For 364 days, the Puyallup High football team counted down the days.
The Vikings were intent on exacting revenge on Emerald Ridge after the Jaguars ended their 19-game losing streak against Puyallup last fall.
“That loss last year left a bad taste in our mouth,” Vikings senior lineman Joshua Garnett said. “We wanted to come out and dominate them.”
Puyallup did just that, trouncing the Jaguars 35-7 in a SPSL South contest Friday night at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Garnett verbalized what many Vikings had felt for the past year. On Oct. 8, 2010, Emerald Ridge snapped what was then the longest current losing skid in Class 4A when it stunned Puyallup, 20-17.
The loss was the low-point of a season that saw Puyallup stumble to a 3-7 record, its worst in more than a decade. A year later, the Vikings (4-1 league, 4-2 overall) are tied for second in the SPSL South standings with a postseason berth within their grasp.
“We’re playing pretty well right now,” said quarterback Rhys Gervais, who accounted for five touchdowns for the second week in a row. “Our offense is clicking and the defense is strong.”
Gervais completed 16 of 27 passes for 270 yards and threw three touchdown passes. He also ran for 37 yards, scoring on a 22-yard dash and a 1-yard plunge as the first half expired that gave Puyallup a 21-0 lead.
Gervais, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior, has taken all the snaps the past two games as the team’s other quarterback, Trevor Lyon, nurses an ankle injury. Puyallup coach Gary Jeffers said Lyon might be ready to play against Bethel next week.
After Emerald Ridge’s Ashanti Kindle scored on a 10-yard run early in the fourth quarter that made it 21-7, Gervais fired two touchdowns in a 116-second span. First he found receiver Levi Jordanm who caught six passes for 145 yards, for a 47-yard score. Three plays after an Emerald Ridge fumble, he hit running back Jeremy Misailegalu for a 31-yard score that put the game out of reach, 35-7, with three minutes left.
Puyallup’s defense held strong against the Jags, holding them to one score in three trips to the red zone. Emerald Ridge (2-4, 2-4) mustered just 1 yard rushing on 30 attempts and quarterback Jacob Sommer completed 9 of 27 passes for 157 yards.
Jeffers was extremely pleased with his defense.
“We came out and did defensively what we expected to do,” Jeffers said. “They wanted it pretty bad. Yeah, they wanted it.”