High School Sports

Prep football: Yelm tops Bethel, 34-31, in back-and-forth opener

Nicholas Blanco scored on a 7-yard pass from Dakota Hill with 5:29 to play to give the Yelm Tornados a 34-31 victory over the Bethel Braves in a game with big changes of momentum.

Earlier, Collin White dropped what might have been a go-ahead scoring pass for Bethel inside the 10 in the fourth quarter Thursday night at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.

White, a junior, got another chance. This time, he cashed in, grabbing a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tristyn Gese, and the Braves went up 31-27.

On Bethel penalties that negated two interceptions and set up two scores, the last the game-winner, Yelm coach Jason Ronquillo said: “We were very fortunate with that. But that’s the nature of the beast in a first game. Luck was on our side.”

Kaleb Lunderville, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound senior, scored touchdowns for Yelm on the first two scrimmage series of the second half to give the Tornados a 27-13 lead.

Lunderville caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Hill on Yelm’s first play of the second half, then stepped in front of a Bethel receiver on the Braves’ first pass of the half and cut back against the grain for a 45-yard return to the end zone.

The Braves were far from done. Jarrell Anderson snared a 28-yard scoring pass from Gese, Anderson’s second TD catch of the night, to get the Braves back to 27-19. A series of Yelm miscues had the Tornados backed up, and a short punt set up a TD run by the Braves’ Seth Smith.

Yelm’s Hill went 9 of 29 passing for 133 yards and three touchdowns, while Brandon Thompson finished with 94 yards on 19 carries.

Jefferson 26, Kentridge 19, OT: Jayvon Buckley’s 20-yard touchdown run in overtime led the Raiders over the Chargers.

Jefferson quarterback J’sias McKinley-Johnson found the end zone on a 15-yard run in the first quarter, and Leontre’ Griffin had a 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as Jefferson built a 13-3 lead at halftime.

The Chargers got going in the third quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run from Jett Briceno.

Solomon Hines busted an 85-yard TD run for Kentridge. The Raiders answered as Sunny Funai caught a 7-yard scoring pass from McKinley-Johnson.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Chargers trailed by three points, but Sabian Tsang hit a 40-yard field goal to tie it at 19-19.

North Thurston 28, Auburn Riverside 27, OT: Clay Christian’s three-TD night helped lift the Rams over the Ravens.

The junior quarterback threw for two TDs and ran for one. Ross Sherrer scored in overtime on a 17-yard run.