There are still pieces to fine tune, senior quarterback Burke Griffin says, but he’s confident with where the Peninsula High School football team is this season.
The Seahawks hit the road Friday night, picked apart Class 3A South Sound Conference rival Capital, and picked up a 28-6 win at Ingersoll Stadium in Olympia.
Griffin paced the offense — which combined for 429 total yards — with three touchdowns, and Peninsula’s sturdy defense stalled nearly every Cougars drive.
“I think we’re in a really good spot,” Griffin said. “We have a lot of really good playmakers. A couple of awesome receivers, and my (offensive) line has been amazingly good this year.”
Peninsula scored on the opening drive, and never trailed after Griffin scrambled to his left on third-and-goal, eventually finding senior Alex Beloate in the corner for an 11-yard score.
The Cougars went three-and-out on consecutive drives before Peninsula senior Michael Foreman swiftly broke through the defense for a 69-yard score, giving the Seahawks a 14-0 edge at the beginning of the second quarter.
“We’ve got to put up some more points and sustain drives a little better,” Capital coach Darren Tinnerstet said. “We left our defense on the field a lot tonight. We can’t ask them to do that.”
But Capital’s defense spent the majority of the game trying to stall the Seahawks.
Griffin threw his second touchdown pass just before the half, connecting with sophomore Chase Wittmers from 6 yards out.
He found Wittmers again with three minutes, 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter for a 3-yard score that all but sealed the win. Capital turned the ball over on downs on its final drive.
Griffin finished 18 of 25 passing for 203 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Seahawks to their fourth consecutive win after a season-opening loss to Mt. Spokane.
He connected with five different receivers — three of which collected 50 or more yards through the air — with Wittmers (seven catches, 60 yards) as his top target.
Foreman led Peninsula on the ground with 18 carries for 128 yards and the one touchdown.
“I’m impressed with our balance on offense, and our multi-dimensional team,” Peninsula coach Ross Filkins said.
Capital only crossed midfield three times during the contest, picking up eight total first downs.
“When my defense can go out and get a three-and-out or a turnover, it’s a huge momentum shift,” Griffin said. “The o-line feeds off of it, and through that the rest of the offense works.”
Capital quarterback Grant Erickson, a junior, was heavily pressured nearly every time he dropped back, managing to complete 15 of 29 passes for 117 yards and Capital’s lone touchdown.
The Seahawks also keyed on junior wide receiver Chris Penner, an Olympian All-Area selection last season, who caught six passes for 79 yards.
“He’s a terrific athlete,” Filkins said. “We knew that coming in, so we definitely had him on our radar.”
Peninsula sacked Erickson twice for big losses, and hauled in two interceptions.
“That was a really good team, they put a lot of pressure on him tonight,” Tinnerstet said. “He made some good throws, but they definitely got to him, and forced him to scramble around a little more than we’re used to.”
Junior Eric Jackson led the Cougars in rushing, collecting 73 yards on 15 carries, but Capital netted just 55 yards on the ground.
Capital’s only touchdown came in the second quarter, when Erickson found senior Jack Collard in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard score.
“We still have some things to correct, but we’ll get better from it,” Tinnerstet said.
Capital (2-3, 1-2 3A SSC) visits Central Kitsap next week, and Tinnerstet said the program will focus on regrouping on the road.
“We’re exactly where we were last year,” he said. “We were 2-3 at this point, played a tough game against (Peninsula).
“We’ve got to win out, and we know that. We talked about it. We did it last year and the year before, so hopefully third time’s the charm.”
Peninsula (4-1, 3-0 3A SSC) hosts North Thurston next, which is winless so far this season.
“We’re fortunate to go 1-0 this week against a good team down here on the road,” Filkins said. “We know we’ve got to just get back to work on Monday.”
Peninsula 7 14 0 7_28
Capital 0 6 0 0_6
P – Alex Beloate 11 pass from Burke Griffin (Ben Stanford kick)
P – Michael Forman 69 run (Stanford kick)
C – Jack Collard 7 pass from Grant Erickson (kick failed)
P – Chase Wittmers 6 pass from Griffin (Stanford kick)
P – Wittmers 3 pass from Griffin (Stanford kick)