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Bullpen: What we learned from Peninsula’s 31-21 win over Gig Harbor in the Fish Bowl

Seahawks quarterback Burke Griffin (5) has gotten off to a fast start this season and guided Peninsula to a 31-21 Fish Bowl win.
Seahawks quarterback Burke Griffin (5) has gotten off to a fast start this season and guided Peninsula to a 31-21 Fish Bowl win. dmontesino@thenewstribune.com

Another Fish Bowl has come and gone. This year’s contest was a good one, with Peninsula coming out on top, 31-21, to win its second straight. Gig Harbor held a 7-3 lead at half, but Peninsula went on to score 28 points in the second half to secure the win.

Here are a few observations from the game:

The Fish Bowl is emotional

The coaches and players often try to downplay it before the game, but it’s clear the Fish Bowl isn’t like any other game. With thousands of fans in attendance, hometown bragging rights on the line and a week of anticipation and buildup leading up to the game, the players are pretty amped up when kickoff finally comes.

So it wasn’t overly surprising to see a sloppy first half with some predictable jitters. It also wasn’t surprising that coach Ross Filkins had to tell his team to calm down a bit during the intermission. Some games, teams come out flat and uninspired. During the Fish Bowl, the opposite is usually the issue.

Peninsula continues to be balanced, efficient and disciplined

The numbers: 221 rushing yards, 210 passing yards for the Seahawks in the Fish Bowl. That’s about as balanced as it gets. It’s a formula that has worked well for Filkins over the years and few programs do as good a job avoiding becoming one-dimensional as Peninsula does.

Peninsula is a league title contender

That may be looking ahead a bit too far, but with impressive wins over Stadium and Gig Harbor, Peninsula looks like a strong bet to be a contender for the Class 3A South Sound Conference crown. The Seahawks spread the ball around, run the ball well, play solid defense and are strong on special teams. Of course, we’re only one game into the league, so we’ll have to see how it shakes out, but I expect the Seahawks to be right in the thick of things later in the season.

Gig Harbor has some explosive playmakers

Starting with junior quarterback Ben Hollenbeck, who passed for 191 yards and three touchdowns and added 82 rushing yards on 16 carries. Hollenbeck took over during parts of the game with his legs, scrambling and rushing for first downs on several occasions.

Wide receivers Ryan King and Kellen Gregory added 167 yards and three touchdowns between the two of them, giving Hollenbeck plenty of options to work with in the passing attack.

It feels like Gig Harbor is close to turning the corner

There are some things to clean up, to be certain, but there’s plenty of potential with this Gig Harbor team. If the Tides are able to clean up the turnovers and be a bit more disciplined, this is a team that should give opponents plenty of trouble this season.

#FishBowlPrediction Twitter contest

Congrats to our #FishBowlPrediction winner David Stanford, the father of Peninsula kicker Ben Stanford.

Stanford will be taking home an insulated Gateway mug with a handle, perfect for hot or cold drinks anytime. Stanford’s prediction was: Peninsula 34, Gig Harbor 21. The actual final was Peninsula 31, Gig Harbor 21. Thanks to everyone who participated again in this year’s contest on Twitter.

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