High School Sports

Defense powers Gig Harbor past Kent-Meridian, 45-7

By now, everybody probably knows about the fast-break, high-flying Gig Harbor offense.

But the Tides’ defense might be their best-kept secret.

Senior defensive lineman Brandon Schmunk personifies the Gig Harbor defense — physical, quick, and flat-out nasty. Schmunk drew double teams — triple teams, even — but it didn’t matter in Gig Harbor’s state play-in game Friday night at Roy Anderson Field.

For the second straight week, the Gig Harbor defense didn’t allow a single point, and for the second straight week, the Tides rolled to a blowout win — this time over Kent-Meridian, 45-7.

“I just never want to give up, I just want to keep pushing,” Schmunk said. “I just have that motor. I just always want to keep getting better.”

His motor is a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen. On an fourth and 10 for the Royals in the second half, an obvious passing situation, Schmunk blew up the right tackle and strip-sacked Royals sophomore quarterback Ben Woods.

“He’s an absolute animal,” Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler said. “It’s tough to block him. He’s very, very strong and he’s deceptively quick. He’s a tough matchup for any offensive lineman.”

Gig Harbor junior quarterback Davis Alexander didn’t have his best day passing, he admitted — so he went to the ground instead. While he finished just 11 for 25 passing with 179 yards, he torched the Royals’ defense for 105 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns.

“I’m just taking what the defense gives me,” Alexander said. “It’s always kind of a natural thing for me.”

While Kent-Meridian looked to eliminate big passing plays, Alexander had no issue with tucking the ball and running for big yardage.

“I trust him fully with the offense,” Chantler said. “He’s got that spark — he knows when we need a big play. He sees an opening, he’s smart enough to take it and go.”

Gig Harbor will host a state playoff game next week at Roy Anderson Field. The Tides will face Graham-Kapowsin, the No. 2 seed out of the SPSL 4A South.