WRHS FOOTBALL: Hornets hunting down a title

The White River Hornets remained in the hunt for a South Puget Sound League 2A football championship with a convincing 42-15, Friday night victory over Clover Park.

The win, on the road at Harry Lang Stadium, improved White River’s record to 5-1 in league play, 6-2 overall. The team is looking for a worst-to-first turnaround, having finished 1-9 a season ago.

Heading into the final Friday night of SPSL 2A play, the Hornets remain tied with the Franklin Pierce Cardinals. This week’s games have White River traveling to Sumner to face the 2-4 Spartans while the Cardinals take on district rival Washington High. If both win, Franklin Pierce gets the nod, having defeated White River in head-to-head action.

It’s still possible, though unlikely, the league could wind up with a three-way tie for first: both White River and Franklin Pierce would have to lose, with Steilacoom picking up a win. In that case, all three would finish 5-2.

In any case, the Hornets are assured of advancing to postseason play and hosting a Week 10 playoff game. The opponent has yet to be determined but would come from either the Seamount of Olympic leagues.

The Hornets’ most recent win produced little in the way of drama, as the team scored three first-half touchdowns to take a 21-0 lead in the locker room at halftime. Josh Miller scored on a short run in the first quarter, Garrett Quiles scored on a 39-yard dash in the second period and Zach McMillen added a 1-yard burst before intermission.

When play resumed, Franklin Pierce drew first blood to cut the Hornet advantage to 21-7. White River managed to put the game out of reach, though, with a trio of explosive plays. Quiles added a second 39-yard scoring run, Miller took off on a 75-yard TD jaunt and Austin Barker tacked on a 43-yard touchdown run.

For Miller, the TD was his 14th of the season. He also scooped up a fumble and nearly scored a defensive touchdown.

Playing in poor weather conditions, the Hornets looked to keep the ball on the ground and met with wild success. The team accounted for more than 350 rushing yards.


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