High School Sports

Week 3: Takeaways from high school football in the South Sound area

Week 3 of the high school football season is in the books. Here are a few takeaways from the third week of action.

WHEN PUYALLUP IS ROLLING, THE VIKS ARE TOUGH TO STOP

We saw two versions of the Puyallup offense on Friday night on the road against Sumner. One was electric. The other — not so much.

Puyallup junior quarterback Luke Holcomb came out firing, orchestrating a three-play, 58-yard touchdown drive on the Vikings first offensive series, completing his first two passes for 53 yards, the second of which was a 19-yard touchdown.

Then Puyallup’s offense went stagnant ,and Sumner’s defense played lights out for the rest of the first half, going into the halftime locker room with a 12-7 lead over the visiting Vikings.

Once Holcomb and the Puyallup offense settled in, things started to roll. Holcomb finished the game completing 19-of-30 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. In the second half, he hit some big plays, finding Joseph Dwyer for a 25-yard score to retake the lead in the third quarter. He found Jordan Dwyer — Joseph’s brother — for a 75-yard pass, which set up a score two plays later at the end of the third quarter, giving Puyallup a 22-12 lead.

“We’re a younger offense,” Holcomb said. “We have a more senior line but our skill positions are first-year guys. We’re adapting to playing with each other, learning each other’s play styles. We need to come out stronger in the first half against GK, because they’re a great team.”

Because of that youth, it’s still a growing process for the Puyallup offense. There are times when it looks great, and times when nothing seems to work. To Viks’ coach Gary Jeffers, it’s about settling into a groove early.

“With what we do offensively and at the quarterback position, it is a rhythm,” Jeffers said. “When you’re in rhythm, it looks great. But when you’re out of rhythm, it doesn’t look good. So I think it’s just finding ways for a young quarterback to find his rhythm.”

PUYALLUP’S ULUILAKEPA IS A MACHINE

The senior linebacker and 2018 Tacoma News Tribune All-Area pick is one of the best tacklers in the state. He’s also a spark plug in the locker room for Puyallup and helped change the attitude for the Vikings in Friday night’s turnaround.

“I just try sparking it up, making sure all my brothers are happy and hyped playing the game we love,” Uluilakepa said. “We picked up our energy. The first half, our body language wasn’t right. We went into the locker room and told everyone what was happening and just came out hyped.”

Wherever the football winds up, it’s a good bet that Uluilakepa is involved in the tackle.

“Danny’s football IQ is off the charts,” Jeffers said. “He’s able to digest film, he spends time doing the work and obviously is a great athlete and he’s a heavy hitter. It’s a pretty dynamic combination.”

He even spent some time at running back, as a change-of-pace back in short-yardage situations, rushing five times for 12 yards and a touchdown — whatever he can do to help the team get the win.

Whichever college gets Uluilakepa is getting a dynamic player.

KENNEDY CATHOLIC CONTINUES ROLLING

Another week, another big win for the Lancers and junior quarterback Sam Huard. Kennedy Catholic emerged with a 50-0 win on the road against Bothell on Friday night, pushing the Lancers’ record to 3-0 on the young season. Huard completed 20-of-28 passes for 292 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

“Sam is just dynamic,” Kennedy head coach Sheldon Cross said. “The wide-outs are all in sync. That’s a beautiful group of guys that know how to play together and have played together for years.”

Most impressively, Kennedy Catholic’s defense was stifling, holding Bishop Blanchet to just two net yards of total offense on the night.

“It’s awesome to see our defense play so well,” Cross said. “Our defense was so good against the run again, and I think that’s a good football team. Blanchet was 2-0, and they were scoring in the 40s each game. I think they’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”

BIG WEEK AHEAD

There are some big showdowns coming in Week 4, highlighted by a meeting between SPSL 4A co-favorites Graham-Kapowsin and Puyallup at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Graham-Kapowsin is also off to a 3-0 start, with wins over Sheldon (Ore.), Bellarmine Prep and Emerald Ridge.

“I think it’s always fun to have a 3-0 and 3-0 GK Puyallup matchup,” said Puyallup coach Gary Jeffers. “(GK coach) Eric (Kurle) does a great job. He’s got a bunch of horses out there. It should be a battle.”

2A SPSL favorites Fife and Steilacoom meet at 7 p.m. on Friday at Fife, and Gig Harbor travels to Yelm for a pivotal 3A SSC matchup on Friday night.

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