WRHS FOOTBALL: White River pushes past Clover Park

White River High overcame an early deficit Friday night to earn a 31-20 Homecoming victory over the visiting Clover Park Warriors.

The win pushed the Hornets’ record, both overall and in South Puget Sound League 3A play, to 4-2 – quite a turnaround for a program that didn’t win a regular-season game a season ago.

Friday’s victory included some lofty numbers by a pair of Hornets. Running back Blake Tidwell toted the ball 26 times for 211 yards and scored a touchdown; quarterback Marc Anderson went 12-of-19 through the air for 201 yards; and Michael Madden hauled in seven passes for 146 yards and, from his defensive back position, registered a team-high four solo tackles.

Defensively, the Hornets were swarming to the ball all night, recovering four Warrior fumbles and picking off two errant passes. Madden and Collin Green had the interceptions while Bryce Jeffries recovered two fumbles and Chase Myers and Barry Bonville had one each.

Early on, things certainly didn’t go the Hornets’ way. Clover Park quarterback Tana Pritchard had two touchdown passes in the opening quarter, one from 30 yards to James Powell and the other an 89-yarder to Malcolm Brown.

That was the end of the line for the Warrior offense, however. Clover Park’s final touchdown was an 81-yard kickoff return by Powell midway through the second quarter.

After falling behind 13-0, White River wasted little time getting back in the game – only as long as it took Hunter Chadwick to return the Warrior kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.

Kevin Moore’s 27-yard field goal cut the visitor’s lead to 13-9, but that was quickly pushed to 20-9 when Clover Park scored on Powell’s kickoff return.

Less than a minute later, Tidwell crashed into the end zone and, after he carried for a two-point conversion, the Hornet deficit had been sliced to 20-17.

The second half belonged to White River, as the Hornets added a pair of short Marcus Kaelin touchdown runs, one in each quarter. Moore was good on both of his extra-point attempts.

White River held the advantage in total offense, accumulating an impressive 445 yards – 244 on the ground and 201 through the air. Clover Park managed 146 rushing and 223 passing for a total of 369 yards.

The SPSL 3A is proving to be mighty tough, with five of the nine teams sporting winning records. Friday night will help sort things out a bit as White River hosts Peninsula (4-1) and Bonney Lake (3-2) travels to Enumclaw (4-1). The undefeated Lakes Lances have already beaten those four teams.

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