Heading into Friday’s “Battle at the River” rivalry against White River High at Pete’s Pool Field, the dye is cast for the experienced Enumclaw High football squad.
After dropping a road game to Peninsula 28-13 Friday night, the EHS crew can – with a victory – lock up a 6-2 third place finish in the South Puget Sound League 3A standings.
“It was kind of a weird week preparing for Peninsula after the last three weeks of winning,” Enumclaw coach Don Bartel said. “I accept the complete blame for not having the kids ready to play the Seahawks, who certainly came ready to play and took us out of our style.”
Bartel knows his players and coaches will have to be prepared against White River.
“Besides their obvious talents, they have those doubly dangerous intangibles that don’t show up in the statistics or scorebooks, they have a lot of heart and inner toughness,” Bartel said of a White River team that gave Peninsula fits.
Enumclaw drew first blood Friday night in Purdy, as quarterback Riley Carel hurled an 11-yard dart midway through the first quarter to Tyler Carlson, but Peninsula answered with a TD pass of its own to knot the score after one quarter was in the books.
Enumclaw scored another touchdown through the air when Carel hooked up with senior receiver Coleman Clyde on a 7-yard strike, but the kick failed. Going into this week’s rendezvous with White River, Clyde leads all SPSL 3A receivers with eight TD receptions.
That second six pointer was all the scoring there would be for the Hornets, as Peninsula’s defense went into lockdown mode in the second half, allowing nothing the rest of way. The Peninsula offense gobbled up the clock with its efficient and time-consuming ground attack, which accumulated nearly 300 yards.