When Timberline High School blew out Peninsula last season in the Class 3A South Sound Conference title game, the loss didn’t sit well with the Seahawks.
And when some Blazers players trotted out onto the field with a WWE-style title belt after the lopsided win, well, the Seahawks’ players didn’t appreciate that too much, either.
Timberline beat Peninsula the past two years to secure the league title. Enough was enough, apparently, as the Seahawks topped the Blazers in this year’s matchup, 28-27, in an overtime thriller at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
“The way they walked up on our field thinking it was theirs, we had to show them what’s up,” Peninsula defensive end Isaiah Juvik said. “When they brought that WWE wrestling belt out last year and were showing it off and stuff, that (ticked) us all off. Tonight, we showed them that’s not acceptable here.”
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Judging from the first half, it looked like those in attendance were in for a shootout, with the score knotted up at 21-21 going into halftime.
Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown, and rushed 23 times for 75 yards and three touchdowns, opened the scoring with a 1-yard rush in the first quarter.
Timberline quarterback Hunter Campau, who completed 19 of 28 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed 25 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns, quickly answered, scrambling for a 14-yard score toward the end of the first quarter.
Both teams scored two touchdowns apiece in the second quarter.
Griffin had another 1-yard rushing touchdown, and on one of the game’s most explosive plays, found running back Braeden Potter left alone in space for a 79-yard touchdown.
Campau, meanwhile, rushed for a 9-yard score and found tight end Trevor Joubert for a 13-yard touchdown, tying the game at 21-21 at the break.
For Griffin and Campau, there was a bit of an “anything you can do, I can do better” competition.
“I hadn’t met Hunter a lot before tonight,” Griffin said. “He and I are — I don’t know if we’re friends now or what — but he’s an awesome player and he’s fun to watch. It was fun.”
But the scoring dried up in the second half. In fact, neither team scored at all.
Timberline came closest, driving down the field in the game’s final minute, advancing the ball all the way to the Peninsula 9-yard line.
Then Peninsula junior outside linebacker Ben Goins made what was perhaps the play of the game, sprinting into the backfield and sacking 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.”
In overtime, Peninsula scored on the first play of its drive, when Griffin scrambled for a 25-yard score.
“Since the ball was at the 25, we wanted to take our shot with a little bit of room,” Griffin said. “We had a deep pass dialed up, and just the way it happened, there was a little bit of pressure.
“I didn’t like what I saw downfield, so I ended up just tucking it and running, got a good block from the receiver. Sometimes things work out like that — just go out and make a play.”
Timberline answered on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Campau to J.J. Graham, but an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Blazers for spinning the football after the score pushed the PAT try out of range.
“It was a little out of range, and the first one got blocked,” Timberline coach Nick Mullen said. “It’s just one of those things where you either want to win it (or lose it on the conversion try). You don’t want to go down on the block. You want to take a shot on it. It was there, we just didn’t execute it.”
Timberline attempted a 2-point conversion for the win, but Campau’s pass sailed just over the fingertips of intended target Trevor Joubert, and Peninsula exhaled, hanging on for the win.
“Playing Peninsula is always tough,” Mullen said. “The guys played hard, they stuck together. We left some points on the field. Defensively we had a couple of breakdowns.
“Offensively, they made some good calls at the right time. They have a great staff. It was a great game.”
If anyone thought Peninsula forgot about last year’s 51-14 blowout loss to the Blazers, or the goal-line stand that lifted Timberline to a win the year before, they would be mistaken.
“It feels good earning it,” Peninsula coach Ross Filkins said. “This one was one that we had to earn — every single play. It feels good to turn the tables and come out with a win.”
Timberline (3-2) is the two-time defending 3A SSC champion, and before Thursday night hadn’t lost a league game — excluding a forfeit to Yelm in 2016 for an ineligible player violation — since the 3A SSC was created.
“They’ve been a fantastic program the last three years,” 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.”
Staff writer Lauren Smith contributed to this report.
P – Burke Griffin 1 run (run failed)
T – Hunter Campau 14 run (Mason Joubert kick)
P – Griffin 1 run (Will Wright kick)
T – Campau 9 run (Mason Joubert kick)
P – Braeden Potter 79 pass from Griffin (Jude Endsley pass from Griffin)
T – Trevor Joubert 13 pass from Griffin (Mason Joubert kick)
P – Griffin 25 run (Wright kick)
T – J.J. Graham 10 pass from Campau (pass failed)
Passing: T – Campau 19-28-0-220. P – Griffin 11-16-0-164.
Rushing: T – Campau 25-72; Noah Cunningham 5-17; Jaden Gorman 6-10; Nephi Vimoto 1-1. P – Griffin 23-75; Potter 10-56; Shawn Leonard 3-3; Peyton Bice 1(-13).
Receiving: T – Max Aunese 5-60; Graham 4-56; Trevor Joubert 2-29; Noah Himes 2-22; Jaiden Brooks 2-21; Izaiah Jerenz 4-20; Stanton Hayes 1-9; Million Montgomery 1-3. P – Potter 1-79; Jude Endsley 3-44; Chase Wittmers 2-20; Shawn Leonard 1-7; Bryce Cleave 1-6; Cole McVay 1-5; Sean Skladany 2-3.