Week No. 4 of the prep football season brought success for the Plateau football teams, with both Enumclaw and White River ringing up South Puget Sound League 2A victories.
Neither was in action on the traditional Friday night but that couldn’t derail the victorious efforts. The Enumclaw High crew was in action Saturday, racing to a 49-7 road win at Franklin Pierce. White River had taken the field 48 hours earlier, playing at home on the turf of Arrow Lumber Stadium, and defeated Fife 35-24.
The ongoing shortage of game officials will have both teams playing again this week on less-than-traditional days. White River has another Thursday night game (the second of three consecutive Thursday contests) and will be on the road to face the tough Steilacoom Sentinels. Enumclaw will play another Saturday game when the squad travels to Harry Lang Stadium to challenge the Clover Park Warriors. Aside from playing on Saturday, EHS will be kicking off at 3 p.m.
Here’s how things went last week for the Plateau programs.
The Hornets found themselves trailing the Fife Trojans in the third quarter with several key players either shelved with injuries or banged up. Despite that, White River scored the game’s final two touchdowns to snag the league victory.
From the outset, the Hornets were without starting quarterback Tyson Campbell (also a mainstay in the defensive backfield); also on the shelf were linebacker Chase Campbell and Jayden Clausnitzer, not a starter but one who contributes on both sides of the ball. Making matters worse, offensive sparkplug Payne Plaster was nursing injuries that limited his output to five carries.
So, perhaps it wasn’t a great surprise that Fife held a 24-20 advantage in the third quarter.
But then a couple of things happened. First, the Hornet defense stiffened and stuffed several fourth-down attempts by the Trojans. And, second, White River’s offensive line – Ryan Stapleton, Huyson Emerick, Levi Grasley, Shadrach Crawford and Wyatt Davis – started clearing the way and leading the Hornets to a pair of touchdown drives.
White River regained the lead when Cashman scored from a yard out (the last of his three rushing TDs) and put the game away when Cashman connected with Nate Peckham for a 55-yard score.
Making his first start, Cashman made the most of the opportunity. He was good on 13 of 21 passes and found five different receivers; his top target was Jacob Rennaker who hauled in five tosses.
The offense also was sparked by Josh Poulin, who carried the ball 24 times and gained 143 yards.
The Hornet defense was paced by Ryan Stapleton, who had 10 solo tackles and assisted on four others, and Cooper Reeves, who intercepted a Trojan pass and was in on 10 tackles.
Prior to the late-game drama, White River had enjoyed a successful start to the game. The Hornets jumped to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to an 8-yard TD run by Poulin and a 7-yard run by Cashman. A second-quarter score came on a short run by Cashman, followed by a two-point conversion by Plaster.
Fife managed a pair of touchdowns and caught the Hornets for a safety, all during the second quarter, resulting in the Hornets’ 20-16 halftime edge.
For a few minutes Saturday night, things appeared close. Both the visiting Enumclaw Hornets and host Franklin Pierce Cardinals had scored a touchdown and added an extra point.
But any semblance of drama or balance was quickly wiped away, shattered by an Enumclaw onslaught that saw an additional 21 points posted to the scoreboard during the second quarter – along with a Hornet defense that kept the Cards out of the end zone the rest of the night.
Enumclaw cracked the scoreboard first when quarterback Malcolm Harper connected with Clive Pont for a 6-yard passing score. It wasn’t many seconds until the host Cardinals tied the game, courtesy of 80-yard kickoff return by Keyondre Nelson.
From that point, it was all Hornets.
Second-quarter scores came on a short run by Emmit Otero, a 30-yard toss from Harper to Dylan Watterson and, finally, a 25-yard strike from Harper to Dane Johnson.
In the third period, Enumclaw received a 65-yard rushing touchdown from Watterson before getting some special teams action. The Hornets blocked an FP punt which was scooped up by Keanu Lafaele who needed just a few steps to reach the end zone. A final Enumclaw TD came early in the fourth quarter on a short run by Seamus Twohey.
The Hornets’ scoring was rounded out by kicker Noah Seabrands, who was good on all seven of his extra-point attempts.