Gateway: Sports

Gig Harbor thwarts Spanaway Lake’s 2-point conversion for dramatic win

Gig Harbor's Ben Hollenbeck, pictured here in a game against Shelton last season, had an explosive game at quarterback against Spanaway Lake for the Tides, accounting for three touchdowns.
Gig Harbor's Ben Hollenbeck, pictured here in a game against Shelton last season, had an explosive game at quarterback against Spanaway Lake for the Tides, accounting for three touchdowns. Staff file

Down one point with no time left on the clock against Gig Harbor on Friday night, Spanaway Lake decided to go for the win at Roy Anderson Field.

The Sentinels lined up for a two-point conversion, trailing 34-33.

The pass was swatted away. Tides win.

“They were going to throw the ball, we knew that,” said Gig Harbor coach George Fairhart. “We tried to bring a little bit of pressure to hurry the throw. We knocked it down. I’m pleased with the outcome.”

It was a thrilling win for a Gig Harbor team that had no desire to start the season off with an 0-2 record. The win puts Gig Harbor at 1-1 overall heading into this week’s Fish Bowl game against Peninsula.

“It was fun,” Fairhart said. “Our kids don’t quit. They haven’t quit the last two games. I don’t know how many times we were behind. We battled back. It was really a back and forth game. Our kids hung in there.”

Starting quarterback Nick Yockey bruised his knee and came out at halftime. With quarterback Ryan Baerg also injured, Fairhart turned to junior quarterback Ben Hollenbeck, who played part of last season at the position.

Hollenbeck turned in an impressive performance, going 4-for-6 for 116 yards and two touchdowns and adding 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground on seven carries.

“Ben is very dynamic,” Fairhart said. “He can run and throw. He can do a lot of different things.”

Gig Harbor junior receiver Ryan King led the Tides with 93 yards and a touchdown receiving on four receptions, while Jurrian Hering caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

“King had a bunch of nice catch and runs and Jurrian had some long, deep routes,” Fairhart said. “Both of those kids are very fast, very quick. We have some good skill kids, some good speed.”

The win gives Gig Harbor an important confidence boost heading into the Fish Bowl this week against a strong Peninsula side.

“We needed a good win,” Fairhart said. “Our kids have been working hard, doing a lot of good things. The experience of playing at home was good. The new turf is really nice and the crowd was great.”

Fairhart knows the Tides will have their hands full with the Seahawks on Friday night.

“Peninsula is really good,” Fairhart said. “It’s a big game. We’re going to embrace it — we’re not going to try to act like it’s just another game. It’s an important game, we look forward to that. At the same time, we’re trying to prepare for the game and come Friday night, we’re just going to try to execute. We’re not going to shy away from the importance or how big of a game it is for both teams.”

It’s also the first league game of the season for both teams in the Class 3A South Sound Conference and the result could have important implications later in the season.

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