Week five of the high school football season is in the books. Peninsula won an overtime thriller over league rival Timberline, 28-27 and Gig Harbor trounced North Thurston, 50-8. Here are four takeaways from week five’s action.
Peninsula breaks Timberline streak
It took three years but Peninsula finally has its win over Timberline.
Since the Class 3A South Sound Conference was created for the 2016-17 season, Timberline has won the league both years, and has been a thorn in the side of Ross Filkins’ Seahawks. The Blazers edged the Seahawks, 7-3 in 2016 and last year, came out with a 51-14 win.
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Except for a forfeit to Yelm in 2016 due to an ineligible player violation, Timberline hadn’t lost a conference game.
“They’ve been a fantastic program the last three years,” Seahawks quarterback Burke Griffin said. “They got the best of us the last two years and they’re great again this year.
“We try not to remember last year, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought back to the league championship game last year. I had Timberline circled, for sure. It feels good to get a win.”
The win puts Peninsula in the driver’s seat for the conference title, although it won’t be easy.
At 3-0, Peninsula is the league’s last remaining undefeated team. Timberline, Capital, Central Kitsap and Yelm are all 2-1 while Gig Harbor is still in contention, with a 1-2 record, and having already played Timberline and Yelm.
Tides’ Hering does it all in win
Gig Harbor clobbered North Thurston at home and Jurrian Hering was a big reason why. He racked up 274 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns — two on offense, one on special teams and one on defense.
He returned the game’s opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, caught two passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, and returned a recovered fumble for 82 yards for a TD.
“I definitely wanted to go out and show out,” Hering said. “Up to this point, we’ve struggled offensively, scoring 20 points in two games. I wanted to do what I could to help us get this offense moving. I just tried to play loose, relaxed.”
Every play matters
With Timberline down to the Peninsula 9-yard line with 13 seconds left, Peninsula outside linebacker Ben Goins made what was perhaps the play of the game, in a game full of big plays.
He sprinted into the backfield and sacked Timberline Hunter Campau for an 11-yard loss. That pushed Timberline kicker Mason Joubert back for a 38-yard attempt, and what could have been the game-winning field goal was blocked by defensive lineman Graham Schmidt.
“Everything is a team effort,” Goins said of his sack. “I got the call from my coach and I just did it. I trusted everyone, trusted my read to make that play. The coaches set me up perfectly for that. All credit goes to my teammates. I thought I caught him off guard. That QB is athletic, so you have to make the tackle clean.”
The play epitomized Peninsula football, Goins said.
“It’s Purdy grit,” Goins said. “Peninsula football is something special. Always fighting, never giving up on the play, no matter what the situation is. Make the play, always fight hard.”
Goins earned the Filkins seal of approval, too.
“That was a great open-field tackle on a really dynamic player,” Filkins said. “That’s Seahawk football. That’s 11 guys playing as one. Everyone playing without fear, playing loose and having fun.”
Gig Harbor is finally healthy
Hering was fully healthy for the first time all season, and it showed. Wide receiver and defensive back Ryan King was also healthy, after dealing with a nagging ankle injury which has slowed him down the last few weeks.
Perhaps most importantly, the entire offensive line was intact for the first time all season. All-league defensive lineman Malik Livingston made his return, and center Jake Flynn returned to action, allowing Brenden Rivera to move back to left guard.
“It’s a huge difference maker for us,” Tides coach George Fairhart said. “We know we can run the ball behind those guys. We did have some kids step up and get quite a bit of experience, while we had a couple guys out. We’re coming together right now.”
It’s at a good time. With a crucial game on the road this week against Capital, the Tides will need to be at full strength to push for one of the league’s four playoff spots.