On a night that was set up nicely for a revenge scenario — Peninsula could win the Class 3A South Sound Conference over last year’s conference winner, Timberline, on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field — everything went wrong for the Seahawks.
At the end of the first half, Peninsula had as many passing yards as it did turnovers: four. Timberline took advantage of the good field position and the Seahawks had little luck stopping the Blazers’ rushing attack, as Timberline took a 37-point lead into the half.
The bleeding stopped slightly in the second half, but it was too little, too late, as Timberline (9-0 overall, 7-0 South Sound Conference 3A) came out on top, 51-14, beating Peninsula for the league title for the second year in a row.
A tough pill to swallow — forgive Peninsula coach Ross Filkins for not even wanting to.
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“I’m not going to (swallow the pill),” Filkins said. “I’m going to throw it up right now and then after feeling better, we’re going to flush it and move on.”
Turning the ball over isn’t a winning recipe in any game, but especially not a team as physical and tough as Timberline.
“When you’re playing one of the better teams in the state for the league title, those are things you cannot do,” Filkins said. “We’ll learn from it, grow as a team and move on.”
Filkins acknowledged Timberline’s physicality, especially at the line of scrimmage.
“They’re the No. 1 defense in the state for a reason,” Filkins said. “But we were able to run the ball effectively. In the passing game, we had a lot of stuff there that was left on the table. Really uncharacteristic of us. We’re extremely disappointed. Hats off to Timberline, they’re a good team. Nobody’s perfect — we sure weren’t tonight.”
Timberline senior running back Michael Barnes paced the Blazers with 136 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Timberline’s bruising fullbacks Jamin Faalogo and Mason Simeta scored two touchdowns apiece. Timberline quarterback Hunter Campau added two more scores on the ground.
One of the lone bright spots on the evening for the Seahawks was the hard-nosed running of junior running back Braeden Potter. Potter tallied 69 yards on 11 carries and added 36 yards and a touchdown on two catches. He also recovered an onside kick.
“I like his effort,” Filkins said of his junior. “He’s exemplary of what we try to do in our program. I think we need to make sure that we’re getting that kind of effort from everybody on every night.”
Senior Alex Beloate provided perhaps the game’s most explosive play for the Seahawks — an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the third quarter.
Despite the loss, Peninsula (6-3, 5-2) still qualified for the Class 3A district playoffs. Peninsula will host Snohomish (5-4) in a loser-out West Central District III playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 3) at Roy Anderson Field. The winner will be the West Central District III’s No. 4 seed in the opening round of the state playoffs.
“We’re 0-0 (now),” Filkins said. “We haven’t won a game all week. It’s already over. We’re moving on to the next thing. We’re 0-0 like everyone else that’s going to the playoffs. We’ve got to go get a win.”
GIG HARBOR SNEAKS INTO DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
Gig Harbor needed to beat North Thurston on Friday, and get a little help from South Sound Conference peer Yelm High School. The Tides held up their end of the bargain, crushing North Thurston, 50-21, on the road.
And Yelm knocked off Central Kitsap, 35-28, knotting the Tides and Cougars up in the standings at 4-3. Luckily, Gig Harbor owns the tiebreaker, having already beaten Central Kitsap earlier this year.
With Friday’s results, Gig Harbor takes the fourth and final seed from the SSC 3A and will hit the road for a loser-out West Central District III playoff game against Edmonds-Woodway (8-1) at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 3) at Edmonds Stadium. The winner of the game will be the No. 2 seed into the state playoffs.
Peninsula: Griffin 5/14, TD, 3 INT.
Timberline: Campau 4/6, INT.
Peninsula: Potter 11/69; McDonald 2/16; Beloate 1/-2.
Timberline: Barnes 16/136; Anderson 7/30; Spiegner 4/26; Edmond 3/26; Faalogo 4/13, 2 TD; Simeta 2/2, 2TD.
Peninsula: Potter 2/36, TD; Bass 1/7; McKinney 1/5; Keim 1/4.
Timberline: Graham 1/28; Anderson 1/22; Roundsley 1/9; Steepy 1/8.