WRHS FOOTBALL: Hornets succomb to youth

White River High surrendered four unanswered touchdowns Friday night on the way to a 38-14 loss to visiting Steilacoom.

To Hornet coach Joe Sprouse, the defeat was directly linked to his team’s youth and lack of playing time.

“Too many penalties, too many turnovers,” Sprouse said. “We’re going to have nights like these.

“Our lack of varsity experience shined pretty brightly.”

The visitors jumped on top early when D.J. Banach ripped off a 77-yard touchdown run, but White River answered back. Mark Monteiro hauled in a 42-yard scoring strike from Zach McMillen and, midway through the first quarter, the Hornets were down only 7-6.

Steilacoom added three TDs in the second period and took a 25-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.

When the Sentinels’ Anthony Darien returned an interception 20 yards for another TD, the Hornets found themselves in a 31-6 hole.

“The kids never gave up and that’s important to me,” Sprouse said, adding that his optimism took a greater turn when the Hornets hit the scoreboard again with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

When McMillen scored on a quarterback sneak and then connected with Josh Miller for a two-point conversion, Sprouse figured his Hornets were alive despite a 31-14 deficit.

White River received a much-needed spark when Colton Diffley intercepted a Steilacoom pass, but, eight plays later, the Hornets gave the ball back. The Sentinels scored on a long TD run by Banach to snuff any hopes of a last-minute miracle.

The Sentinels picked up 373 yards of total offense. The Hornets ran the ball 24 times for 53 yards and added 148 passing yards for 201.

On a positive note, Sprouse reported he should have every player available for Friday night’s home game against the Washington Patriots. It will mark the first time this season his squad has been at full strength, he said.

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