A first half defensive battle turned into offensive slugfest in the fourth quarter as White River sustained fewer blows on their homecoming night to beat Franklin Pierce, 23-13.
“As an alum, I am always happy when we win our homecoming game,” White River coach Joe Sprouse said. “It means a lot to me personally, the coaching staff and the community. We came out here and played well on homecoming for our fans. It’s a big deal. Our kids really look forward to this type of game. It’s a big distraction week, but the kids focused well and came out in the second half and won the game.”
White River (5-1), which is known for its high-powered running attack, displayed a supreme passing game today with all three touchdowns coming via the air.
Leading the passing attack was quarterback Sean Hayes, who threw for 141 yards to go with his three touchdowns.
Hayes spread the ball around as Keenan Fagan, Garrett Quiles and Hunter Hendricks caught touchdowns of 32, 15 and 68 yards, respectively.
On the ground, Fagan, who leads the conference in rushing, only managed 35 yards as the Franklin Pierce defense stifled the run game of White River.
For Franklin Pierce (4-2), their usually potent passing game left some to be desired Friday.
Daniel Wheelock, the Franklin Pierce quarterback and SPSL 2A leader in passing, finished the night with 81 yards on 8-of-16 passing. He picked up one touchdown and threw an interception.
Franklin Pierce also lost starting middle linebacker and defensive captain Devin Hamilton during a White River two-point conversion in the first quarter.
Hamilton ran awkwardly into a teammate on the play. The senior attempted to get up, but collapsed back to the ground. He left the field on a stretcher and was taken to a local hospital. His condition remained in question following the contest.