WR FOOTBALL: White River sacked with double OT loss

It’s hard to imagine a prep football game could get much wilder than Friday night’s two-overtime tussle between White River and visiting Bonney Lake.

On the way to a 40-34 victory by the visitors, the teams combined for more than 800 yards offense – and did so in distinctly different ways. The Hornets rushing for 246 net yards on 55 carries, while quarterback Zach McMillen threw eight times, completing half for 49 yards. The pass-happy Panthers rode the arm of Chris Brown, who tossed a whopping 70 passes, competing 40 for 475 yards. Bonney Lake ran the ball 14 times, netting 35 yards.

In a game of dramatic momentum shifts, it was the Panthers who jumped on the scoreboard first, needing just five plays to find the end zone. Brown threw the first of his six touchdown passes, finding Keenan Jackson on a 14-yard strike.

Josh Miller’s 20-yard TD run made it 6-6 with 2:36 remaining in the opening quarter, but the quick-strike Panthers answered before the end of the period. Brown connected with a diving Jackson for the score, then threw to E.J. Harris for the two-point conversion.

A 30-yard pass from McMillen to Scott Anderson, followed by a Tyler Worthen extra-point kick, made the score 14-13 with 5:21 remaining in the half.

That’s when White River’s Chris Skinner took control of the game. The linebacker intercepted Brown passes on back-to-back Panther possessions and each led to Hornet touchdowns. The first scored came on a McMillen sneak and the second was a 3-yard blast by Nate Lenhart. Scoring 14 points in 1:44 put the Hornets up 27-14 heading into halftime.

Devin Liebel’s 29-yard run and another Worthen PAT extended White River’s lead to 34-14, but from that point the game was all about Brown and his explosive arm.

A TD pass to Robert Combs and two scoring aerials to Zack Zaragoza – the last with 11 seconds in regulation play – left the score knotted at 34.

Deadlocks are settled with a Kansas City tie-breaker system where each team takes possession at the 25. White River did nothing on its four-play attempt and Bonney Lake was turned aside when Brown was intercepted by Eli Bickel. On Bonney Lake’s second possession, Brown fielded a bad snap on one hop, then found Zaragoza for a TD. Needing at least 11 yards to get a first down and keep the game alive, the Hornets came up a yard short on a fourth-down play.

Week 2 action will see Bonney Lake taking on district rival Sumner at Sunset Chev Stadium. White River will hit the road to tackle 1A Orting. Games will begin at 7 p.m.

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