With rain pouring down around them in a rather mellow postgame celebration, the Gig Harbor Tides embraced the special feeling surrounding a perfect 9-0 regular season — just the second in the program’s history — and a second consecutive 4A Narrows title.
Yes, this explosive Tides offense built around quarterback Davis Alexander and a cadre of speedy, sure-handed wide receivers, was embracing Friday night’s 58-28 win over Bellarmine Prep, but in the back of each player’s mind was the looming challenge of the postseason.
“(The great regular season) means we’re starting something special,” said Alexander, who passed for four touchdowns and ran for three more. “We can preach Narrows League champs but next week is when it really matters.”
In perhaps its best all-around game of the season, third-ranked Gig Harbor (9-0) jumped out to a quick 28-7 lead after the first quarter before holding off No. 9 Bellarmine late to clinch the title in Purdy.
“We played pretty well offensively, especially early on,” Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler said. “We kind of bogged down late in the second quarter and then early in the third quarter, but we came out and changed the blocking scheme a little bit and then we kind of got going again.”
Alexander scored on the third play of the game for the Tides, ripping off a 79-yard touchdown run and directing his blockers with precision as he cut for the sideline. Bellarmine Prep answered the call, however, as tailback Ahmad Lewis ripped off a 72-yard run to tie the score at seven after the extra point.
But then the Tides put the accelerator down.
Alexander found senior Kyle Olson-Urbon on a slant across the middle for a 22-yard touchdown, and just three minutes later hooked up him again on a nearly identical play, this time a 61-yard strike.
After the Lions failed to get much going on offense, Alexander and the hurry-up Tides struck again, this time when Noah Samsen got free after the Lions defense bit on a pump fake and Alexander hit him in stride for a 57-yard score with 34 seconds left in the first quarter.
“It was big to start off hot. I think we started the first four or five drives without stalling,” Alexander said.
Samsen grabbed another score — a 16-yard strike from Alexander with six minutes left in the half — as Gig Harbor took a 35-7 lead at the half.
Bellarmine got as close as 35-21 late in the third quarter on Lewis’ 12-yard touchdown run, but the Gig Harbor defense got stops when it needed to and Alexander added two more rushing touchdowns in the second half. He finished with 307 yards passing and 176 yards rushing.
“When you think he’s done the best he can, he then does that,” Chantler said of his quarterback. “He pulls the miraculous out. Some of the balls he threw tonight were unbelievable, (and he) scrambled all over the place. He’s the real deal.”
Olson-Urbon caught nine passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and Samsen added six catches for 96 yards.
“It’s a springboard to the playoffs,” Chantler said. “We’re happy to win a league title, we’re happy to be 9-0, but all we’re focused on right now is moving on to the next week.”
Lewis finished with 207 yards rushing on 25 carries for Bellarmine (6-3).