The Bellarmine Lions shattered Gig Harbor’s league title ambitions, pummeling the Tides 59-14 in front of a standing-room-only crowd Friday night at Roy Anderson Field.
The Tides, who went into the game with a shot to win the Narrows League 4A championship, started sloppy, and the game was out of reach by halftime.
Running back Nathan Goltermann racked up 175 yards and two touchdowns — 77- and 80-yard scores during which he ran untouched into the endzone. Jamal Ervin accounted for 188 yards rushing with four touchdowns, two of which went for more than 60 yards.
“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 led 52-0 at halftime and ran all over Gig Harbor to claim its third straight league title. The Lions only attempted one pass in the half.
“We just go with whatever is working,” Lions 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 (Goltermann), 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.”
Bellarmine held Gig Harbor running back 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 were picked off by Bellarmine’s Drew Griffin.
Alexander provided the Tides with a spark in the second half. He finished with 65 passing yards and a 26-yard touchdown on a keeper.
Chantler said the Tides (7-2) need to look at everything and fix it quickly as they host Tahoma (6-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest.
“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 Tides would have liked to win a league championship because they battled all year to put themselves in a position to do so.
“We have to tighten a lot up defensively,” he said. “We had a bunch of holes tonight that got exposed. Offensively, we didn’t handle the pressure well, so we need to do a better job of being able to pick that up.”
Gig Harbor’s two scores came on a Sterling Brown run in the third quarter and Alexander’s keeper in the fourth.
Bellarmine’s Larsen was all smiles after the game.
“I’m just proud to be part of it,” he 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.”Sports Editor Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.