Usually when you’re talking about big single-game rushing performances by Timberline High School football players, the conversation begins and ends with Jonathan Stewart.
Well, the Blazers’ former all-state running back, who currently plays for the Carolina Panthers, finally has some company.
Anthony Hathaway ran for 281 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries to help the Blazers defeat visiting Gig Harbor, 42-17, in a Class 3A South Sound Conference matchup Friday at South Sound Stadium.
Hathaway, a senior, scored on runs of 9, 20 and 73 yards as Timberline (5-2, 4-1 3A SSC) rallied from a forfeit earlier in the week.
“I think I just play well under pressure. I was sick all week. I was throwing up right before the game,” Hathaway said. “It was a tough week for us. We had to forfeit a game. We needed to step it up tonight and I think we did that. We overcame a lot and I think that shows we have something special here this season.”
Hathaway was not alone, however, in running through the Tides (4-3, 3-2). Michael Barnes finished with 116 yards and a score on nine carries as the Blazers finished with 469 yards on the ground.
On Wednesday, Timberline saw its unblemished conference mark take a hit after the Blazers were forced to forfeit their victory over Yelm due to a self-reported eligibility infraction. The violation stemmed from a two-way starter who had an expired physical playing in Timberline’s 21-7 victory over the Tornados on Oct. 7.
The forfeit bumped the Blazers from atop the 3A SSC standings — where they were joined by unbeaten Peninsula — and into a second-place tie with Gig Harbor.
Hathaway and Timberline’s punishing ground game made sure the tie didn’t last for very long.
The Blazers dominated a rain-soaked first half as they took a 17-3 lead into the intermission.
Hathaway crossed the century mark in the first quarter, carrying the ball 12 times for 109 yards, but his fumble on the Blazers’ opening possession and a missed 22-yard field goal on Timberline’s second series kept the game scoreless.
You could credit the elements for the contest’s first points. Gig Harbor’s Logan Kinney shanked a punt in the driving rain, and the ball blooped 5 yards into the hands of a streaking Tyrin Edmond, who grabbed the ball in stride and raced 25 yards for a touchdown.
Things didn’t get much better for the Tides on their next play as Mason Simeta picked off Ben Hollenbeck’s pass, returning it to midfield.
Hathaway took over from there, running the ball at the heart of the Gig Harbor defense on multiple plays before scoring on a 9-yard run 30 seconds into the second quarter to push the Blazers’ lead to 14-0.
A second costly Tides turnover happened when Timberline’s Alizen Wilson recovered a mishandled snap at the Gig Harbor 38 with two minutes remaining in the first half .
Madison Douglas made up for his early miss by nailing a 29-yard field goal, increasing the Blazers’ cushion to 17-0.
The Tides found a little life after Hollenbeck raced 57 yards in the closing seconds of the half to set up Kinney’s 35-yard field goal.
A crazy third quarter saw the teams combine for five touchdowns on five consecutive plays in 69 seconds.
Hathway opened up the scoring barrage with a 20-yard touchdown run. The Tides answered with Zack Davis hauling in a 73-yard scoring strike from Hollenbeck.
Hathaway returned the favor, racing 73 yards for his third score, before Gig Harbor’s Mark Kimball returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Barnes then got into the mix, scoring on his own 73-yard run to cap the offensive flurry and give the Blazers a 35-17 lead.
T – Tyrin Edmond 25 punt return (Madison Douglas kick)
T – Anthony Hathaway 9 run (Douglas kick)
T – Douglas 26 field goal
GH – Logan Kinney 35 field goal
T – Hathaway 20 run (kick failed)
GH – Zack Davis 73 pass from Ben Hollenbeck (Kinney kick)
T – Hathaway 73 run (kick blocked)
GH – Mark Kimball 85 kickoff return (Kinney kick)
T – Michael Barnes 73 run (kick failed)
T – Jacob Henning 2 run (Dougals kick)