Gig Harbor Makes History at BFA 7-On

BELLEVUE - The seniors that got so close last year to beating the alumni team - players like UW-bound Budda Baker and Drew Sample - got to the Finals of the 2014 Barton Football 7-On Tournament Sunday at Interlake High School as this year's top alumni group.

The only problem was, they couldn't close the deal. Instead, the Gig Harbor Tides used a couple key interceptions and a wonderful touchdown catch by junior Santana Johnson, to win the whole thing.

Here's how the 7-On-7 tournament broke down:

Quarterfinals:
Alumni defeated Tahoma
Interlake defeated SPSL Elite
Juanita defeated South Sound
Gig Harbor defeated Washington Elite

Semifinals:
Alumni defeated Interlake
Gig Harbor defeated Juanita

Finals:
Gig Harbor defeated Alumni

In the final, the Alumni team - a group that really hadn't been stopped offensively all day long and pretty much breezed through to the finals - was thwarted a couple times by Gig Harbor picks near their own end zone. The first one was thrown by Idaho State-bound Tanner Gueller (Chehalis WF West), and the second by Camas' Reilly Hennessey, who is set to join Eastern Washington in the fall.

A touchdown by junior Johnson, a 6-foot-3 receiver for the Tides, nearly put the game away for Gig Harbor, but the alumni weren't going down without a fight. One Gig Harbor pass was picked off by Bellevue athlete Tim Haehl (Harvard), due mostly to pressure put on by the blitzing Baker (defense was allowed one blitz a game). Later, Gig Harbor's touchdown conversion was picked off by Federal Way athlete Keenan Curran (Air Force), which gave them a chance to win the game with a score.

Led by Gueller, the alums marched down the field and were poised to score. But with time running out and the offense looking to stay organized, all Gueller could do was throw up a last-ditch pass to tight end Sample that was broken up by a couple Gig Harbor defenders.

When the ball hit the turf, the rest of the Tides players came racing out to the field, aware of how big an upset it was. It was as if they had just won the 4A State title!

And just like that, Gig Harbor became the first high school team to win the Barton Football 7-On Tournament. Congrats to the Tides for a huge win!


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