Robert Kvinsland smiled afterward, even though he knew he let a couple throws get away from him.
The Peninsula High School junior quarterback passed for 135 yards and three touchdowns Friday night, and the Seahawks remained unbeaten in the South Puget Sound League 3A with a 40-6 blowout against the Decatur Gators at Roy Anderson Field.
“It felt good, but we missed a lot of opportunities,” said Kvinsland, who finished 9-of-20 passing. “We missed on a lot of plays we should make and will make in the future.”
In the end, it didn’t matter.
Peninsula (4-3 overall, 3-0 league) was tough on defense on methodical when it had possession, even though the Seahawks didn’t put up gaudy offensive numbers.
After Peninsula held Decatur on fourth down from the Seahawks’ 16 on the Gators’ opening drive, Running back Avega Siolo took the second play from scrimmage and busted free for an 89-yard touchdown run.
It set the tone, and Peninsula never looked back.
“The offensive line did a great job on that play,” Seahawks coach Ross Filkins said. “They brought six (players) on a heavy blitz, our offensive line was able to pick it up, and we were able to gash them there.”
Kvinsland compared the early momentum to what Auburn Mountainview had the previous week when the Lions returned the opening kickoff for a score.
“It took us a whole half to recover,” Kvinsland said.
For Decatur (1-6, 0-3), it was a knockout blow.
Siolo finished with 117 yards on five carries before he left the game in the first half with a turned ankle he suffered on defense. But Levi Alton rushed for a 4-yard score, and Peninsula’s defense recovered three Decatur fumbles to set up its offense with good field position.
Kvinsland twice connected with junior Major Ali out of the backfield for touchdowns. The first came on a 14-yard screen pass late in the first quarter that gave the Seahawks a 16-0 lead, and the second score capped Peninsula’s opening drive of the second half on a 15-yard lob pass.
“It was great,” Ali said. “I’ve been working on my catching, because I haven’t really been a receiving back until this year.”
Kvinsland praised Ali’s ball-carrying ability.
“It was his second effort that got him those touchdowns,” Kvinsland said. “He bowled over a guy both times to get in.”
Filkins pointed to Decatur’s experienced defense and said Ali’s second touchdown was drawn up at halftime.
“That was a very talented and aggressive defense we were going against, and they were blitzing pretty heavy,” the coach said. “We’ll get better from this experience.”
The Gators had a pair of 100-yard rushers in Isaiah Doggs, a junior scatback, and Noel Maafala, a fifth-year senior fullback. Doggs compiled 128 yards on 25 attempts, and Maafala had 14 carries for 145 yards, including a bruising run of 79 yards that went for Decatur’s lone touchdown.
Peninsula’s Will Hopkins hauled in four Kvinsland passes for 83 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown.
Once the Seahawks grabbed a 40-0 lead a little more than a minute into the third quarter, the remainder of the game was played with a running clock.
That helped a lot of non-starters get into the game, including several seniors on senior night.
“When our ones and twos were out there, we played pretty good against their running game,” Filkins said. “Once we got to that running clock, we were able to get a lot of kids some playing time against a big, experienced team.”Peninsula will be tested this Friday as it travels to play the Enumclaw Hornets (3-3, 1-1). A win likely would clinch a home playoff game for the Seahawks either Nov. 8 or Nov. 9.
Peninsula 40, Decatur 6
at Roy Anderson Field
Decatur 0 0 6 0—6
Peninsula 16 17 7 0—40
P — Avega Siolo 89 run (Matt Hoge kick), 6:28
P — Safety (Decatur snap out of end zone), 5:20
P — Major Ali 14 pass from Robert Kvinsland (Hoge kick), 3:46
P — Hoge FG 24, 11:05
P — Levi Alton 4 run (Hoge kick), 8:50
P — Will Hopkins 7 pass from Kvinsland (Hoge kick), 0:55
P — Ali 15 pass from Kvinsland (Hoge kick), 10:57
D — Noel Maafala 79 run (run failed), 8:24
First downs 13 9
Rushes-yards 42-276 18-164
Passing 34 135
Kickoff returns 5-96 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 3-6-0 9-21-0
Punts 0-0 1-46.0
Fumbles-lost 5-3 2-0
Penalties-yards 9-98 3-25
Rushing—Decatur, Isaiah Doggs 25-128, Noel Maafala 14-145, No. 34 3-3. Peninsula, Avega Siolo 5-117, Major Ali 2-19, Levi Alton 6-9, Kyle Urbon-Olson 1-7, Conner Walch 1-15, Jared Boerner 3-(minus-3).
Passing—Decatur, Brett Echart 3-6-0 34. Peninsula, Robert Kvinsland 9-20-0 135, Hunter McKenzie 0-1-0 0.
Receiving—Decatur, Doggs 2-27, Mitchell Garza 1-7. Peninsula, Ali 3-25, Will Hopkins 4-83, Olson-Urbon 1-16, Ben Smith 1-11.
Editor and Publisher Brian McLean can be reached at 253-358-4150 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_brian.