It seems all too fitting that the first play of the Sumner Spartans’ season was a sack.
Sumner’s defense, at least for one week, was as advertised in a dominant 49-13 win over the rival Bonney Lake Panthers in the Sunset Bowl.
“You always want to start the season great,” said Sumner coach Keith Ross. “We played well on both sides of the ball and a lot of young kids got good varsity reps.”
Sumner’s defense stifled Bonney Lake’s offense from beginning to end. The Panthers could only muster 2.5 yards per carry against the Spartans’ talented front seven in the first half.
Sumner also forced three turnovers, including interceptions from Tre Weed and Connor Filleau.
“They were locking people up all game,” Weed said of the secondary. “I’m proud of them. This is their first game starting and they did a great job.”
Meanwhile, Weed with the ball in his hands was too much for the Panthers to handle. He rushed for 103 yards, had 82 yards receiving and scored five touchdowns in a maelstrom of efficiency.
“Was it five?” Weed laughed. “I was just trying to go out there, work hard and have fun.”
Sumner quarterback Luke Ross had an uneven day, tossing three touchdowns and completing a nice percentage. But, he also tossed two picks, one of which was taken back for Bonney Lake’s only touchdown of the first half.
Bonney Lake started to find some offensive traction in the second half with the running clock in effect. Panthers back Cody Coffey rushed the ball 13 times for 60 yards and caught a fourth quarter touchdown pass.
“They will always be tough,” Ross said. “They are well coached and always play hard. They will do well in their league and probably make a playoff run like they always do.”
While any opening day win is sweet, this one was particularly satisfying for the Spartans, with all of Bonney Lake and Sumner packed into one stadium.
“It’s cool to have a district rival like this,” Ross said. “The kids grew up together, play sports together, even work out together. This is great for high school football.”
The Panthers (ranked fifth in the first 3A preseason poll) head to Timberline next Friday for their first road tilt of the season while Sumner (ranked second in 4A) stays home to host South Kitsap at Sunset Stadium.