The Bellarmine Lions shattered Gig Harbor's league title ambitions, pummeling the Tides 59-14 in front of a standing room only crowd at Roy Anderson Field. The Tides, who came into the game with a shot to contend for a Narrows League 4A championship, started sloppy and the game was out of reach by halftime. The Lions went into halftime with a 52-0 lead, running all over Gig Harbor and only attempting one pass in the half.
“I'm speechless,” Tides' head coach Aaron Chantler said. “We didn't get off blocks tonight, we didn't read our keys. It doesn't make sense. Tip your hat to Bellarmine, they did a great job blocking our defensive line and getting to the second level. They're a zone team, and when the linemen step to the right or the left, we should be going that direction, and we didn't.”
Bellarmine claimed its third Narrows League 4A title in a row with Friday night's win. Running back Nathan Goltermann racked up 175 yards and two touchdowns, 77 and 80 yard scores in which he ran untouched into the endzone. Jamal Ervin accounted for 188 yards rushing with four touchdowns, two of which went for over 60 yards. By the end of the game, the Lions had only attempted one pass play, an incompletion.
“We just go with whatever is working,” Bellarmine head coach Tom Larsen said. “The guys up front just put it together to a level that we knew they were capable of. They just finally did it, and little old Nate, you give him a sliver, and he'll just find it and go. That kid is fast, so watch out. There's no catching him. It was the perfect storm for the Lions tonight.”
Meanwhile, the Lions' defense held Sterling Brown in check, limiting him to 36 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Quarterbacks Conor Scanlan and Davis Alexander combined to go 7 of 23 passing with an interception each, both picked off by Bellarmine's Drew Griffin. Davis Alexander provided the Tides with a spark in the second half, finishing with 65 passing yards and a 26 yard touchdown on a keeper. Chantler said the Tides need to look at everything, and fix it quickly.
“That's not the way we wanted to end the regular season,” Chantler said. “Our kids are going to have to show some mental toughness now and flush that game, that was an ugly football game. I like that we at least showed a little bit of fight in the second half, we got a couple things going a little bit, understanding Bellarmine had some of their backups in. But we felt like we were finally able to get a little bit of positive momentum going for next week.”
Chantler said the team would have liked to win a league championship, and battled hard all year to put themselves in a position to do so. He said the team will need to bounce back and put the loss behind them.
“We have to tighten a lot up defensively, we had a bunch of holes tonight that got exposed,” Chantler said. “Offensively, we didn't handle the pressure well, so we need to do a better job of being able to pick that up.”
The Tides' two scores came on a Sterling Brown run in the third quarter, and a Davis Alexander keeper in the fourth.
This marks the third straight year Bellarmine has won the league title. Larsen was all smiles after the game.
“I'm just proud to be part of it,” Larsen said. “I'm proud that each year, each team has been their own individual kind of group, and this is their own individual group. They've earned it. They are champions.”
Reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.