Expectations ran high on both sides of the river leading up to Friday’s Battle of the Bridge. But, in the end, it was only the Hornets from Enumclaw High School who were celebrating.
Friday marked the opening of the prep football season throughout the state and, on the Plateau, it was met with great excitement. The annual contest between neighboring schools brought a record crowd to Arrow Lumber Stadium on White River’s rural Buckley campus.
They witnessed a contest that held only early excitement, as the visiting EHS squad broke away and rolled to a 36-14 victory.
It took Enumclaw just 46 seconds and two offensive plays to crack the scoreboard. Jackson McCann bolted through the middle of the pack and dashed 61 yards for the first of his three touchdowns.
Later in the first quarter, White River answered with a short TD run by Cam Strickland and took the lead with a two-point conversion. It wasn’t a conventional extra-point try as the snap was bobbled, the play broke down and a two-point pass was tossed to Isaac Morris.
White River’s 50-yard, four-play scoring drive was highlighted by a long completion from TJ Stroschein to Mason Donovan.
From then on, almost everything went Enumclaw’s way. McCann scored on a short run and Royal Snyder added a two-point conversion, followed by a 15-yard scoring toss from Cameron Brauer to Ricky Portillo. With Fulton Gunderson’s extra-point kicks, the visitors headed into halftime with a 22-8 advantage.
The second half featured EHS touchdowns by McCann, on a 50-yard punt return, and another Brauer-to-Portillo connection. Those were sandwiched around White River’s second TD of the night, a six-yard run by Strickland.
Both teams enter Week 2 contests knowing there are things to clean up. Enumclaw lost four fumbles and had a pass intercepted; White River was guilty of four turnovers, all interceptions.