WRHS FOOTBALL: Hornets force exciting overtime

The White River Hornets scored a pair of second-half touchdowns Friday night and forced overtime against the host Eatonville Cruisers, only to fall short 28-27.

High school overtime rules give each team the ball on the 25-yard line, with alternating possessions. White River won the toss to begin OT, elected to play defense and failed to stop the Cruisers, who scored on a 13-yard touchdown run by Ryley Gray. Christian Clarence added the all-important extra-point kick.

White River took possession and, on the Hornets’ second play, Anthony Dove scored on a 25-yard run.

Faced with the prospect of going for the tie or the victory, White River coach Joe Sprouse didn’t hesitate. The Hornets have a package of three plays to be used in extra-point situations, two of them passes; the effort through the air failed Friday and Eatonville celebrated its home-field victory.

The win kept the Cruisers atop the South Puget Sound League 2A standings with a 3-0 mark, 5-0 overall. The Hornets fell to 0-3 in league play, 1-4 overall.

“The kids played well,” Sprouse said, praising his offensive line in particular. Three starters were on the bench with injuries and their replacements performed admirably, he said.

The Hornets found themselves in an early hole as the Cruisers scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to lead 14-0.

White River cut into the lead by pulling a play from its bag of tricks. Early in the second quarter, quarterback Zach McMillen tossed a long completion to Jeff Kisner, who then lateraled to Dove, who went the distance. Tyler Worthen’s extra-point kick made it 14-7, but Eatonville scored again and took a 21-7 lead into the locker room.

The third quarter saw White River score on a 25-yard pass from McMillen to Colton Scott and then tie the contest when McMillen scored on a 5-yard run and Worthen tacked on the PAT.

White River won the battle of total offense with 337 yards to Eatonville’s 313, rushing for 109 yards to go with McMillen’s 228 through the air.

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