Author Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “You can’t go home.” Orting native and Enumclaw High football coach Don Bartel would beg to differ.
Friday, Bartel’s squad hosted the fifth-ranked Class 3A team in the state Lakes High, not at Pete’s Pool Field, but on a 2-year-old jewel in Orting. The Hornets nearly pulled off a stunner after falling behind 24-7 at intermission.
“It was good to be back home. Orting is a quiet little town that you are proud to be from,” Bartel said after watching his squad mount a second half comeback but not quite finish the job as the Lancers escaped with a 38-31 victory that dropped EHS’ South Puget Sound League 3A mark to 2-1.
“We didn’t quite pull it off and I thought the coaching staff was disappointed, but the guys weren’t exactly hooting and hollering after the game either,” Bartel said. “They knew what a loss at this stage of the season meant….that we couldn’t possibly win the SPSL 3A outright.”
Bartel’s halftime message was simple. “I just told them to relax and do something in the second half that will make them proud of on the long bus ride home,” he said.
That was what his soldiers did in the game’s second stanza as they took advantage of miscues by a panicky Lancer squad, which committed 14 penalties for 150 negative yards at exactly the wrong junctures.
The Hornets didn’t waste any time accruing their second touchdown of the evening as tight end Tyler Carlson kept his touchdown scoring string alive by hauling in a 6-yard strike from signal caller Dylan Podolak.
Podolak was often pummeled but kept his wits about him to throw four TDs on the night. He wound up completing 20-of-40 passing attempts for 215 yards.
“The Lancers ran, ran and ran some more,” Bartel said, pointing out Lakes’ nearly-400 yard night.
The Hornets knotted the score at 31 with a little more than five minutes remaining, scoring three touchdowns and a safety.
After Carlson racked up his touchdown grab to break the second half scoring ice, Terenn Houk hauled in a Podolak 25-yard rainbow toss for Houk’s second touchdown catch of the game.
The senior wideout was on the receiving end of 10 aerials for a total of 130 yards.
Marcus Joshlin was on the loose, scurrying untouched to paydirt. Joshlin then tacked on the two-point conversion as he found himself wide open in the flat and collected a Podolak offering.
Enumclaw was frustrated as Lakes consumed most of the remaining clock to score the clinching touchdown.
The Hornets now face 3-0 Bonney Lake Friday.