Another year, another state tournament berth for the Peninsula High School football team after the Seahawks cruised to a 47-16 win over visiting Seattle Prep on Friday night at Roy Anderson Field in a district playoff game.
For coach Ross Filkins’ program, getting to the state tournament feels like a formality, at this point.
“We don’t take it for granted,” Filkins said. “It feels just as good as any of the other ones. They’re all so unique and hard-earned. I’m really proud of our kids and we’re getting right at the right time. Our players work very hard and they earn it. It’s not something that is expected or taken for granted. We knew we were playing a really fast team that threw a lot of things at us and I’m just really proud of how our kids handled everything tonight.”
Whatever Seattle Prep did throw at Peninsula, the Seahawks had answers — plenty of them. Peninsula took a 27-10 lead into halftime and in the end, hung 47 points on the Panthers, scoring at will.
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“They have a phenomenal secondary, five or six phenomenal athletes,” said Peninsula quarterback Burke Griffin. “So we were hoping to win up front and all the credit goes to my guys up front, the five linemen tonight played their hearts out.”
The line play paved the way for senior running back Braeden Potter, who always runs hard, but seemed to have even a bit extra pep in his step in the opening round of the playoffs. Potter rushed 29 times for 282 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’re just going to fight, scratch, claw, anything we need to do to keep moving on,” Potter said. “Our o-line played great. Everyone was doing their assignments and knew what to do, every step of the way. That was a big contributor to everything. Without our o-line, we couldn’t do anything.”
Peninsula will learn its state tournament seeding on Sunday. But in the meantime, Filkins’ group has to feel pretty good about its seeding chances, after seeing how its South Sound Conference peers performed on Friday night.
Timberline blanked Oak Harbor, 21-0 and Yelm also earned a trip to state, winning 24-21 over Bishop Blanchet.
“That’s what we talked about since pretty much week five,” Griffin said. “From that point on, it was pretty much playoff caliber football. We have four or five playoff caliber teams in our league and we feel like they prepared us for tonight. I’m proud of our conference for taking care of business.”
Filkins said now that Peninsula is healthy, the Seahawks could be poised to make a run.
“We’ve weathered the storm, we have a healthy team and we’ve developed so much depth now, that I feel like we’re poised to be a very strong, playoff caliber team,” he said. “I’m just really proud of the players for how much they’ve persevered. We’re just really excited to keep going.”
SP – Alexander 9 yard run (Ambuske kick)
P – Potter a yard run (Wright kick)
P - Potter 50 yard run (Wright kick)
P - Leonard 5 yard run (2-pt conversion failed)
P - Potter 6 yard run (Wright kick)
SP - Ambuske 40 yard field goal
P - Griffin 15 yard run (PAT blocked)
SP - Alexander 7 yd pass from Sype
P - Leonard 11 yard run run (Wright kick)
P - Potter 5 yard run (Wright kick)