Nathaniel Holcomb couldn’t help but think about what happened last week in Puyallup High’s loss to Emerald Ridge.
With 33 seconds left to play, Holcomb threw an untimely interception that was returned for a touchdown, lifting the Jaguars to a come-from-behind win at Sparks Stadium.
It was one of the most bitter moments of Holcomb’s prep career, he said.
“After that game it hit me,” Holcomb said. “As the quarterback, all eyes are on you, and when you don’t come in the clutch, it sticks in my mind.”
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On Friday, one week later, Holcomb was 19-for-32 passing for 383 yards and six touchdowns against Puyallup’s other, more tenured crosstown rival, Rogers, in the Vikings’ 49-7 victory at Sparks Stadium.
“I came out and just played to the best of my potential,” said Holcomb, who now has 15 passing touchdowns through the first three games of the season.
Puyallup was without coach Gary Jeffers for the second consecutive week. He had sent a letter to players and parents saying he’s dealing with a “family emergency.” No other details have been provided and offensive coordinator Ray Brassard has taken over as interim coach.
Puyallup (2-1) got in a groove when Holcomb found his favorite target, Noah McFadden (seven receptions for 111 yards), on a slant, and the senior receiver took it 38 yards to move the Vikings into Rogers’ territory. Four plays later, Holcomb found McFadden again, this time for a 12-yard touchdown strike.
“We couldn’t get anything going for the first 10 minutes of the game,” Brassard said. “Finally, we got that one little out route, got a little bit of confidence and it seemed like the defense couldn’t stop Nathaniel after that.”
After Rogers (0-3) fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Holcomb hit a streaking Tallon Yerbury for a 15-yard touchdown to give Puyallup a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Holcomb found Darius Morrison for a 40-yard touchdown on his next throw, giving the senior quarterback three consecutive touchdowns on as many throws.
“I was able to find a little bit of a rhythm after my first catch, and something just clicked,” said Morrison, who finished with five receptions for 113 yards, including scores of 40 and 15 yards.
Holcomb threw two touchdowns in the third quarter, hooking up with Yerburry (20 yards) and Morrison (15) again.
Puyallup will hit the road for the first time this season on Friday (Sept. 23) as the Vikings head to Port Orchard to take on South Kitsap (0-3, 0-2).
Sumner 42, Curtis 0
University of Washington commit Connor Wedington rushed for 273 yards and five touchdowns in the Spartans’ win at Sunset Chev Stadium. Any momentum fifth-ranked Sumner (3-0) has now is huge as the Spartans head into one of the school’s biggest games ever: a matchup with third-ranked Graham-Kapowsin (3-0) for Root Sports game of the week, which will be televised at 7 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 22).
Graham-Kapowsin 52, Emerald Ridge 6
Emerald Ridge’s Andrew Boston opened up the scoring, hauling in a 50-yard pass from Gage Hansen, but after that, it was all G-K as the No. 3 Eagles found the end zone five times on the ground.
Bonney Lake 19, Mount Tahoma 18
Trailing much of the game, Bonney Lake scored the game-winning score on Jason Day’s touchdown run with just over six minutes to go, lifting the Panthers to a 19-18 victory over host Mount Tahoma in both schools’ 3A PCL opener in Tacoma.
Day’s 26-yard scamper right up the gut capped a 70-yard drive in 85 seconds at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
And on the Thunderbirds’ final drive, Braydon Tressler and Roman Carey knocked away passes for the Panthers — with Carey’s deflection sealing up a victory.
Last week, Bonney Lake scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final seconds to trip up Timberline, 36-33.
“It was a rough one,” Bonney Lake coach Jason Silbaugh said. “But I believe in them so much.”
Gabe Faborito led the Panthers with 167 rushing yards on 28 carries. Day chipped in with another 60 yards.
Mount Tahoma was held to 70 total yards.