Two weeks ago, Sumner High School’s football season appeared all but dead.
Given a second chance, the Spartans would not let their playoff hopes go dark.
They swept the 3A South Puget Sound League mini-tiebreaker Tuesday, first beating Enumclaw in the opener, then stopping Lakes 13-7, at Franklin Pierce Stadium in Parkland.
Sumner (5-4) grabs the league’s No. 4 seed, and will play at Juanita High School on Saturday night in a Class 3A state play-in game.
Meanwhile, Lakes will miss the postseason for the first time since 1996.
“I am so proud of them,” Sumner coach Keith Ross said. “When we were out, we were playing for pride. And after Enumclaw beat Lakes two weeks ago, that spun us right back into contention, and we were super-excited.”
Lakes (5-4) took possession first, and quarterback Rob Reiten — filling in for injuired starter Jaiave Magalei — promptly threw an interception near the Spartans’ end zone on the team’s first play of scrimmage.
And two plays later, Sumner tailback Josh Riley found a huge hole off right guard, galloped to the sideline and outraced the Lakes secondary en route to a 93-yard touchdown run — the longest score of his career.
“It was great blocks from all my linemen — I love them,” Riley said. “And then it was off to the races. I used my speed, and I was gone.”
Even after Reiten threw a 28-yard scoring strike to Benning Potoa’e on the Lancers’ next possession, they missed the PAT kick to trail 7-6 — and ended up having to play from behind the entire game.
Lakes had two more drives into Sumner territory, but did not score. Coach Dave Miller went for it on fourth down on four separate occasions, but the Lancers really could not cash in on that decisive big play.
After Michael Smith kicked his second field goal from 33 yards to give Sumner a 13-7 lead with 2:45 to go. Lakes had one final chance.
But on fourth-and-8 from the Lancers’ 47, Reiten was sacked by Taurus Kukahiko and company to end Lakes’ season with 88 seconds remaining.
Riley finished with 143 yards on eight carries. Reiten was 10-for-21 for 110 yards.
Sumner 14, Enumclaw 12: In the first game, Riley intercepted a two-point conversion pass in the end zone by Enumclaw’s Scotty Garvin with 9.1 seconds remaining, and the Spartans escaped to advance to play Lakes.
Garvin led Enumclaw on a final drive, converting a fourth-and-12 play with a 22-yard pass to Trey Rodarte. Garvin then found Jordan Misensol in the right flat for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
Sumner overcame an early 6-0 deficit on a pair of Chase Torgison touchdown passes to Triston Wedington in the final nine minutes. The last one, a 39-yarder, gave the Spartans a 14-6 lead with 2:30 remaining.