Week 5 football: White River earns Homecoming win

Enumclaw fell to the Lancers, their first lost of the season.

Week No. 5 of the prep football season featured a bounce-back victory for the White River Hornets and a prime-time loss for the Enumclaw High squad.

Coming off two straight defeats, White River picked up a South Puget Sound League 2A victory over Clover Park. At the same time, Enumclaw hosted highly-touted Kennedy Catholic and saw the visitors head home with a convincing win.


The Hornets helped create a happy Homecoming with a 24-14 victory over a talented, confident Warriors squad.

Clover Park High had trekked to Buckley with a 4-0 season record. One of those was a forfeit victory but, in their other three triumphs, the Warriors had outscored their opponents 78-14.

On the flip side, White River entered with a 1-3 mark and was coming off a 27-0 loss to Franklin Pierce in the SPSL 2A opener.

But those records didn’t matter under the Friday night lights at Arrow Lumber Stadium on the White River High campus. The Hornets matched Clover Park with long offensive stands and impressive defensive stops.

Things went White River’s way from the start. On the game’s first offensive play, Payne Plaster took a handoff, broke free around the left side and raced for a 58-yard touchdown run.

The Hornets’ second TD came through the air, a 19-yard scoring strike from TJ Stroschein to Mason Donovan.

Clover Park kept even with two scores and the teams headed into halftime deadlocked at 14 apiece.

The second half made all the difference as the Hornet offense contributed 10 points while the defense stymied the Warriors and kept them off the scoreboard.

Ryan Firle connected on a 23-yard field goal to give White River the lead and, later in the third period, Stroschein and Donovan connected for a second TD aerial, this time from 13 yards out.

Plaster totaled 115 rushing yards on 15 carries.


Kennedy Catholic traveled to Enumclaw seeking revenge. A season ago, the Hornets prevailed during a 57-48 shootout against the much-publicized Lancers.

It was a different story this time around, as the private school from Burien rolled to a 42-13 win at the Enumclaw Expo Center.

Enumclaw now sits at 1-1 in North Puget Sound League play and is 4-1 overall. Kennedy Catholic improved to 2-0 in league play and 5-0 overall.

The Lancers headed to Enumclaw ranked No. 4 in the statewide Class 4A polls, while Enumclaw held the No. 8 position.

The Lancers boast star power on both sides of the ball. Junior quarterback Sam Huard is ranked among the top QBs in the nation; on the defensive side of the ball, Sav’ell Smalls has been courted by programs across the nation. Both have committed to the University of Washington.

While Huard didn’t post his usual gaudy numbers, Smalls was a disruptive force against the Hornets. He registered three sacks and blocked a punt that led to a Lancer touchdown. Huard finished just 11-of-26 for 238 yards, but three of his passes went for touchdowns.

The Hornets couldn’t muster much offense during the early stages and found themselves trailing 21-0 at halftime.

Enumclaw cut into that lead early in the third quarter when senior Jackson McCann broke free for a 62-yard touchdown dash. Fulton Gunderson’s extra-point kick made it 21-7 but the Lancers posted three more TDs to crush any EHS hopes of a comeback.

Enumclaw finished the scoring when Dawson Harding found the end zone on a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter.

A handful of statistics told the story. The Lancers totaled 508 yards in total offense (270 rushing, 238 passing) to Enumclaw’s 327 (271 on the ground but just 56 through the air). The Hornets were guilty of three turnovers while the Lancers had none.

McCann was a workhorse for the Hornets, carrying 21 times for 141 yards.

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