White River snares victory with second-half explosion | Slideshow

The White River Hornets bounced back in impressive fashion, erasing memories of a season-opening loss with a Friday night thrashing of the visiting crew from Highline High.

The season’s initial victory was doubly special because it came on the natural grass surface of historic Sheets Field, the home to decades worth of Hornet football players. Friday’s nonleague encounter was the first game at Sheets Field since the opening of the new White River High in the fall of 2003.

Putting some early miscues behind them, the Hornets put together a dominant second half and eventually claimed a 41-22 victory over the Pirates.

Friday’s romp came on the heels of a disappointing, season-opening loss to neighboring Enumclaw High and provided some healthy momentum as White River prepares for the opening of the South Puget Sound League 2A campaign.

Friday, the Hornets open league play by hosting the Washington Patriots on the White River campus. Like White River, Washington has split a pair of nonleague contests, the most recent being a 22-21, Friday night victory over Centralia.

The Patriots are hoping to continue their slow turnaround, having posted a .500 record last year to end a string of losing seasons.

White River would be happy to greet the Patriots with the type of offensive explosion they exhibited during last week’s second half. Following a sluggish first quarter, the Hornets hit the scoreboard when Garrett Quiles found the end zone on a 9-yard run. Aside from a Dustin France extra-point kick, that was it for the White River scoring and the Hornets took a 7-6 lead into halftime.

The second half was a different story, though, as White River charged to a 41-6 lead, allowing a couple of late Pirate touchdowns that made the final margin appear respectable.

Second-half TDs were registered by Keenan Fagan and Devin Liebel, pushing the score to 21-6. Trevor Christie pounced on a fumble in the end zone for White River’s fourth TD. Xavier Russell scored on a 55-yard punt return and Tristan Knaus rushed for a fourth-quarter touchdown to cap the Hornet scoring.

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