The Gig Harbor Tides sought perfection Friday night, and they almost got it on homecoming night.
Sterling Brown rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns, and Connor Scanlan passed for 189 yards and a score as Gig Harbor steamrolled Mount Tahoma 56-6 at Roy Anderson Field.
It was the Tides’ fourth straight win after they dropped their season opener, and they’ll head into the meat of their league schedule with an opportunity to contend for a playoff spot.
Gig Harbor (4-1, 2-0 Narrows League 4A) will play at Stadium (1-4, 0-1) on Friday, and a big trip to Olympia (4-1, 2-0) looms on Oct. 18.
The Tides, who wore pink socks to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month, battered Mount Tahoma on Friday. All three of Brown’s scores came in the first quarter, and Scanlan ran the hurry-up playbook with efficiency. It was something Gig Harbor worked on following its 28-12 victory earlier this month at Central Kitsap.
“There’s still things that we can clean up,” Scanlan said. “That’s what’s exciting, that we can be better.”
Meanwhile, Gig Harbor’s defense surrendered just 139 total yards to the Thunderbirds (0-5, 0-2 Narrows 3A). Tides senior Danny Youngren intercepted a pass and blocked a punt to key the victory.
“This week, our opponent was ourselves,” Gig Harbor head coach Aaron Chantler said. “We focused on executing and trying to be as perfect as possible. We wanted to limit our mental mistakes and play good, fundamental Tides football.”
Gig Harbor didn’t waste a possession. The Tides scored touchdowns on every trip but the one that led to the final whistle. The only blemishes were the 10 penalties that cost them 70 yards.
Brown twice plunged into the endzone from 4 yards out in the opening period, and he added a 17-yard scoring run for a 21-0 lead. He praised offensive tackles Owen Taylor and Nate Ellis, as well as an offense that focused on getting back to basics.
“We knew coming in we were the better team,” Brown said. “We just had to stay focused, and we knew we couldn’t beat ourselves.”
Gig Harbor compiled 487 yards — 271 rushing — and it led 42-0 at halftime. Most of the second half was played with a running clock, once the Tides pushed their lead to more than 45 points.
“It’s nice to have a night like that offensively,” Chantler said.
Sophomore Noah Samsen showed his speed, both as a wide receiver and running around the edge. He caught three passes for 68 yards — two for plays of 25 or longer — and he rushed five times for 33 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown.
Gig Harbor sophomore Adrian Valona tacked on two second-half rushing touchdowns and finished with 45 yards.
Scanlan’s scoring strike went to 6-foot-4 receiver Bobby Blaser in the seam, a play that went for 19 yards and put the Tides in front 35-0 midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Davis Alexander added a 6-yard TD pass to junior Grant Sutton.
Scanlan said more big plays will come, but that’s not necessarily what the Tides’ offense is about.
“We’re a super-methodical team as well as fast-paced,” he said. “We’re going to beat you first down by first down.”
Peninsula 56, Bonney Lake 28
Peninsula junior Robert Kvinsland went 24-for-35 passing with 272 yards and two touchdowns as the Seahawks spoiled the Panthers’ homecoming night.
Senior Will Hopkins hauled in 11 passes for 144 yards and two scores, one from junior quarterback Austin Kilcup.
Peninsula senior Avega Siolo compiled 152 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 12 attempts, and Levi Alton contributed 13 carries for 75 yards and a score.
Junior Marque Kriebel added seven receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown, and junior Jaren Boerner added a 2-yard TD run.
The Seahawks (2-3, 1-0 SPSL 3A), who led 28-13 at halftime, amassed 575 yards of offense and 23 first downs. They will host Auburn Mountainview (1-4, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in their homecoming game at Roy Anderson Field.Editor and Publisher Brian McLean can be reached at 253-358-4150 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_brian.