Throughout Washington, only eight football teams are still in contention in each classification for a state title – and both Sumner and Bonney Lake high schools find themselves in that elite company.
The Spartans and Panthers – both a part of the Sumner School District – advanced in their brackets with victories on Friday, Nov. 11. Sumner High competes at the Class 4A level and Bonney Lake is in the Class 3A ranks.
Now, each is just a quarterfinal victory shy of the Final Four.
Sumner’s next contest comes this Friday, Nov. 18, against Woodinville High. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. Bonney Lake’s next game is against Kamiakin, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick.
The Spartans, ranked No. 3 in the state’s 4A poll, outlasted the No. 9 Monroe Bearcats 58-42 to advance in state play. The game was played on Sumner’s home turf at Sunset Chev Stadium.
With the win, Sumner improved to 10-0 on the season.
Sumner High needed a 28-point explosion in the fourth quarter to get past the Bearcats. The outburst began with a scoring pass from Luke Ross to Tyson Rainwater and was followed by a 17-yard touchdown run by Connor Wedington; two more drives were capped by field goals by Nick Philips and Rainwater put an exclamation point on the night with an interception return with just seconds remaining on the game clock.
Heading into that final period, the Spartans trailed 35-30 – an unfamiliar position for the state title contender.
Sumner led early thanks to a Phillips field goal and a touchdown pass from Ross to Tre Weed. A closely-contested second quarter had Sumner receiving touchdowns from Rainwater, on a short pass from Ross, and Weed on an 8-yard run. Sumner’s lone TD of the third period was on a long toss from Ross to Weed.
The Panthers’ first state game featured a steller defensive effort that resulted in a 24-7 road win over the previously undefeated, No. 2-ranked Squalicum Storm.
Playing in Bellingham, Bonney Lake gave up a lone touchdown in the second quarter, allowing the Panthers to enter the locker room with a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Panthers’ defensive effort included twice stopping Squalicum on fake punt attempts. On both occasions, Bonney Lake threw the Storm for a loss and took possession of the football.
The Panthers cracked the scoreboard first on a TD run by Adam Fahsel, then received a field goal by Tate Hamlett.
Hamlett added two more field goals in the second half to put Bonney Lake on top 16-7 and, in the fourth quarter, Fahsel put the contest on ice with a 32-yard scoring run. Jason Day ran in a two-point conversion to wrap up the scoring.