TACOMA — Gig Harbor quarterback Conor Scanlan completed 15 of 21 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns Friday night to lead the Tides past the Stadium Tigers 54-7 at Stadium Bowl.
Scanlan connected with Santana Johnson for a 59-yard score on the first offensive play of the game, and Gig Harbor quickly went up 14-0 after it recovered a pooch kick and found itself in the end zone three plays later.
The Tigers had yet to run an offensive play.
The Tides led 33-0 with one second left in the first half when Gig Harbor head coach Aaron Chantler called a timeout. The Tides ran a hook-and-ladder play, and Noah Samsen ran untouched into the end zone for a 69-yard score to give Gig Harbor a 40-0 advantage.
Stadium head coach Jess Nelson appeared to be furious. He pulled his players off the field during the extra point. Chantler insisted he called the timeout with five seconds left, but referees didn’t hear him until the one-second mark.
“We’re just working on things,” Chantler said. “It was 33-0. We haven’t been in a situation to run a lot of our two-minute offense. It was a situation in the game that we felt like we were going to take that shot. It was a situational thing where it was just something we needed to work on.”
Chantler and Nelson shook hands following the game and appeared to leave on good terms.
“Jess and I are good friends, and we talked,” Chantler said. “I think his frustration was directed a little bit more at the situation of the game. He and I just talked, and we’re fine, and I think he was frustrated at kind of the way the game had gone, maybe some of the calls. We talked, we’re fine, he understood.”
Stadium’s lone score came on a Tre Scott 2-yard keeper in the third quarter. Tides tailback Sterling Brown accounted for 124 yards on 14 carries and four touchdowns. Johnson finished with eight catches for 144 yards and the score.
Despite the offensive output, Scanlan said the Tides’ offense can be better.
“I’ll say what I said last week,” he said. “Every game we play right now is against perfection. We can be better. We can always be better. We’ve got some stuff to clean up.”
Among the things the Tides plan to work on is protecting Scanlan, who was hit on more than one occasion Friday night.
“We need to work on how we handle pressure,” Scanlan said. “Stadium sent some pressure tonight. When we get to Olympia (this Friday), we have to be able to deal with that.”
Chantler pointed to protection issues but was pleased with the offense.
“We put up a lot of yardage tonight offensively,” he said. “We’ll have to watch the tape and see how good that really was. I think some of our blocking schemes need to be cleaned up a little bit more. I thought our defense played really well. They rallied to the football.”
The Tides play many second- and third-stringers, giving them valuable game experience.
“We got a lot of kids in the game tonight,” Chantler said. “It’ll be nice for our younger kids to just continue to get more experience. You never know when they’re going to be needed in action.”
Gig Harbor will travel to Olympia on Friday, and it will need to be nearly perfect to escape with a win.
“If we can clean up some of the blocking schemes on offense, do a little bit of a better job pointing out pressures, ‘cause Olympia’s going to bring a lot of pressure, I think we’ll be just fine,” Chantler said.