Granite Falls’ Cole Corbin tries to escape a tackle by Sultan’s Aidan Fleming during a game on Friday in Granite Falls. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Granite Falls’ Cole Corbin tries to escape a tackle by Sultan’s Aidan Fleming during a game on Friday in Granite Falls. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Granite Falls shuts out Sultan in Black and Blue Bowl

The Tigers’ defense comes through with a dominant performance in a 45-0 rivalry win over the Turks.

GRANITE FALLS — For the second straight year, the Black and Blue Bowl trophy will remain in Granite Falls.

This time, the Tigers knocked off their archrival on home soil in emphatic fashion, as Granite Falls thumped Sultan, 45-0, in the annual North Sound Conference rivalry game on Friday at Granite Falls High School.

“It means a lot,” senior wide receiver Mason McBride said. “It’s my last game playing on this field, so it’s really important.”

Sultan won five consecutive Black and Blue Bowls from 2011 to 2015, but it’s been mostly Granite Falls over the past four years, with the Tigers claiming three out of the past four matchups against the Turks. A one-point loss in 2017 is the only outlier.

“It always means a lot (to beat Sultan),” head coach Brandon Davis said. “This rivalry goes back to before I was alive. It’s fun to win any game, but specifically this one with them being so close with similar communities. It’s always a lot of fun. I’m glad to be a part of this.”

IMPACT

The Tigers (3-4, 2-1 North Sound Conference) remain in the race for the league title in the North Sound Conference after previously undefeated Cedar Park Christian fell to King’s, 52-6, in a shocking result Friday.

A win next week over South Whidbey would clinch at least the No. 3 seed in the North Sound Conference for the Tigers, and a loss by Cedar Park Christian to Sultan in Week 9 paired with a win over the Falcons would clinch a league title for Granite Falls, the program’s first since 1990.

Sultan is still looking for its first league win, with games against King’s and Cedar Park Christian remaining.

DEFENSE PLAYS LIGHTS OUT

Sultan had no sustained success moving the ball against the Tigers’ defense and Granite Falls forced four turnovers and returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a dominant performance.

“We take pride in our defense and to be able to shut down the other team’s offense,” McBride said.

Yards were hard to come by against the stingy Tigers, who held the Turks to 29 yards of total offense.

In their past two games against King’s and Sultan, the Tigers have allowed just seven points.

“These guys prepare better than anybody,” Davis said. “These guys … watch tons of film and work really hard in practice. And then again, the resiliency. They’re just determined and they don’t quit, which I think shows our success this year.”

KEY PERFORMERS

Cameron Tappe finished with three interceptions, including a pick-six, on defense and a 34-yard catch on offense for Granite Falls.

“He’s a kid that every week in practice we see that, and we finally get to see it in a game,” Davis said. “He’s always in the right spots and realistically they don’t throw the ball at him very often. It’s nice to see him get a chance to make some plays.”

Junior Kolby Petraborg led the Tigers in rushing with 84 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Gese rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown and threw for 72 yards in the air.

McBride caught two passes for 59 yards to lead the Tigers’ receivers.

QUOTABLE

Davis’ closing thoughts: “Our D-line did an excellent job. Jared Barth did an excellent job. He was all over the place, I don’t know how many tackles he had, but he was a monster.

“And our running backs always run the ball hard. Sometimes the stats don’t show up for them but those guys will absolutely get the hard yards for us.”

NEXT UP

Granite Falls travels to Whidbey Island for a tilt with South Whidbey at 7 p.m. next Friday. Sultan hosts Kings at 7 p.m.

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