Spartans, Panthers in state football playoffs

The Spartans beat the Cleveland Eagles 41-8.

The Sumner Spartans and Bonney Lake Panthers have punched their tickets to the state football championships.

Sumner hosted the Cleveland Eagles and won 41-8, improving to 10-0 on the season.

The game belonged to Sumner, scoring 41 unanswered points through the third quarter.

Cleveland scored its only points of the game with 2:48 remaining.

“(Our) defense was dominate,” Coach Keith Ross said.

The Spartans held the Eagles to 81 passing yards and 44 on the ground.

Five rushing touchdowns were scored by junior running back Connor Wedington.

He scored six on an 80 yard run, 2 yard, 1 yard, 12 yard and his final score of the game came off a 52-yard run.

He finished the evening rushing for 187 yards on 14 carries.

The final Spartan touchdown of the evening was an 11 yard pass from sophomore quarterback Luke Ross to junior tight end Michael Carey.

With the win, the Spartans enter the first round of the state tournament beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13.

“We have a lot of confidence right now,” Ross said. “We feel the 3A South Puget Sound League is the toughest league in the state and to go through the season undefeated has prepared us for the tough road ahead.”

The Spartans will be playing the Bishop Blanchet Braves from Seattle.

Bonney Lake

The Panthers improved to 6-4 overall after beating Arlington 33-21 Friday.

Bonney Lake rushed for 453 yards. More than half of those were by senior Ethen Koepke who scored four touchdowns and finished the game with 295 yards on 30 carries.

Junior running back Marcus Hamilton had 12 carries for 82 yards and scored a Panther touchdown.

The Panthers played a complete game on both sides of the ball.

“Defensively, we were studs,” Coach Jason Silbaugh said.

Arlington is a team that averages four touchdowns a game, he said, and the Panthers held them to three.

Silbaugh said the Panthers “overcame adversity” during Friday’s win.

Bonney Lake received the ball to start the game and drove down field to the one yard line. The Panthers fumbled, however, and Arlington scooped it and returned it for a touchdown.

But that didn’t stop Bonney Lake.

On their next drive, the Panthers made it into the end zone.

Arlington blocked the Panthers’ point after and Bonney Lake trailed 7-6.

The Panthers scored another touchdown before the half and went for a two point conversion but were unsuccessful.

Entering the half, Bonney Lake trailed 14-12.

The Eagles got the ball to start the second half and the Panthers stopped them.

On Bonney Lake’s next possession, the Panthers scored another touchdown to lead 19-14.

The Panthers scored two more times.

The win for Bonney Lake secured its bid in the first round of the state tournament.

The Panthers are scheduled to face the 10-0 Lincoln Abes.

Bonney Lake travels Friday, Nov. 13 to the Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

“(This) just shows how tough the 3A is,” Silbaugh said. “Our league has prepared us for this.”

When it comes to preparing to play in the sweet 16, Silbaugh said in his 17 years of coaching, 13 of those at the high school level, he has learned that at this time of the season, you don’t change how you do things.

The Panthers may tweak a few things, he said, but successful teams do what they’ve been doing all season.

“Why fiddle around if you know what works,” Silbaugh said. “We’ve been practicing since June and have a lot in our tool box.”