Sumner wins 4A showdown against Graham-Kapowsin

Big-time players made big-time plays. It's an ultimate sports cliché, but it's true. And nowhere was it more evident than on the turf of Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, where the host Spartans defeated Graham-Kapowsin 34-27 in a Thursday night feature.

Sumner's Tre Weed slips past a Graham-Kapowsin defender and gains additional yards during last Thursday night's victory.

Big-time players made big-time plays.

It’s an ultimate sports cliché, but it’s true. And nowhere was it more evident than on the turf of Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, where the host Spartans defeated Graham-Kapowsin 34-27 in a Thursday night feature.

The South Puget Sound League 4A contenders were expected to entertain and they did. In keeping with the pregame buildup, the bleachers were packed on both sides and a TV camera crew scurried along the Sumner sideline. Aside from league standings, the game was a clash of state titans: Sumner went into the contest ranked No. 5 in the AP poll and Graham-Kapowsin was No. 3.

Thursday’s outcome will undoubtedly shuffle the deck when the latest poll is released.

But back to big-time plays.

After Sumner High fell behind 27-24 with just 2:22 showing on the game clock, the visiting Eagles made the mistake of kickoff in the direction of the Spartans’ Connor Wedington. The coveted senior – who has made a verbal commitment to the University of Washington football program – promptly took off on a highlight-reel, 88-yard return for the game-winning touchdown.

That wasn’t the last of the Spartans’ big plays, however.

Graham-Kapowsin’s highly-touted sophomore quarterback Dylan Morris still had the ball in his hands and time on the clock. But the Eagles’ hopes of a miraculous comeback were shattered when Sumner’s Tyson Rainwater intercepted a Morris throw and returned the ball to the 15-yard line. After milking the clock with three running plays, Sumner coach called upon senior kicker Nick Phillips, who cooly drilled a 28-yard field goal to account for the night’s final points.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Phillips had connected on a 27-yard field goal, adding valuable points.

Things hadn’t started especially swimmingly for the Spartans, who found themselves trailing 13-0 in the first quarter. The Eagles had scored first on a short burst by Brandon Becker, then on a 70-yard sprint by primary ballcarrier Micah Smith.

Needing some sort of spark, Rainwater proved to be just what the Spartans desperately needed. He stepped in front of a Morris toss, plucked the ball at midfield and sprinted 50 yards for six points.

Sumner quickly forced an Eagle punt and, with just a minute remaining in the half, Spartan quarterback Luke Ross lofted a pass to a waiting – and not defended – Tre Weed. The junior cradled the pass, turned upfield and polished off a 60-yard scoring play.

Phillips added his second extra-point kick of the half and Sumner headed into intermission with both the momentum and a 14-13 lead.

The Spartans added a bit of breathing room in the third period, again on a Ross-to-Weed aerial, this one covering 43 yards.

The exciting final period saw Graham-Kapowsin score a pair of TDs, the second giving the Eagles a 27-24 lead. But those were offset by Wedington’s electric kick return and the pair of Phillips field goals.

Bonney Lake

The Bonney Lake Panthers allowed the first points of Friday night’s game but nothing else.

Playing at Art Crate Stadium on the Bethel campus, the host Braves posted a first-quarter field goal to claim a 3-0 lead. But from that point on, it was all Bonney Lake.

The 35-3 victory pushed the Panthers’ record to 2-0 in Pierce County League 3A play and 3-1 overall.

The Panthers will be looking to keep their league slate clean this Friday when they host Stadium High. The 7 p.m. kickoff will be at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.

Stadium will take the field with a 2-0 league record, 3-1 overall. The Tigers are coming off a 59-6 pasting of Mount Tahoma.

The T-Birds are a common opponent, as Bonney Lake defeated Mount Tahoma during an exciting, 19-18 game on Sept. 16.

Bonney Lake’s victory over Bethel came largely on the ground, as Marcus Hamilton scored on runs of 5, 10 and 15 yards and Jason Day scored on a short burst. The team’s lone aerial TD was delivered by Kaiden Hammond and caught by Braydon Tressler, covering 24 yards.

More in Sports

WR standout Vandegrift signs with Huskies

White River fastpitch standout Megan Vandegrift formalized her athletic future, signing a National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Washington.

Robotics teams rock in Tacoma

Enumclaw High School’s robotics teams fared well during the first qualifying match of the fall season.

White River places fourth in Class 2A state volleyball

There is a new addition to the White River High trophy case, this one provided by the Hornet volleyball team that placed fourth during the Class 2A state championships.

Early start to Crystal ski season

The outdoor season has officially greeted those heading uphill, with snow deep enough to enjoy.

Panthers, Spartans ousted from soccer tournaments

Bonney Lake and Sumner High Schools both met the end of their soccer season last week.

WIAA honors Spartans’ Ben Wilson

Sumner High two-way football standout Ben Wilson was recently honored for his accomplishments by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Sumner advances to Elite Eight in 4A football playoffs

Sumner High’s march to gridiron glory continues this week as the Spartans host Monroe in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A football championships.

White River girls third in state 2A soccer tournament

The White River High girls brought a third-place trophy home from the Class 2A state soccer championships.

Sumner heading into 4A football semifinals

The Sumner Spartans are one of just four teams still in the hunt for the Class 4A state football championship.

White River two wins away from state 2A soccer title

The girls of the White River soccer program put together an undefeated regular season, steamrolled a pair of district foes and shut out their first two opponents in the Class 2A state tournament.

Sumner’s Mikaela Miele swam in the 4A state meet, nabbing fourth in the 500-yard freestyle event and sixth in the 200 free. Photo by Ray Still
Local swimmers, diver compete at state meet

Sumner High placed 13th and Enumclaw tied for 23th during the two-day, Class 4A state swimming and diving championships.

White River heads to state volleyball tournament Friday

The White River Hornets take their near-perfect record to St. Martin’s University Friday for the beginning of the Class 2A state volleyball championships.