White River closing in on league showdown | Football

The White River Hornets remained undefeated in league play Friday night, thanks to four first-half touchdowns and a crucial defensive stand in the game’s waning moments.

The Hornets’ 28-20 victory over Clover Park improved the team’s record to 5-0 in South Puget Sound League 2A play and 6-1 overall. White River’s six-game winning streak had elevated the Hornets to No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Class 2A statewide poll. The team’s only blemish was a season-opening loss to cross-river rival Enumclaw.

The SPSL 2A season is racing toward an exciting conclusion, with the distinct possibility of a final-game showdown between White River and Sumner for all the league marbles. Each has a game this Friday – White River hosting the 2-3 Steilacoom Sentinels and the Spartans traveling to meet the 3-2 Fife Trojans – before they square off Nov. 1 at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. The Spartans presently sit at No. 3 in the AP poll.

White River’s latest victory over the Clover Park Warriors featured the usual cast of characters. Quarterback Sean Hayes continued to have the hot hand, tossing two more touchdown passes; Keenan Fagan accounted for three TDs on the ground and led the team in tackles; and receiver Dustin France caught his fourth touchdown pass of the season.

The Hornets jumped to a 14-0 lead after just eight minutes of play, hitting the scoreboard first when Fagan and Hayes connected on an 18-yard pass play, then built the lead when Hayes and France teamed up from 19 yards out. The second quarter brought a pair of short TD burst by Fagan and allowed White River to head into the locker room with a 28-12 cushion.

Clover Park made things interesting with a fourth-quarter touchdown, then had one last opportunity, taking possession of the ball with 1:40 to play. The Hornet defense sealed the victory, allowing the Warriors only to reach midfield before slamming the door on four straight plays.

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