A field goal, a touchdown pass and a short scoring run allowed the Enumclaw High Hornets to finish the 2012 football campaign on a winning note.
The team’s season finale was played Thursday night against Franklin Pierce on the Cardinals’ home turf. Enumclaw had no road woes, picking up a 17-6 victory.
The game was part of a series between teams in the South Puget Sound League’s 3A and 2A divisions – a Week 10 opportunity for clubs that had not qualified for the postseason playoffs.
Enumclaw got on the board first thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Caleb Gwerder and added a second-quarter touchdown when quarterback Peter Nordby connected with Adam Cosgrove on a 12-yard toss.
Along the way, the Hornet defense allowed its only touchdown of the night. But EHS came up with a block of the extra-point kick, allowing Enumclaw to head into halftime with a 10-6 advantage.
After a scoreless third period, Enumclaw salted away the win when David Pugh scored on a 2-yard run and Gwerder was good on the PAT.
Thursday’s victory provides Enumclaw High some momentum heading into the offseason, as it marked the only time this campaign the team notched back-to-back wins. The previous Friday, EHS slipped past Decatur 22-20, thanks to a TD catch by Bryson Grant and scoring runs by Mauricio Portillo and Cameron Strecker.
The Hornets finished 4-6 overall and 1-4 in SPSL 3A play during the inaugural season under coach Mark Gunderson.
A lopsided loss capped a disappointing season for the White River Hornet football team.
After finishing the regular portion of the 2012 campaign out of playoff contention, the Hornets were paired against neighboring Bonney Lake in a Thursday night, crossover contest that was part of a series matching clubs from the South Puget Sound League’s 3A and 2A divisions. While the verdict was still in doubt in the third quarter, it was the Panthers who celebrated at the final buzzer, laying claim to a 35-7 victory.
The first two possessions of the second half were crucial in deciding the final outcome.
White River was on the short end of a 21-7 score heading into halftime, but came out appearing poised to make a game of it. Dustin France opened the second half with a long kick return to near midfield and Austin Barker soon added a nice run that took the ball to the 8-yard-line.
In the first of the key possessions, the Hornets ran the ball four times and were rebuffed by Bonney Lake, handing the ball to the quick-strike Panther offense.
Bonney Lake did nothing on three plays but then took the wildly unusual course of running a pass play on fourth down from its own 4-yard-line. The gutsy call reaped the ultimate reward, as senior quarterback Chris Brown connected with Zach Zaragoza, who dodged one Hornet defender on the way to completing a 96-yard touchdown play.
In the span of just a few minutes, the momentum had gone from White River knocking on the door to Bonney Lake running away to a 28-7 lead. The Panthers added the final TD of the game moments after the majority of the starters were pulled from the game, with Brendan Studebaker scoring on a short run.
The first-half scoring started with Bonney Lake’s Logan Coutts taking a 16-yard pass from Brown. White River’s lone touchdown came on a short run by Keenan Fagan and, following the extra-point kick by France, the game was tied. The Panthers added first-half scores on a run by E.J. Harris and an 18-yard aerial from Brown to Zaragoza.
After making the playoffs the past two seasons and continuing a turnaround under coach Joe Sprouse, White River took a step back in the victory column this season. The Hornets finished 3-4 in SPSL 2A play and 4-6 overall, records that were administratively made better than initially thought. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association overturned two of Clover Park High School’s victories because the Warriors had used an ineligible player; one of those decisions was Clover Park’s 28-13 over White River, an outcome that officially turned into a Hornet win.