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Originally published Friday, September 17, 2010 at 10:40 PM

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No. 10 G-K holds off Puyallup, 35-28

Matt Dawley and Thomas Gomez are Graham-Kapowsin's version of the odd couple. And together they helped the 10th-ranked Eagles push past...

Seattle Times staff reporter

GRAHAM — Matt Dawley and Thomas Gomez are Graham-Kapowsin's version of the odd couple.

And together they helped the 10th-ranked Eagles push past Puyallup, 35-28, in an SPSL 4A South Division showdown at Art Crate Field Friday night.

Dawley is the diminutive one — admittedly closer to 5 feet 6 than his listed 5-9 — and Gomez the giant (6-3, 300). When the Eagles need tough yards, coach Eric Kurle calls "jumbo," and Gomez moves from offensive guard to fullback.

He either carries the ball, as he did Friday night for two touchdowns, or throws a big block.

Dawley was the workhorse against Puyallup with an unofficial 282 yards on 33 carries and one TD, but he was most impressed with the 6-yard touchdown run Gomez notched just before halftime that helped the Eagles pull into a 21-21 tie.

"I've never seen a big guy move like that," he said.

This game was all about run vs. pass, and the run won. Puyallup quarterback Erin Barber unofficially completed 19 of 42 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns — all to Dom Holub. But he struggled in the second half under rain-soaked conditions and increased defensive pressure. After hitting 10 of 15 tries for 174 yards and three scores in the opening half, Barber was just 9 of 27 after the break.

Graham-Kapowsin (3-0, 2-0 league) next plays third-ranked Curtis.

But the Eagles didn't put this one away until Brandon Santos recovered an onside kick with a half-minute to play. They led 35-21 and took over on downs with 2:14 to go, but fumbled the ball back to Puyallup, and Barber took advantage, throwing a 13-yard touchdown strike to Holub with 39.8 seconds to go.

The teams traded TDs in the first half. Puyallup (2-1, 2-1) scored on the third play of the game — a 53-yard catch-and-run by Holub.

The Vikings led 21-14 after Barber's 1-yard run on a draw play out of the shotgun with 2:30 to play in the half. But the Eagles answered with an eight-play, 78-yard drive capped by Gomez's 6-yard run.

Dalton Dorosky scored the Eagles' first two touchdowns, on a 9-yard pass and 5-yard run.

A dropped interception in the end zone kept the drive alive.

Sandy Ringer: 206-718-1512 or sringer@seattletimes.com

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