In Peninsula High School’s rematch against O’Dea in the Class 3A state quarterfinals at Memorial Stadium in the shadow of the Space Needle on Friday night, the Seahawks needed a lot of things to go their way to have a chance against the defending state champions.
While the game wasn’t nearly as one-sided as O’Dea’s win over Peninsula in week one, one thing remained the same — the Seahawks had few answers for the Irish’s ground game.
O’Dea ran the ball effectively most of the game, outlasting Peninsula, 35-19, to advance to the semifinals. With the loss, Peninsula’s season came to an end.
“They’re really physical,” said Filkins, whose team lost to O’Dea 28-0 in the opener. “If you have one guy’s fit a little out of position or you have a missed tackle, it could be a catastrophic run and certainly, they reeled some of those off tonight.”
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O’Dea accounted for the first two scores of the game, jumping out to a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by Cameron Daniels and Mark Tafia. Peninsula responded just before half with a 3-yard rushing touchdown from running back Braeden Potter.
O’Dea scored again to open the second half on a 4-yard rush from Tafia, before Peninsula bounced back with a 2-yard rushing score from quarterback Burke Griffin.
Later in the quarter, Griffin was knocked out of the game after a hard tackle from an O’Dea defender. It wasn’t the first time Griffin had been hit hard, either. Griffin, who had racked up 106 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and was 9-for-14 throwing for 112 yards, was down on the field for some time, and was eventually taken off the field via ambulance. Later it was confirmed that he broke his femur.
The Peninsula coaching staff was irate, and Griffin’s mom even made a beeline to the middle of the field, giving the officiating crew a piece of her mind.
After the game, Filkins shared his thoughts on the officiating.
“I think it’s challenging,” Filkins said. “We talk about points of emphasis, year in and year out. I had been one that had been calling for larger crews to have some extra sets of eyes out there. I think the college game and the NFL are doing a great job but the vast majority of football players in America are right here in high school. I think we need to do a better job as a country, a community and American football coaches in doing a better job of protecting our kids.”
After the injury, O’Dea went on to score two more times in the third quarter: The first, on a 4-yard run from Daniels and three minutes later, on a 70-yard rushing touchdown from Tafia, effectively sealing the game.
“It hurts,” said Peninsula running back Braeden Potter, who tallied 57 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. “Our goal is to win one game a week and we just came up a little short this week.”
Filkins said he was proud of his group after the game.
“I’ll tell you what, the scoreboard does not reflect the effort that our players put into it and I could not be more proud of our players, regardless of moving on or not,” Filkins said. “I’m just pouring my heart out for this team. I’m just so proud of them.”
NO. 7 PENINSULA
NO. 2 O’DEA
O – Cameron Daniels 5 run (Vlad Buchheit kick)
O – Mark Tafia 12 run (Buchheit kick)
P – Braeden Potter 3 run (Will Wright kick)
O – Tafia 4 run (Buchheit kick)
P – Burke Griffin 2 run (kick failed)
O – Daniels 4 run (Buchheit kick)
O – Tafia 70 run (Buchheit kick)
P – Shawn Leonard 5 run (conversion failed)