A pair of Thursday night football games delivered different outcomes for the Plateau’s high school teams.
The Enumclaw squad improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 28-6, home-field victory over the Franklin Pierce Cardinals. The White River Hornets went the other direction, slipping to 0-2 with a 40-21 road loss at Steilacoom.
The battle-tested EHS crew – who advanced to the state’s Final Four a season ago – jumped on top of the visiting Cardinals with a bit more than five minutes elapsed on the game clock. Forced to punt on their first possession, the ball was sent to Wyatt Neu who promptly raced to the end zone. Senior kicker Riley Rutledge was good on his extra-point kick and it was 7-0 for the Hornets.
The lead was pushed to 14-0 on the final play of the first quarter when Tristan Donovan scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns and Rutledge was again perfect on the PAT.
Enumclaw went on top 21-0 in the second period when quarterback Gunnar Trachte connected with Landon Brauer on a 41-yard scoring strike.
Franklin Pierce crashed the scoreboard once, finally finding paydirt early in the fourth quarter. But EHS answered back in the final minutes of the game when Donovan ran it in from 19 yards out.
White River: Taking on the Sentinels in Steilacoom, the White River squad showed plenty of defensive life – recovering two fumbles during the game’s early stages – but also gave up a pair of touchdowns. Trailing 14-0, the Hornet offense got rolling in the second period and sliced the lead in half when quarterback Aaden Rathbun connected with Tate Bowen on an 8-yard TD pass.
After the Sentinels went up 21-7, White River again was sparked by the Rathbun-to-Bowen tandem. A 40-yard completion up the right sideline but the Hornets in business and the effort was capped when Jacob Rennaker crashed into the end zone from three yards out, courtesy of a crushing block by Landon Mollett on a blitzing linebacker.
The Sentinels regained a two-score lead with a touchdown shortly before the end of the second period. The teams settled into a defensive battle after halftime.
The Hornets sliced the home team’s lead to 28-21 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and the TD again came on a Rathbun-to-Bowen aerial.
The remainder of the contest saw Steilacoom scored two more touchdowns, the last with just 1:16 remaining. Those were sandwiched around White River’s failure to convert a fourth-and-2 situation and a Sentinel interception of a Rathbun pass.