Sumner High School had already taken care of preseason Class 3A SPSL favorite Auburn Mountainview earlier this season.
And next Friday, the Spartans have the game they want — hosting Lakes with the league title nearly in their grasp.
But first, fifth-ranked Sumner had a tough test at home with Auburn and passed it with flying colors, 42-21, at Sunset Chev Stadium.
“We are playing well,” Spartans coach Keith Ross said. “We are young in spots where we need to continue to get better, but we are doing what we need to do by playing well in all three phases.”
Big plays by Connor Wedington, including a 55-yard punt return for a TD, gave Sumner a 14-0 lead. But Malik Williams sliced it in half with his 6-yard scoring run for the Trojans with 53 seconds remaining in the first half.
Ross was steamed. His offense had not been on the field very much, and he was planning on letting his team in on his displeasure.
Before he could, the Spartans answered by driving 65 yards in 40 seconds, highlighted by Luke Ross’ 59-yard pass to Tre Weed to set up Josh Riley’s 1-yard touchdown plunge for a 21-7 Sumner lead with 13 seconds to go.
“That was huge,” Ross said. “I was going to be really mad.”
Sumner then took more than seven minutes off the clock to open the second half, grabbing a 28-7 advantage on Wedington’s 4-yard burst.
Wedington, a junior, finished with 273 all-purpose yards in the victory.
Now on to next week’s showdown against No. 4 Lakes, which trails by one game after falling to Auburn Mountainview on Friday.
“We thought it would be a three-horse race,” Ross said. “Lakes is a little bit bigger than us up front, but is sounds like we share the same philosophy — run the football and play defense.”
Bonney Lake 35, Auburn Riverside 14: Jon Geiger only had nine carries, but he gained 136 yards as the Panthers scored the first two touchdowns of the game and never trailed.
Bethel 35, at Emerald Ridge 28: After seeing the Jaguars roar back from a 27-0 deficit with four touchdowns in the second half, backup quarterback Nate Hughes and the Braves recovered to win at Sparks Stadium.
Hughes, in for Bryce Missey, who was injured on the first series of the second half, completed a 39-yard pass to set up Jon Jon Taimanglo’s 2-yard touchdown run in the final minute.
Gage Hansen threw for 192 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half, for Emerald Ridge.
Puyallup 40, Spanaway Lake 20: Nathaniel Holcomb had 143 of his 202 passing yards to go Tyler Torgerson as the Vikings (3-3; 3-1 4A SPSL South) cruised past the Sentinels.
Taje Davis added 15 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown for Puyallup and Riley Pletcher had 86 yards on eight carries and a touchdown.
At Kentridge 24, Kentlake 7: The Chargers picked off Kentlake quarterback Trey Helgeson four times, including one by Tui Mulitauaopele, who returned it 27 yards for a score with 2:45 to go in a victory at French Field.
Bellarmine Prep 37, at South Kitsap 23: Brock Gagliardi’s 53-yard punt return for a touchdown and Lance Joseph’s 25-yard fumble return TD were two of the Lions’ four second-quarter scores.
Bellarmine Prep (5-1) running back Ahmad Lewis had 17 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown and reciever Blake Wilcoxen had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.
South Kitsap (1-5) quarterback Jake Taylor was 21 of 43 passing for 288 yards and a touchdown.
Lincoln 41, at North Thurston 0: Willie Hamilton, making his second career start in place of injured Joey Sinclair, threw four long touchdown passes, and the third-ranked Abes rolled at South Sound Stadium in Lacey.
The last one, a 66-yard pass to Alvin Johnson, came in the third quarter.
At Mount Tahoma 14, Foss 0: Ira Branch’s 96-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:13 to go sealed the Thunderbirds first victory of the season at Mount Tahoma Stadium.
Wilson 17, at Capital 16: Alex Motonaga’s 1-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds remaining in the first half was the game-winner, and the Rams’ defense took over the second half with three interceptions at Ingersoll Stadium.
At Fife 48, Franklin Pierce 32: The Cardinals scored the first two touchdowns of the game, but were outscored 48-19 the rest of the way.
Fife quarterback Kyle Mozzone ran for three touchdowns and Tanner Knapp had a pair of scores.
Franklin Pierce quarterback Willie Patterson threw touchdown passes of 60 and 70 yards to Emmanuel Thornton and had a 64-yard TD pass to Alex Bing.
At Steilacoom 41, Orting 15: Anthony Leiato threw two long touchdown passes in the second quarter (72, 69 yards), and the Sentinels built up a 27-0 lead in handling the Cardinals.
Leiato completed 14 of 23 passes for 257 yards, and added 47 rushing yards. Marques Hampton (155 yards) and La’jon Enis-Carter (117) both went over 100 yards receiving.
At White River 25, Clover Park 16: Ryan Richey’s 1-yard touchdown run with 4:45 to go was the game-winning score, and the Hornets rallied for a victory in a matchup of winless teams in Buckley.
Tumwater 49, at Centralia 6: The top-ranked Thunderbirds racked up 343 rushing yards, led by Easton Trakel’s 134, and Tumwater won at Tiger Stadium.
Rochester 25, at Eatonville 22: Tiki Hickle intercepted a Jacob McCormick pass and returned it 95 yards for the game-winning score with 35 seconds remaining, and the Cruisers were stunned at B.W. Lyon Field.
McCormick had rallied the Cruisers to take the lead, 22-19, with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Justin Brandt with 4:34 to go.