White River High’s third touchdown Friday night might have made things momentarily interesting, but the Washington Patriots responded in game-winning fashion.
The South Puget Sound League 2A foes squared off on the turf of the White River campus, with the visiting Patriots leaving Buckley on the winning side of a 49-21 score.
The loss dropped White River to 1-4 in league play and 1-6 overall. The Hornets lone victory came Oct. 9 when the team knocked off Clover Park in a Homecoming tilt.
Friday’s contest started on a positive note for the host Hornets, who cracked the scoreboard first. White River’s early lead came courtesy of a short scoring run by Justin Tidwell and an extra-point conversion by Alex Morris.
From that point, things started going south for the Hornets. Washington’s Tariq Ellis ran for three touchdowns in the second quarter and another in the third period, putting the Patriots on top 28-7. Showing resiliency, White River bounced back in impressive fashion, adding two TDs to slice into the visitor’s lead. Tyler Meadows scored on a pass from quarterback Trevor Johnson in the third period and Johnson added a short TD run in the fourth to cut the margin to 28-21.
That was all the Hornets could muster and home-field momentum disappeared when Ellis added his fifth and sixth rushing touchdowns of the evening. The Patriots’ final tally of the night came on a long fumble return.
White River will be in search of victory No. 2 Friday night but the effort will come on the road. The Hornets will be in Steilacoom for a 7 p.m. contest with the Sentinels.