Gateway: Sports

What’s the key to Peninsula beating Mountain View in Saturday’s 3A state playoff game? Here’s the answer

Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin will look to lead the Seahawks to a win over Mountain View on Saturday in Vancouver.
Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin will look to lead the Seahawks to a win over Mountain View on Saturday in Vancouver. Courtesy

After Peninsula’s 45-27 win over Snohomish in the loser-out West Central District III matchup, the Seahawks are moving onto the Class 3A state playoffs. Peninsula’s opponent in the opening round is a familiar foe.

Peninsula will hit the road to face Mountain View in Vancouver at 7 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 11). Peninsula beat Mountain View in the opening round of the state playoffs last year, 17-0.

I caught up with sports reporter Paul Valencia to give fans an idea of what to expect from the Mighty Thunder.

GW: Mountain View posted an 8-2 record (with its only losses coming to Class 4A schools Union and Skyview) and a 5-0 record in the 3A Greater Saint Helens League this year. What makes the Mighty Thunder tick?

PV: Mountain View has a strong, experienced offensive line. The quarterback, Glen Perry Jr., was a running back last season. And he is the leading rusher on the team this season. It is a run-first offense, with the QB doing most of the running.

GW: In last week’s playoff game against Lake Washington, quarterback Glen Perry Jr. rushed for 243 yards and three touchdowns. How difficult is he for defenses to contain? How is he in the passing game?

PV: Mountain View is good at the misdirection. The quarterback fakes a handoff then finds a place to break free. ... While the run game is the key, the team did take a few games this season to work on the passing attack. Perry can get the job done there, but if Mountain View was “forced” to throw the ball, that could be an issue for the Thunder. Not that the Thunder can’t do it; it’s just that they rarely need to throw the ball.

Perry now has more than 1,100 yards rushing and 1,100 passing. He has one 300-yard passing game, but that was clearly a game that the team focused on throwing. Bread and butter remains the run game.

GW: Who are a few other impact players for Mountain View?

PV: Tyrell Hall got 10 carries last week, and a touchdown. Jack Mertens will see the ball from time to time, too. Mitchell Delmage was the leading receiver last week, but usually it is spread out. Makai Anderson has made a lot of big catches this season. He has 6 TD receptions.

Defensively, Mitchell Delmage (DB) and Alex Hegel (DL) and Andrew Gulliford (LB) were huge last week with stops. Joey Roberts, one of the top offensive linemen, got reps in at defense really for the first time all season and was dominant.

GW: Peninsula beat Mountain View in the playoffs last year, 17-0. I would imagine the players are hungry for some revenge?

PV: After the Week 10 victory, two players made a point to tell me how much they wanted this opportunity to play Peninsula again. A chance to make amends, they told me.

GW: If Peninsula were to pick up a win in Vancouver on Saturday night, what would the blueprint look like?

PV: I know next to nothing about Peninsula right now, but I would guess the key is getting a lead. (Yeah, I know that sounds stupid. Duh, get a lead.) But what I mean by that is if Mountain View has to start throwing to try to get back in the game, that’s a good thing for any opponent. Mountain View, with a second-half lead and that rushing attack, can shorten a game.