Gig Harbor High School made the first of its back-to-back trips to Thurston County a pleasant excursion, shutting out Timberline, 51-0, at South Sound Stadium in Lacey on Thursday night.
Next week, the No. 3 Tides (3-0 in the 4A Narrows League, 6-0 overall) make another run over the bridge and down Interstate 5 to meet No. 7 Olympia at Ingersoll Stadium.
“Olympia will be a tough game,” said Tides coach Aaron Chantler. “I have nothing but respect for Bill Beattie. They’ve been good for a long time.”
As for Gig Harbor, Chantler said the Tides were riddled with a flu bug and were a little sluggish early Thursday.
But with quarterback Davis Alexander completing 19 of 24 passes — without an interception — for 269 yards and four touchdowns, the Tides got the game under control quickly.
Alexander got the scoring started five minutes in when he found Noah Samsen over the middle for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Four minutes later, Alexander connected with Kyle Olson-Urban, streaking up the right hash marks, to make it 14-0.
Timberline put together its longest drive of the night after the ensuring kickoff, marching 67 yards on 15 plays, including a clutch performance by quarterback Trenton Horn, who under an intense rush on third-and-eight, found a receiver downfield for a 22-yard pickup. But the drive stalled and Timberline settled for a 32-yard field goal attempt, which missed.
Gig Harbor went right back into scoring mode.
The Tides moved 80 yards in 10 plays and scored on a three-yard touchdown run by Alex Bouterse.
The Blazers’ first turnover of the night set up Gig Harbor’s next touchdown.
Facing a third-and-13 at his own 17, Horn threw downfield, but had it picked off by the Tides’ Keyell Davis at midfield. Two quick first-down passes and a keeper by Alexander gave Gig Harbor a second-and-two at the Blazers 10.
Alexander found Cory Cordon in the end zone for a 27-0 lead.
With a minute left in the half, Samsen scored again, this time on a 65-yard punt return.
The Tides’ first attempt to get the game into running-clock status stalled at the Timberline 6-yard line, but they came away with a 32-yard Rafael Borges field goal.
But with 5:30 to go in the third quarter, the clock started its unchecked movement as Alexander found Urban-Olson for a second time, this time in the back of the end zone from 17 yards out.
With 9:26 to play, Alexander went to the bench for the remainder of the night, but Martin Brazierlater bolted 37 yards untouched into the end zone.
Timberline, missing junior nose guard Alizen Wilson and having linebacker Ryan Birbeck back but not at full strength because of a wrist injury, struggled against the Tides, but coach Mike Spears saw positives.
“Our kids kept playing their butts off. The other team never let up and we never quit,” said Spears.
The Blazers plan a team bonding outing — pizza and laser tag — on Friday.
Gig Harbor 14 20 10 7 - 51
Timberline 0 0 0 0 - 0
G – Noah Samsen 27 pass from Davis Alexander (Shawn Kimble kick)
G – Kyle Olson-Urban 46 pass from Alexander (Kimble kick)
G – Alex Bouterse 3 run (Kimble kick)
G – Cory Condon 10 pass from Alexander (kick failed)
G – Samsen 65 punt return (Kimble kick)
G – Rafael Borges 32 field goal
G – Urban-Olson 17 pass from Alexander (Borges kick)
G – Martin Brazier 37 run (Borges kick)