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White River is 1-2 following loss to Patriots | Slideshow
The White River Hornets might have jumped on the scoreboard first Friday night, but visiting Washington High put together a much stronger second half and walked off with a 33-12 victory.
The loss in the first game of the South Puget Sound League 2A season left the Hornets 1-2 overall.
White River will seek a return to the win column with a Friday night trip to nearby Orting High, but a victory likely won’t come easy. The 3-0 Cardinals, who returned to the Class 2A ranks this year after many seasons at the 1A level, have made an immediate impact. After nonleague victories over Eatonville and Evergreen, The Cards opened league play last week with a convincing 42-21 triumph over a Franklin Pierce team that many thought would contend for the league title.
Orting, led by veteran coach Marty Parkhurst, likes to run the ball behind the brother tandem of Jaysen Yoro and Christian Yoro but also counts on the quarterback play Trevor Grzelak.
White River’s second loss of the season started on the right note, as the Hornets struck for a first-quarter touchdown. Zach McMillen, a four-year starter at quarterback, hooked up with Keenan Fagan on a 28-yard scoring pass. After Dustin France booted the extra-point kick, White River had a 7-0 lead.
A safety then pushed the Hornets’ advantage to 9-0.
Washington answered when Victor Gamboa, last season’s league MVP, hauled in a touchdown pass from Jordan Mezias, but the Hornets scored again when France converted a short field goal.
White River was unable to dent the scoreboard the rest of the way, while the Patriots managed a TD run by Kody Martinez that left the game deadlocked at halftime.
The second half belonged to the visitors, who managed third-quarter TDs by Shawn Dixon, Gamboa and Martinez.