It was all Seahawks in this year’s Fish Bowl, as Peninsula beat crosstown rival Gig Harbor in this year’s big game, 33-7. Here are a few of my observations from the game.
Peninsula can, and will, run the ball effectively all season
The Seahawks’ rushing attack is just relentless. Peninsula’s running backs combined for 224 yards on the ground against Gig Harbor and wore the Tides down over the course of the night. While the return of senior quarterback Ryder Johnson meant Peninsula was able to stretch the field a bit more with the vertical passing game, the running game is the heart and soul of Peninsula’s offense. And given that Peninsula can run the ball so well, why change the recipe for success? Expect the Seahawks to keep feeding Kenny Easton, Blake Cantu and Co. all season long.
For Gig Harbor, it’s all about ball security
For the second time in three games, Gig Harbor struggled taking care of the ball, committing three turnovers against Peninsula, one of which was an interception in the red zone. Not only does turning the ball over in the red zone prevent any points from being scored, but it can also be demoralizing for teams.
“The QBs tried really hard, but struggled with our reads tonight,” said Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler. “A turnover in the red zone is a death sentence. … We’ve got to figure out a way to hold onto the ball a little better, especially in the red zone.”
What will the return of Peninsula QB Ryder Johnson mean?
Junior Burke Griffin was the starter for the first two games of the season, and has been solid. Griffin has a really good command of the offense, has good accuracy and is solid in the short and intermediate throws. Johnson, on the other hand, has the big arm that is enticing to the coaching staff, giving Peninsula the ability to stretch the field. I get the feeling both QBs bring different things to the table that the coaches like. Now, Ross Filkins will have an interesting decision. He can either pick one of the QBs and run with it, or employ a by-committee approach.
Peninsula has an excellent chance to win the Class 3A South Sound Conference
If Filkins was in the room with me as I’m typing this, I’m sure he’d tell me that I’m looking too far ahead. But while Filkins is focused on one game per week (“All we want to do is go 1-0 (every week)”), I have the luxury of looking at the bigger picture. Peninsula already looks like the best team in the SSC this season, and I would expect the Seahawks to win the league. Winning Fish Bowl got Peninsula off to a 1-0 start in conference and the Seahawks are flying high right now.
#FishBowlPrediction contest winner
Thanks to everyone who participated in the third annual #FishBowlPrediction contest on Twitter. My prediction of Peninsula 34, Gig Harbor 31 was obviously a little bit off. Our winner was Peninsula High student Luca Mira, who predicted a final score of Peninsula 31, Gig Harbor 10.
“I chose the score because I knew that Gig Harbor had a lot of key players that had graduated in 2016,” Mira said. “I figured the Tides were going to have to find new players to fill the slots of the former seniors. I also know a lot of the guys on Peninsula’s football team that wanted that game very badly, which is why I chose a good difference between the scores. I knew the Peninsula seniors weren’t going to take a loss for their last Fish Bowl.”