LACEY - First-year Timberline football coach Nick Mullen knew there'd be nights like this.
But that didn't make Thursday's 31-0 nonleague humbling to Class 4A Gig Harbor at South Sound Stadium any easier to swallow.
If anything, the loss was downright painful.
Rolled over or were rolled through. Whichever, the Tides (1-0, 4-1) had their way with the Blazers (2-0, 3-2), rushing for 301 total yards. Beau Burki and Jeff Filmer led the way, combining for 214 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 28 carries.
It was the Tides' fourth straight win since opening the season with a 28-7 loss to top-ranked Lakes.
The loss ended Timberline's two-game winning streak.
How tough of night was it for the Blazers?
Timberline managed just two first downs, 25 yards of total offense and surpassed midfield just once, that coming on a Ronnie Hamlin fumble recovery on Gig Harbor's 49-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
Adding insult to injury, the Blazers' longest play on offense was a 19-yard run by punter Dylan Swanstrom on a fake boot to end the first half.
Gig Harbor gave Timberline a taste of what was to come on its opening play, a 45-yard run by Burki, putting the Tides on the Blazers' 19-yard line. Ten plays later, quarterback Chet Thompson capped the nine-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge, giving the Tides an instant 7-0 lead.
Timberline started strong, needing just two plays to work its initial first down at the 6:50 mark of the first quarter. They wouldn't get another until the final play of the first half - Swanstrom's 19-yard run on a fake punt as time expired.
In between, Gig Harbor pushed its lead to 14-0 on a 5-yard touchdown run from Burki that capped a 12-play, 36-yard drive.
Part of Timblerline's struggles came from not having the ball most of the night. The Blazers ran just 37 plays on offense compared to Gig Harbor's 58. And when the Blazers did have the ball, they found themselves with little time to make something happen.
"They brought blitzes our offensive line wasn't expecting … they were just coming right through," Timberline quarterback Mike Jones said. "There wasn't enough time to let the plays develop.
"They knew everything."
The Tides put the game out of reach with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter when linebacker Timm Dowling scooped up a fumble by Timberline's Immanuel Garraway and rumbled 14 yards for the score and a 21-0 lead.
The play virtually broke Timberline's backs. The Blazers followed with a three-and-out on offense, then watched as Gig Harbor pushed its lead to 28-0 two plays later on a 53-yard touchdown run by Filmer.
The win marked a return to South Sound Stadium for former Timberline coach Darren McKay, now at Gig Harbor.