WRHS FOOTBALL: Fife drops Hornets

White River High drew first blood Friday, but then surrendered 25 consecutive points and eventually traveled home from Fife on the losing end of a 32-18 decision.

The South Puget Sound League 2A loss dropped the Hornets’ league mark to 0-4, 1-5 overall.

“It was a lot closer than the final score indicated,” coach Joe Sprouse said. “We played extremely well in the second half and showed flashes of being a very good team.”

Sprouse and his team talk about the need to win the turnover battle and that didn’t happen at Fife. The Hornets fumbled three times and lost all three, with two of those playing important roles in the final outcome.

The Hornets cracked the scoreboard first when Anthony Dove scored on a 10-yard run with 7:24 remaining in the first quarter.

The lead lasted until nearly the end of the first period, when the Trojans’ Eric Newton scored on a 7-yard run, then hauled in a pass from Brad Finlayson that put his team on top 8-6.

The second quarter proved to be the Hornets’ undoing. The host Trojans received a 20-yard field goal from Nick Belcourt, quickly added a 13-yard TD run by Finlayson and finished with a 72-yard sprint by Newton. After Finlayson ran in a two-point conversion, Fife was on top 25-6.

The hole proved too deep, but White River did its best to dig its way out.

A 5-yard touchdown pass from Zach McMillen to Mark Monteiro gave the Hornets a spark and a 1-yard, fourth-quarter TD run by McMillen made things very interesting at 25-18.

It took just a little more than a minute for the Trojans to snuff the Hornet momentum, as Finlayson took off on a 79-yard scoring scamper that wrapped up the night’s scoring.

Each team cracked the 300-yard mark in total offense, but got there by different routes. The Hornets wound up with 196 yards through the air as McMillen connected on 11 of his 18 passing attempts and added 109 rushing yards. The Trojans picked up 258 yards on the ground and another 69 via the pass.

For White River, Dove rushed for 102 yards on 15 carries and caught four passes for 41 yards. He was the featured back as the Hornets introduced a new offensive wrinkle, operating out of a wildcat formation.

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