into Puyallup’s home game against Curtis on Friday night — the quarterback just knew all the weapons he had at his disposal.
This is, after all, most dangerous receiving core the Vikings have marched out in some time.
“I felt my receivers have the best hands in the league,” Holcomb said. “I feel I can throw to them on any play, and they’ll make the catch and get us big gains.”
Those big-play receivers outplayed Curtis on Friday night at Sparks Stadium as Puyallup routed their rivals, 49-24, as Holcomb (24 for 37) threw for six touchdowns with 427 passing yards.
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Three receivers broke the century mark, with Noah McFadden leading the way with three touchdowns on 11 catches for 158 yards. Darius Morrison had six receptions for 106 yards and three TDs, and Tallon Yerbury finished with six catches for 149 yards and a score.
“I threw a 15-yard, back-shoulder fade on that, and Darius was able to pull it in for the score,” said Holcomb, who connected with Morrisson on two separate back-shoulder fades in the end zone for scores. “He has the best hands I’ve seen. I feel I just need to get the ball around him and he’ll pull it in.”
The big plays to his big wideouts was just what Puyallup coach Gary Jeffers believed his offense was capable of before the season began.
But it’s always about the connection next door for the Vikings signal caller, the one that seems to outshine all else.
“I don’t believe there’s a quarterback and receiver (combo) who has thrown more passes together in our league than what me and Noah have thrown together,” Holcomb said.
Puyallup (1-0) will stay at Sparks Stadium this week, but will change sidelines as Emerald Ridge (0-1) comes into the valley.
Freshman QB dazzles in debut
Cascade Christian freshman quarterback Parker Johnson has had the same dream ever since he was 6 years old.
“I’ve always dreamed of wearing the blue and putting on the colors for a high school game,” Johnson said.
That dream became a reality on Saturday night at Sunset Chev Stadium, as Johnson led the Cougars to a 32-14 victory over rival Orting (0-1), becoming the first freshman to start for Cascade Christian since Jaelin Goldsmith in 2011.
“I asked the players before the game who was nervous, and Parker raised his hand,” Cascade Christian coach Randy Davis said. “If he was nervous, he certainly didn’t play like it.”
Johnson finished 8 for 15 with 135 yards and three touchdowns, including connecting with Austin Carder (four receptions for 96 yards) on touchdowns of 29 and 52 yards in first half.
“(Defenders) were kind of hanging on my shoulder a little bit, so I kind of leaned into him and made the one-handed,” said Carder of his 52-yard touchdown. “I told Parker in the huddle to just throw me a good ball, and he did.”
Carder also had two interceptions on defense in the win.
Cascade Christian (1-0) will have a tough matchup this Friday night when the Cougars travel to Lynden Christian (0-1).
Olympia 55, Emerald Ridge 33
Emerald Ridge found itself a victim to a three-score loss to the Bears after kicking off their inaugural meeting in the new 4A South Puget Sound League. The Jaguars will next face Puyallup (1-0) this Friday night at Sparks Stadium.
Bellarmine Prep 49, Rogers 0
The Lions (1-0) shut out the Rams in their first meeting in the 4A SPSL. Rogers (0-1) will look to right the ship when it plays Olympia this weekend.