White River High’s Payne Plaster scoots outside the Cascade Christian defense for a late touchdown that gave the Hornets a short-lived lead. The visiting Cougars responded with a game-winning drive and sealed the victory in the game’s final minute. Photo by Kevin Hanson

White River High’s Payne Plaster scoots outside the Cascade Christian defense for a late touchdown that gave the Hornets a short-lived lead. The visiting Cougars responded with a game-winning drive and sealed the victory in the game’s final minute. Photo by Kevin Hanson

Friday football: EHS wins, White River loses at the end

EHS is riding high on a 3-0 record, while WRHS is down to 1-2.

The Plateau’s prep football teams found mixed success Friday night. Enumclaw High defeated Decatur to keep its record perfect at 3-0 on the season while White River slipped to 1-2 with a loss at the hands of Cascade Christian.

ENUMCLAW TAMES THE GATORS

The Hornets completed the nonleague portion of their schedule unscathed with a 24-7 victory over the Gators. The rest of the early season included a 36-14 win over neighboring White River in the annual Battle of the Bridge and an abbreviated 14-3 victory over Kentridge; the win over the Chargers was a 24-minute affair, as lightning prompted officials to halt the game at halftime.

The season’s third victory showed EHS jumping to a 21-0 halftime lead. The Hornets hit the scoreboard courtesy of a pair of touchdown run by Jackson McCann, a nine-yard effort in the first quarter and a 48-yard jaunt in the second period. The second quarter also featured a 15-yard TD pass from Cameron Brauer to Kayden Loop.

The scoring was polished off by three extra-point kicks by Fulton Gunderson.

Decatur cut its deficit with a rushing touchdown in the third quarter, but that was all the Gators could muster. Enumclaw’s final points of the night came on a 33-yard Gunderson field goal.

The Hornets were monsters on the ground, eventually rushing for 342 yards. EHS backs carried the ball 39 times while Brauer tossed only two passes. McCann ran the ball 18 times and accounted for 253 yards, averaging a whopping 14 yards per attempt.

Enumclaw High heads into North Puget Sound League 4A play this Friday with a road contest against the 2-1 Auburn Mountainview Lions. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Auburn Memorial Stadium.

WHITE RIVER FALLS TO THE COUGARS

A wildly entertaining contest in Buckley ended in disappointment for the host Hornets, who came up short 38-35 against the visiting Cougars.

White River had taken a 35-31 lead with 3:36 remaining on the game clock but slipped into the loss column when Cascade Christian quarterback Parker Johnson scored with just 48 seconds left to play.

Cascade Christian is a smaller, Class 1A school, but is ranked No. 3 in the state among schools its size. The 2-0 Cougars are guided by the 6-foot-4, 236-pound Johnson, who has committed to continue his playing career at Yale University.

The game featured some early highlights for the home-field Hornets, who put 14 points on the scoreboard during the first quarter despite running just four offensive plays. After going three-and-out to open the game, White River jumped on top when Caden Roehr scooped up a Cougar fumble and motored 86 yards for a touchdown. After Cascade Christian mounted a long scoring drive to knot the score, White River’s Payne Plaster took a handoff, scooted left and dashed 76 yards to paydirt.

The Cougars added a pair of second-quarter TDs to take a 19-14 lead into halftime. The visitors pushed their advantage to 25-14 on the first play of the second half when Johnson connected on a 60-yard scoring strike.

White River responded with an impressive six-play, 58-yard drive that featured four carries by Plaster, a 31-yard completion from TJ Stroschein to Hunter Smith and a direct snap to Cam Strickland who scored from the 9-yard line.

The Hornets pulled close on an exciting special teams play by Plaster who blocked a Cougar punt, caught the ball in the air and sprinted 15 yards to the end zone. White River took the lead when Strickland scored on a 6-yard run and Ryan Firle was good on his fifth and final extra-point kick.

That set the stage for Cascade Christian’s final heroics. A nine-play, game-winning drive was dominated by Johnson, who completed three passes and ran the ball three times on the way to the win.

Plaster was a workhorse for White River, toting the ball 22 times on the way to a 164-yard night.

The Hornets will be looking to bounce back into the victory column this Friday when they travel to face the 2-1 Franklin Pierce Cardinals. The game, with a 7 p.m. kickoff, will be the South Puget Sound League 2A opener for each team.


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