As soon as sophomore Nathaniel Holcomb came out of the Puyallup High football locker room, dressed in purple from head to toe, coach Gary Jeffers took a hard look at his new quarterback.
What did he see?
“Nervous excitement,” Jeffers said. “But not ‘deer-in-the-headlight’ nerves.”
Well, the Holcomb era — anchored by a strong rushing attack — got off to a pretty good start Friday.
Holcomb threw three touchdown passes, all in the second half, and the Vikings beat Jefferson, 43-21, in a 4A South Puget Sound League crossover game at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
The Puyallup tailback duo of Taje Davis (106 rushing yards) and Michael Fuller (53 yards, three touchdowns) did most of the damage in the first half as the Vikings built a 22-6 halftime lead.
But in the third quarter, Holcomb — whom Jeffers said has as much physical skill as any quarterback he’s coached at the school — got connected with Brady Winter on a pair of scores.
Holcomb’s first touchdown pass was on a 37-yard slant route from Winter. The s
econd was on an outside-the-numbers go route by Winter, good for 25 yards and a touchdown.
For the night, Holcomb finished 10 of 19 passing for 169 yards. He threw one interception.
“(Holcomb) did get in a groove, but I have to give a lot of credit to our run game that opened up some things for him,” Jeffers said. “He was not forced to make a bunch of reads, or navigate the pocket — some of the things we’ve asked our quarterbacks to do in the past.”
At Bethel 29, Kentridge 10: The Braves did not waste any time getting new coach Mark Iddins his first victory at the school at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.
Trailing 10-0, Matthew Booth’s 97-yard kickoff return to begin the second half started a run of 27 unanswered points.
Bethel limited Kentridge to 50 yards of offense. Cody Ford also had a 20-yard interception return for the Braves.
At Bellarmine Prep 40, Bonney Lake 21: It didn’t take long for last year’s Narrows 4A breakout star to get this season rolling in a big way.
Running back Nathan Goltermann-Doyle rushed for 170 yards on 23 carries as the Lions’ ground game carried Bellarmine Prep to a non-league triumph at Memorial Field.
Goltermann-Doyle started the Lions’ knockout run of scoring with a 19-yard gallop 55 seconds into the second half.
Bellarmine Prep scored three rushing touchdowns in a seven-minute span to grab a 30-7 lead. The Lions amassed 361 rushing yards.
Auburn Mountainview 28, at Foss 6: Lions quarterback Gresch Jensen passed for 103 yards, rushed for 91 and his 1-yard touchdown scamper right before halftime gave the SPSL 3A school a three-touchdown lead en route to a non-league victory at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Chris “Scooby” Reynolds lost in his quarterback debut for the Falcons, but he did have a 42-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
At Lakes 55, Clover Park 8: The eighth-ranked Lancers tallied five second-quarter touchdowns to turn this rivalry game into a rout at Harry E. Lang Stadium.
Jaiave Magalei threw for 157 yards and two scores for Lakes. His first touchdown was on an 81-yard pass to Bryson Foster in the first quarter as Lakes grabbed a 14-0 advantage.
Lincoln 48, at Roosevelt (Ore.) 9: The Abes turned in a complete performance in Portland, trouncing Roosevelt behind Jordan Kitna's four touchdown passes and a defense that limited Roosevelt to 148 yards of offense.
Tenth-ranked Lincoln gained 521 total yards with Kitna throwing for 315. The junior quarterback completed 24-of-35 passes and threw two interceptions. His favorite target was Dehonta Hayes, who had seven catches for 91 yards and two scores.
Jusstis Warren not only gained 82 yards and scored two touchdowns on just five carries, he also speared the Abes defense. Warren recorded 10 tackles.
At Wilson 30, Olympic 20: Julius Yates-Brown passed for 123 yards, rushed for 112 and led the Rams to a season-opening non-league win at Stadium Bowl.
Yates-Brown gave the Rams a quick 8-0 lead on his 32-yard touchdown strike to AJ Ruffin. Brandon Scarpaci’s 62-yard interception return before halftime also gave Wilson some breathing room.
At Yelm 22, Steilacoom 12: A change of plans helped the Tornados roll past the visiting Sentinels.
Junior Devante Pearson switched from quarterback to running back and then ran for the last two Tornados touchdowns to help Yelm to the victory.
Pearson ran for 95 yards on 12 carries.