(Vancouver, WA) The Spartans looked poised walking into McKenzie Stadium, pumped up during warm up’s at McKenzie Stadium and quite honestly, looked right at home at McKenzie Stadium as they ran to a 42-14 victory over the Union Titans from Vancouver, WA.
Coming in as the #3 seed from the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) the Sumner Spartans were beaming with confidence. Having lost too qualifying State playoff teams in Graham-Kapowsin and Puyallup in which both games were very competitive, the Spartans had the confidence in themselves to travel down South to take on Clark County’s 4A GSHL’s #1 seed Union Titans.
The Spartans got on the board first but not before their defense made their presence felt early. With the Titans lined up in an offensive formation on 4th down in their own territory, they attempted to quick-kick however, a high snap over the head of Lincoln Victor and immediate pressure off the edge forced Victor to scramble in an attempt to kick the football. Victor had no time and threw an incomplete pass towards the sidelines forcing the Titans to turn-over the ball on downs at the Union 31 yard line.
It took Ben Wilson and his offensive line (Riley Clark, Alex Beringer, Jacob Montano, Austin Roth, Niko Skinner & John Hopkins) one play to rumble 31 yard for the game’s first score and a 7-0 lead. Not the start the GSHL’s 4A champions were looking for.
The Titans next offensive series ended with a punt and the Spartans went back to work on the ground once more as Bryan Falk scored on a 2 yard TD run to increase the Sumner lead to 14-0. The next Union drive resulted in a Spartan defender up-ending Union RB Elijah Jones causing a fumble in which Blake Tannehill scooped up and raced 33 yards for another Spartan TD and 21-0 lead.
Union answered back on it’s next possession as Lincoln Victor went to work with his feet and arm resulting in a 21 yard TD pass to Alishawuan Taylor to cut Union’s deficit to 21-7.
Only trailing 21-7, the lead did not seem insurmountable to start the 2nd quarter for the Titans however, trying to stop the running game of the Spartans seemed to be a tall order as Ben Wilson (191 yards rushing) & Falk (100 yards rushing) continued to pound out yards behind their offensive line time and time again as the Titan defense grew weary.
QB Luke Ross found Alex Fraser behind the Titan defense for a 53 yard TD pass and run to increase Sumner’s lead to 28-7. Union had given themselves an opportunity to cut into the Sumner lead at the 9:04 mark in the 2nd Quarter as the Titans lined up from the 3 yard line going in but the Spartans defense rose to the occasion and forced Victor to fumble into the end-zone for a touch back.
The 2nd quarter grew increasingly difficult for the Titans as QB Lincoln Victor left the game with an apparent shoulder injury and would not return. After a Union turnover deep in Sumner territory, Wilson and the Spartan ground game would score once more on a 4 yard TD run to increase the score before halftime to 35-7.
The 3rd quarters lone touchdown came after another drive lead by Sumner’s physical offensive line allowing Luke Ross to score from 1 yard out increasing the score to 42-7. Carter Sutton took over at QB for the injured Victor and completed the scoring in the 4th quarter on a 76 yard screen pass to one of the States most prolific WR’s in Darrien Chase resulting in a 42-14 score.
The Spartans had successful results in all three phases of this game (offense-defense-special teams) resulting in 5 Titan turnovers and a physical win over one of the states better teams in the Union Titans. Union ends a successful season as the GSHL’s 4A Champions while Sumner advances to the next round of the WA State Football Playoffs vs Monroe Bearcats who defeated Puyallup 21-14.
Port Of Centralia Player of the Game: Sumner Spartans: RB Ben Wilson; Union Titans: WR-DE Alishawuan Taylor
Broadcasting: Dan O’Dell & Rodney Lawrence, ESN3