By SHAUN SCOTT
The Clover Park Warriors spoiled the Sumner Spartans homecoming night.
As time expired in the third quarter, Clover Park running back Brandon Pritchett rumbled for a 59-yard touchdown run, giving his team a 19-14 lead against the Spartans.
The Warriors would never trail again.
Clover Park running back DeShaun Green scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:26 left in regulation, preserving Clover Park’s (1-4 overall) 25-14 win against Sumner (2-3 overall) on Friday night at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Pritchett’s touchdown jaunt to close the third quarter took the wind out of Sumner’s sails. Pritchett appeared to be stopped for no gain but kept his legs churning and plowed over a bevy of Sumner defenders on his way to a dramatic 59-yard touchdown run.
“That was an awesome play,” Clover Park head coach Jonathan Taz Randall said. “That’s what you teach the running backs to do. Just keep pushing and keep your legs moving. That’s exactly what Brandon did. It was just awesome.”
Green, who gashed the Spartans on the ground with three rushing touchdowns, finished the game with 166 yards rushing on 24 carries. Green said he was confident his team would win its first game of 2011 despite trailing the Spartans 14-7 at halftime.
"We came in at halftime and coach said we could just pound them on the ground and so we pounded them," Green said. "The coaches knew we could run the ball so we just went out and ran the ball. It feels so good to win. This is our first victory and this is what we needed."
Taz Randall said the game-plan was to keep the ball on the ground the entire night.
"(DeShaun) Green has been doing this all year long and Brandon Pritchett and our offensive line stepped up huge for us tonight," Taz Randall said. "Our goal all year has been to run the football. We put it together tonight."
The Spartans rushed for 170 yards but were slowed down significantly in the second half by Clover Park's stingy defense. Sumner running back Lokahi Kamau had 17 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns. But 120 of those yards came in the first half. Sumner turned the ball over three times, stalling key drives throughout the game.
"We turned the ball over and we missed a few open receivers," Sumner head coach Keith Ross said. "With a team like that with those athletes if you miss a few tackles then the next thing you know it's a touchdown. We got to score more than 14 points to get wins in this league (SPSL 2A)."
Taz Randall said getting that first victory under their belts is a huge boost for his team's morale.
"I felt like Sumner is one of the better teams in our league. This is huge for us," Taz Randall said. "Our kids have been working so hard and have been coming up close the last two weeks. We finished tonight. This is what we really needed."