The biggest hits of Peninsula senior Blake Cantu’s night came on offense, when he was seeking out contact and refusing to go down without a fight against Stadium as a running back. But his biggest play? That came on defense.
With under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Peninsula (2-0) needed a stop against Stadium (1-1), which was marching the ball down the field. A Peninsula defender tipped the ball in the air and Cantu saw it. He leapt and caught it for the interception, effectively sealing the 27-19 win for the Seahawks over the Tigers on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field.
With all those hits Cantu was taking on offense, he was admittedly a little tired.
“I was getting a little gassed,” he said. “I was cramping a little bit, just guzzling water on the sidelines, just trying to make it work and it did.”
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Luckily, he didn’t have to shoulder all of the offensive workload by himself. While Cantu finished with 82 yards on 12 carries and 38 yards receiving, teammate Kenny Easton tallied 167 yards on the ground and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Both running backs attacked the defense with an edge. Longtime Peninsula coach Ross Filkins wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’ve had so many guys year in and year out that run the ball for us,” Filkins said. “It’s something culturally we expect of our team. The coaches do a great job. The (running backs) are doing a great job and our offensive line is running downhill.”
Stadium never let Peninsula get too comfortable, showing its fast-paced offense could hold its own in Purdy.
Junior quarterback Hunter Wendling threw for nearly 180 yards on 22-for-30 passing, with one touchdown and two picks. Senior running back Jamon Chambers ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.
“That was an exceptionally talented team,” Filkins said. “That’s as talented a team as we’ll play at any point this season. It’s a very good job for our team, all the way across the board.”
Peninsula will face crosstown rival Gig Harbor next Friday in the annual Fish Bowl at Roy Anderson Field. The Seahawks hope to prepare for the Tides like they would against any other opponent.
“It’s just another game for us,” Cantu said. “We don’t want to stressful ourselves out, thinking it’s way too big of a game. We just do our jobs and do work.”