Yelm had no answer for Gig Harbor’s read-option Friday night.
Tides quarterback Conor Scanlan and running back Sterling Brown had their way with the Tornados’ defense, compiling nearly 300 yards between them in a 56-14 Narrows League victory at Roy Anderson Field.
Brown racked up 174 yards on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns, and Scanlan rushed for 125 yards on eight carries with three touchdowns, including an 80-yard score on a keeper during which he ran virtually untouched the entire length of the field.
Scanlan made all the right reads Friday night as the Tides (7-1 overall, 5-0 league) rattled off their seventh straight win.
“We worked on it all season, and we worked on it in preseason,” he said. “As the season goes on, we just get better at executing it. We’ve been saying it for the past few games here, but it’s all our offensive line. They work so hard, and they execute so well, and that’s really what causes the success of our read.”
Gig Harbor head coach Aaron Chantler said the success of the read-option is the result of hard work.
“He (Scanlan) has been playing well,” Chantler said. “Conor’s been working hard, Stewie’s (Brown) been running hard, so tonight it came together.”
The Tides appeared poised for a first-half shutout before Yelm’s Aaron Rivera ran 80 yards for a touchdown to cut Gig Harbor’s lead to 49-7.
“We got a little confused on our responsibilities,” Tides linebacker Brett Villa said. “We had a mixup. We didn’t get in the right formation, and they broke through a hole in our defense.”
Regardless, Gig Harbor’s defense has played well lately. It shut down Yelm and stifled a talented Olympia team on the road Oct. 19. The Tides appear to have come a long way since their season-opening loss at O’Dea.
“Up front, we’re reading our keys a lot better,” Villa said. “The coaches are putting a lot of time, seeing what happened early on in the season, and they’re doing a great job correcting us.”
Chantler said he’s been pleased with the defense, but it isn’t perfect.
“The defense has played well for a few weeks,” he said. “They’re working hard in practice. We’ve still got things to get better at. We’ll take care of that for Bellarmine.”
Gig Harbor will host Bellarmine (6-2, 4-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in what amounts to the Narrows League championship game at Roy Anderson Field.
Chantler said the Tides will need a good week of practice to defeat the Lions.
“We’ll need to have a good week of practice and play hard,” he said.
Defensively, the Tides will look to continue playing with physicality.
“We’re just going to keep having to play how we did against Olympia and Central (Kitsap),” Villa said. “We have to play physical up front, we have to stuff our holes, read our keys, and we’ll be fine.”