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Spartan football opens league season against Fife tonight | SEE THE SLIDESHOW OF THE SPARTAN/PANTHERS SUNSET BOWL
Tonight, the Spartans open their league season with a home game against Fife High School, while the Panthers continue nonleague play away against Timberline.
Watch the Courier-Herald website for scores from both match-ups.
The nearly 4,000 maniacal high school football fans who packed into Sumner's Sunset Chev Stadium Friday evening to take in the Bonney Lake/Sumner clash with the Sunset Bowl hardware at stake, certainly got their money's worth. With just five seconds remaining, the outcome was still dangling in the balance.
Bonney Lake, the South Puget Sound League 3A squad in the district rivalry, survived a strong second half surge by the SPSL 2A Sumner High contingent, but held on to outlast the Spartans 26-21.
Much of the first quarter was played between the 20-yard lines as Sumner's defense managed to hold at bay the sophisticated Bonney Lake offensive attack. But, with 30 seconds remaining in the initial stanza, BLHS flyer Keenan Jackson gathered in a mid-range aerial and sprinted 50-yards to put his team up 6-0.
Midway through the second period, Sumner marched down the field, the drive keyed by a long pass from Aaron Clark to Brendon Baker, who would eventually culminate the scoring drive by dashing 8-yards on the ground.
Spartan kicker David DeVries split the uprights and the Spartans led 7-6.
The Panthers, who gained more than 400 yards in total offense, scored again when quarterback Chris Brown hooked up with Zach Zaragoza on a 14-yard scoring dart just before intermission, making the score 12-7 at the break.
Sumner's Clark tucked the rock under his arm and rambled 71 yards around right end for a TD, then Sumner faked the PAT and holder Clark threw to kicker DeVries for the deuce as SHS broke out to a 15-12 lead.
BLHS senior defenders Dalton Fisher and Issac Ortiz alertly leaped on a pair of untimely Sumner fumbles, both of which led to touchdown throws to BLHS targets Robert Combs and Kaleb Zahnow and suddenly Bonney Lake had regained the advantage. Kicker Cameron Goenner booted through both of the ensuing PATs to put the Panthers up 26-15.
The stubborn Spartans would not go away as they bounced back to make it a ball game again with a fourth frame 2-yard scamper by tailback Tyler Salisbury.
With time slipping away, Bonney Lake found itself on its own 30, needing only a solid punt to force Sumner to drive nearly the length of the field in 30 seconds, if it wanted to claim the Sunset Bowl trophy for the second straight year.
Following a BLHS punt that was partially blocked, Sumner wound up on the Bonney Lake 40 with 28 seconds left to perform a miracle finish that was nearly accomplished. In the end it was an incomplete pass in the end zone that gave BLHS the win.
"Two years, two fantastic football games. I don't think the followers of this great series could have asked for anything more," said Sumner mentor Keith Ross, following the nonleague setback that left his squad 1-1 going into league action with Fife. The two will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Bonney Lake, now 2-0, will visit Timberline High at 7 p.m. Friday.