For the better part of two seasons, the Class 2A South Puget Sound League hasn’t found a way to upend River Ridge High School.
River Ridge debuted in the league with a squeaker loss to Franklin Pierce in 2014. Since then, the seventh-ranked Hawks have spun off 14 consecutive league wins.
They scooted by Steilacoom, 47-27, to tally their latest win on Friday night at South Sound Stadium.
Early as it is, Steve Schultz and his crew of 12 returning starters appear to be revving up for a second consecutive 2A SPSL title run. The Hawks (2-0, 1-0 2A SPSL Sound) won their first last season, with a spotless 7-0 league record.
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But Schultz isn’t looking to polish any trophies just yet.
“(Steilacoom is) the toughest team we’re facing Week 2 right now,” he said. “Next week, we’ve got another team. … You just can’t come out not ready to play. You’ll get beat.”
The newly created 2A SPSL 16-team super league is divided into two divisions. River Ridge is in the Sound Division. Of the division opponents it has remaining to play this season — Orting, Renton, Highline, Eatonville and Clover Park — two advanced to the playoffs last year.
Two of the teams finished below .500. One of the teams won one game, another didn’t win any. Steilacoom (0-2, 0-1) was, arguably, one of the more taxing games on River Ridge’s schedule.
Which is why, even during periods where the Hawks had a three-score lead, Schultz didn’t feel any cushion.
“I was never comfortable, not at all,” he said.
The Sentinels pieced together several big plays — highlighted by Anthony Leiato’s 70-yard bomb to Marques Hampton in the fourth quarter — but not enough to rattle River Ridge.
Steilacoom had one lead, which lasted less than four minutes, before the Hawks took over for good to open the second quarter.
Trey Dorfner hurried to the outside and beat a defender diving for the pylon from one yard out. He ran for four more touchdowns of 26, 1, 3 and 15 yards, and alternated his rushing attack between looking for the corner, and sneaking straight forward. He said this season isn’t about running “north and south,” but finding a hole.
“I was trying to get them to bite,” Dorfner said. “If I hit the corner, next time they think I’m going to hit the corner, it’s a cut back. Lanes open up when that happens.”
Plenty did as Dorfner finished with 33 carries for 274 yards — his second game of 100-plus rushing yards in as many weeks.
“We established the run game,” Schultz said. “Those guys up front took care of business. ... When you’ve got a back like Trey, he doesn’t stop, he doesn’t know how to stop. He just keeps fighting, and when he sees the field, it’s amazing.”
Two more touchdowns rounded out River Ridge’s explosive scoring effort. Washington State commit Kelle Sanders scooped up an errant snap on Steilacoom’s first drive of the game and ran it back for 31 yards.
Josh Braverman caught a 26-yard pass from Sanders on the Hawks opening drive of the third quarter, after Ryan Blash ripped the ball away from a Steilacoom wide receiver for an interception three plays earlier.
River Ridge had 475 yards of total offense, led by Dorfner’s five touchdowns.
“My line gives me the opportunity to do what I do,” he said. “That’s really something that we’ve been trying to figure out is where our line is, and what we need to do to get the ‘W.’ ”
Lauren Smith: @smithlm12
No. 7 River Ridge
RR — Kelle Sanders 31 fumble recovery (kick failed)
S — Anthony Garcia 3 run
RR — Trey Dorfner 1 run (Dorfner run)
RR — Dorfner 26 run (kick failed)
S — Cole Hutton 10 pass from JJ Lemming (Johnnie McCurley kick)
RR — Josh Braverman 26 pass from Kelle Sanders (Dorfner run)
S — Anthony Leiato 15 run (kick failed)
RR — Dorfner 1 run (run failed)
RR — Dorfner 3 run (run failed)
RR — Dorfner 15 run (Matthew O’Leary kick)
S — Marques Hampton 70 pass from Leiato (McCurley kick)