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With explosive players on both sides, expect plenty of scoring in this year’s Fish Bowl

Peninsula fans and Gig Harbor High fans alike will undoubtedly be ready for the Fish Bowl rivalry game on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field.
Peninsula fans and Gig Harbor High fans alike will undoubtedly be ready for the Fish Bowl rivalry game on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field. jbessex@gateline.com

The big game is finally here. It’s Fish Bowl week.

The 39th edition of the Fish Bowl football game will be played on Friday (Sept. 15) at Roy Anderson Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

We will once again be hosting a Twitter contest for the big game. Submit your score prediction on Twitter using the hashtag #FishBowlPrediction. The closest score prediction — with the correct winner chosen — will win a prize.

Gig Harbor leads the overall series, 21-17. Peninsula won last year’s game, 33-7, snapping Gig Harbor’s three-game win streak in the series from 2013 to 2015.

Both teams are 1-1 entering the week. Gig Harbor dropped its season opener to Squalicum, 31-15, and bounced back last week against Spanaway Lake, hanging on for a dramatic 34-33 win.

Peninsula dropped its season opener to Mt. Spokane, 23-6, and bounced back for a wild win over Stadium, 41-38.

Gig Harbor junior Ben Hollenbeck turned in an electric performance at quarterback last week, after taking over at half for injured starter Nick Yockey. With talented and speedy players at the skill positions, Gig Harbor will have no shortage of big play options in this year’s game. Receivers Ryan King and Jurrian Hering both put up strong performances against Spanaway Lake.

With new coach George Fairhart in the fold, the Tides will look to get off on the right foot in the first league game of the season in the Class 3A South Sound Conference.

After a disappointing opener, Peninsula found its footing against a talented and ultra-athletic Stadium Tigers squad last week at Stadium Bowl. Quarterback Burke Griffin looks poised and mature and the Seahawks spread the ball around to a bevy of receivers.

Running backs Braeden Potter and Michael Foreman bring toughness and vision to the position. Peninsula’s defense and offensive and defensive lines are still working to find their footing, but the Seahawks are playing well heading into the Fish Bowl.

I think Gig Harbor is a team on the rise, but with a new coaching staff, things take time. The quarterback position is still shaking itself out and the Tides still have some work to do on defense.

Peninsula doesn’t look quite as strong as it did a year ago, with a senior-laden roster, but the Seahawks are still pretty good and have been tested against two good teams early in the season. With an improved Griffin leading the way, I like the Seahawks to start a winning streak in the Fish Bowl.

Gig Harbor gets some big plays, but Peninsula pulls away in the second half.

Prediction: Peninsula 38, Gig Harbor 21

Want to know more about the rivalry between Gig Harbor and Peninsula and the long history behind Fish Bowl? Here’s a story The News Tribune’s Kenny Via wrote last year about the programs.

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