Despite starting game with a ‘unity circle,’ the league rivals pile up plenty of personal fouls as the Bulldogs win 51-21 to advance to the Metro League title game against O'Dea.

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It quickly became apparent why Garfield and Rainier Beach participated in a unity circle before their Metro League showdown.

The teams combined for 300 yards in personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties as moods stayed hot on a chilly Friday night at Memorial Stadium. Garfield was the better team, winning 51-21 on senior night.

“We need to work on being a more disciplined team, but anytime you’re dealing with people you grew up with, that you compete against like brothers, sometimes it’s going to bring out the worst in you,” Garfield coach Joey Thomas said. “We just have to do a better job.”

Bulldogs junior Jason Nguyen opened the scoring with a 72-yard touchdown run off a fumble recovery. It was one of the Vikings’ five fumbles, three converted into scores for the opponent.

Most of the night Garfield worked against itself. With 3:02 left in the third quarter, senior running back Ramari Hampton scored on an 8-yard run to pull ahead 29-8. But that was after the Bulldogs were penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Hampton finished with 184 yards rushing on 24 carries with three touchdowns.

Teammate Treshaun Harrison, a 6-foot-2, two-way player, had four catches for 86 yards and 11 carries for 142 yards rushing.

Harrison scored two touchdowns off runs and one off a pass from junior quarterback Max Nall.

Both teams entered the game undefeated, Garfield winning its eighth game in a row. The Bulldogs (8-0, 6-0 Metro) will play O’Dea (8-0, 5-0) next week for the Metro League championship.

The Seattle King County NAACP orchestrated the peace circle before the game with the teams and cheerleading squads. The gesture represented an opportunity for the players to come together and stand united; symbolizing the importance of keeping the rivalry between the South End and the Central District on the field instead of in the streets.