WR FOOTBALL: Franklin Pierce trips up Hornets to tie for league lead

White River dug itself too deep a hole Friday, giving up a 21-point first quarter to Franklin Pierce High in a crucial South Puget Sound League 2A football showdown.

The Hornets entered the home-field contest with a 4-0 league mark, holding onto first place, while the Cardinals lurked just a game behind in the standings. Now deadlocked at 4-1, Franklin Pierce holds the edge should the teams finish the campaign with identical marks.

This Friday has White River taking on 2-3 Clover Park while Franklin Pierce battles 1-4 Fife. The Oct. 28 season finale pits White River against last-place Sumner and Franklin Pierce against district rival Washington.

The loss to the Cardinals can be chalked up to some early mistakes, including dropped passes and a backfield turnover. Franklin Pierce was more than happy to take full advantage, finding the end zone three times during the game’s initial eight minutes.

The Cards kept the ball on the ground to score a pair of first-quarter touchdowns and then, just 27 seconds after rolling to a 13-0 advantage, struck for a third TD. A White River fumble was scooped up and returned 40 yards for another touchdown and, following a two-point conversion, the visiting Cards were on top 21-0.

White River answered quickly with a score of its own when Zach McMillen hooked up with Garrett Quiles for an 11-yard scoring toss. The extra-point kick was blocked and, staring at a 15-point deficit, the Hornets would get no closer.

The ground-happy Cardinals added a rushing touchdown to take a 27-6 lead into halftime, then added two more in the second half.

White River managed a pair of rushing TDs of its own, with Josh Miller scoring f rom 11 yards out in the third quarter and Devin Liebel tacking on a 6-yard TD in the final frame.

The Hornets finished with 320 of offense, running the ball 37 times for 177 yards. The Hornets added another 143 through the air, but three interceptions hurt the cause.

Franklin Pierce ball carriers averaged nearly 10 yards per attempt, finishing with 26 carries for 255 yards. The Cards added 118 passing yards to finish with 373 yards of offense.


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