A few of the South Puget Sound League 2A football contenders are lavished by the bells and whistles of weekly publicity.
And then there is White River High School.
As third-ranked Sumner continues to stomp through all comers in defense of its league crown, it might be the hiding-in-the-weeds Hornets who end up being the best challenger.
White River went to undefeated Fife and pounded the Trojans, 28-16, on Friday.
Winners of four games in a row, the Hornets host Franklin Pierce next weekend for their homecoming game in Buckley. If they win that game, it will likely set up a season-finale showdown at Sumner.
White River coach Joe Sprouse isn’t going to get caught up in all that.
“We don’t worry about that kind of stuff,” Sprouse said. “It is not about other teams or rankings. It is about focusing on us.”
Running back Keenan Fagan, a senior, continues to have a big season. He rushed for a season-high 205 yards on 27 carries. His 38-yard scoring run off a draw play gave White River the lead for good, 14-8.
And with 18 seconds to go in the first half, the Hornets capped a 55-yard drive with Sean Hayes’ 6-yard touchdown pass to Dustin France for a 21-8 halftime lead.
“Good is the enemy of great – that is what we believe,” Sprouse said. “We are OK, but we want to be great. And it’s not so much looking down the road. It is about next week.”
At Orting 55, Clover Park 27: Still without Jaysen Yoro, the Cardinals leaned on quarterback Eddie Prong, who threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns in a home victory.
At Steilacoom 45, Washington 0: Josh Lewis scored three touchdowns, two on receptions, and the Sentinels posted their first shutout since 2010 in hammering the Patriots.
At Bellarmine Prep 50, Stadium 14: Quarterback Lou Millie threw for three touchdowns, and led the third-ranked Lions with 104 rushing yards on nine carries in a convincing victory at Memorial Field.
At Bethel 28, Emerald Ridge 21: Jeremiah Vasquez broke a 21-21 tie on his 8-yard TD run with less than four minutes to go, and the Braves preserved their second victory of the season with a big defensive play in the final seconds.
Emerald Ridge drove to the Braves’ 26, but a fourth-and-4 pass was knocked down by Bethel linebacker Tom Hubert.
At Wilson 29, North Thurston 9: This time it was defense, and it was good enough to catapult Wilson to the top of the league standings by itself.
Wilson held run-oriented North Thurston to 21 rushing yards. The visitors had six three-and-out drives at Stadium Bowl.
Isaiah Simpson’s 10-yard touchdown scamper gave Wilson a 15-3 lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. And Simpson’s 65-yard kickoff return to open the second half set up Julius Yates-Brown’s 11-yard scoring run.
At Foss 28, Shelton 0: Chris Reynolds caught a touchdown pass, and his 62-yard interception return for a score in the second quarter put the Falcons in cruise control at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
At Lakes 42, Decatur 21: The Lancers scored 35 consecutive points, highlighted by Caleb Lyons’ 78-yard punt return for a score early in the third quarter, in earning their first victory of the season at Harry E. Lang Stadium.
After the Gators’ drive to open the second half stalled near midfield, they punted – and Lyons took it back all the way to give Lakes a 28-7 lead.
Peninsula 56, at Bonney Lake 28: The defending champion Seahawks rolled up a season-high 575 yards, led by quarterback Robert Kvinsland (272 passing yards, two TDs) and running back Avega Siolo (152 rushing yards, two TDs), in handling the Panthers at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Cedar Park Christian 42, at Charles Wright 17: It was all Eagles in the second half, scoring on four long plays, including Connor Johnson’s 70-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to upend the No. 7 Tarriers in University Place.