The Sumner High football team wanted the perfect start to the season, especially with an offense backed by arguably the Class 3A South Puget Sound League’s top playmaker: Connor Wedington.
After Wedington compiled 242 total yards in the Spartans’ 58-13 road win over old league foe Franklin Pierce on Friday night, all Sumner coach Keith Ross could do was give his junior a giant bear hug for his efforts in the nonleague game.
“He did it everywhere, like we wanted him to,” Ross said of Wedington. “He intercepted, he ran touchdowns and he caught — he did everything we wanted him to do.”
“Our (offensive) line was great and our defensive played great tonight,” Wedington said. “Our (offense) was a little bit awesome.”
The offense was great right from the opening drive as Sumner jumped on Franklin Pierce.
“Scoring on that first drive really got things going,” Ross said. “Connor was able to make guys miss for his first score ... he was awesome.”
Wedington’s 23-yard touchdown run put Sumner (1-0) on the board on its first drive after cutting his way through the middle of the Cardinal defense.
Franklin Pierce (0-1) locked in on Wedington throughout the first half, but nothing the Cardinals did could stop the Spartan playmaker from accumulating 109 yards on nine carries, with touchdown runs of 23 and 45 yards.
Wedington finished with 134 yards on the ground, starting his junior season exactly the way this standout wanted to as he aims to reach the 2,000-yard mark.
“We’ll see ... we’ll see. I’m just hoping for a good year, get a good outcome and team wins,” Wedington said. “Just keep grinding along the season.”
Josh Riley wanted to be more than just a backup to Wedington this year, and with sprinter-class speed to back his game, the senior looks to do just that.
Riley only needed four carries to put up 96 yards on the ground as he provided a much-needed boost to Sumner’s offense when Wedington was zeroed in on by Franklin Pierce’s defense.
“It felt pretty good just to get out there and to show that I can be a weapon on offense, too,” Riley said.
Luke Ross nearly had a flawless day under center as Sumner’s new quarterback. A lot rides on this young sophomore — both as the signal caller for a top flight offense and for being the coach’s son.
“He’s (did) pretty good for it being his first year,” Riley said. “But for his opening night to almost be perfect — that’s great.”
Luke Ross announced his presence in style as he connected with sophomore receiver Tre Weed on a 60-yard go route to put Sumner up 28-0 in the first quarter.
“It felt great just to get out there,” Luke Ross said. “We just threw some short passes.”
Luke Ross started the game without a mistake, finding receivers with space to work in the field. On Sumner’s first three drives, he compiled 117 yards (7 for 7) with two touchdowns before tight end Tyson Rainwater dropped a pass while fighting a defender.
Luke Ross finished 14 for 16 with 194 passing yards and three touchdowns. Weed was his favorite target, hauling in 117 yards with touchdowns of 60 and 36 yards.
“That’s all we can do — get the ball to Tre (Weed) and Tyson (Rainwater) on the hitches and bubbles, and just let them do what they do. They did great tonight,” Luke Ross said.
Rogers 21, Todd Beamer 17
The Rams outlasted Todd Beamer (0-1) at Sparks Stadium on Friday night in a week one shocker.
If there’s a reason for why Rogers (1-0) has played so well against Beamer these last two year, coach Gene Bowen doesn’t have a direct answer.
“I don’t know if there’s any mystique about it — a lot of it goes into it being a week one game,” Bowen said. “(In week one), a lot of teams don’t look like what they are later on in the season.”
After Rogers marched back from a 17-0 first-quarter deficit, Bowen is hoping this week one showing is nothing like last season’s, where the Rams picked up their first win over Beamer before dropping eight straight.
“Andy Armstrong did a nice job making adjustments for our defense at halftime,” Bowen said. “He told them the guys we’re going to play one way.”
That way was until the end. With Beamer tiring out, quarterback Jordan Bishop led the Rams to touchdowns at the end of the first half, and on Rogers’ first drive of the third quarter to put them back in the game.
With just over four minutes left in the game, wide receiver Troy Johnston hit Bishop for the game-winning 19-yard touchdown pass after the Rams faked a jet sweep.
Thomas Jefferson 33, Puyallup 27 (OT)
The Vikings couldn’t stop their collapse as the Raiders put up 26 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and overtime to eclipse Puyallup (0-1) for the victory. Puyallup had a 20-point fourth quarter lead erased by Jefferson (1-0) in the loss.
Prosser 40, Emerald Ridge 10
The travel to play the Mustangs at Fiker Stadium was bad. The results were worse as the Jaguars fell to Prosser (1-0) for the second consecutive season opener in a nonleague game.
Emerald Ridge (0-1) will need to hope to not make the effects of this loss last as the Jaguars take on a tough Kentwood (0-1) squad that’s looking to prove that it is not the team that surrendered 28 unanswered points in a loss to Curtis (1-0).
Naselle 40, Chief Leschi 0
The Warriors (0-1) fell on hard-luck to open the season by being shutout by a solid Naselle team.