After being sidelined for most of the Cruisers first four games this season due to a hand injury he suffered in the first game of the season, Caden Jumper made his presence known to the rest of the SPSL 2A league against River Ridge on Friday night.

Jumper put the team on his back and helped carry them to a 42-40 victory against the Hawks at South Sound Stadium.

Jumper would account for 366 of the Cruisers 412 total yards on the night. He would carry the ball 28 times for 258 yards with three touchdowns. Through the air, he would complete 10 of his 15 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Also scoring for the Cruisers would be Nick Sawyer, Zach Smith, and Jakob Lucht.

River Ridge would start the scoring off on their first drive of the game when junior Darion Brown found the endzone on a 1 yard run.

After a Cruiser punt and a great defensive series, the Hawks were facing a 4th and 1 at their 35 yard line when they elected to punt. The snapped sailed over the punters head. The punter would recover and be downed at the 10 yard line where the Cruisers would take over.

After a penalty pushed them back to the 15,  Caden Jumper would find tight end Nick Sawyer for the touchdown. Job Kralik’s extra point attempt would be successful and the score would be tied at 7.

The Cruisers seemed to struggle with the Hawk’s run game all night. River Ridge would add to their lead when Darion Brown busted through the middle of the Cruiser defense to find the endzone again, this time from 42 yards out.  River Ridge would take a 14-7 lead.

On the following possession, the Cruisers would march down the field to the Hawks 15 yard line before Hawks’ Dontae Owens would intercept Jumper’s pass and return it 97 yards for the score. River Ridge would lead 21-7.

The Cruisers would strike back. On the ensuing kickoff, senior Zach Smith would weave his way through the Hawk defense and return the kick 82 yards for the score.  After Kralik’s kick, The Cruisers would pull within a touchdown at 21-14.

River Ridge would once again answer back. They would dive into their bag of tricks with the halfback pass when running back Michael Paje would find Dontae Owens in the endzone from 20 yards out to extend their lead back to 14 points at 28-14.

River Ridge would get the ball back following a Cruiser fumble at their own 41 yard line. The Cruiser defense would hold and the Hawks would settle for a field goal attempt that would fall short. The Cruisers would get the ball back at the 22 yard line.

Eatonville would put together another scoring drive set up by long runs from Jumper and Alex Brymer. Jumper would keep the ball on a 31 yard score to cap off the drive. After Kralik’s kick, the Cruisers would pull within 7 at 28-21.

The Cruisers would receive the kickoff the start the 2nd half and would again mount another scoring drive.

Jumper would continue to pound the Hawks defense with his running. He would set the Cruisers up 1st and Goal after a 31 yard run through the middle of the Hawks defense. He would be stopped at the 2 yard line. He would cap off the drive when he plowed into the endzone from the 2. After the kick, the game would be all tied up at 28.

The Hawks would waste no time answering back. After recovering the Cruisers attempted onside kick at the 49 yard line, they would find the endzone again when Jevon Brown would hit Dontae Owens from 13 yards out.  Job Kralik would block the extra point attempt and River Ridge would go up by six at 34-28. This would be a crucial play in the game.

Following a Cruiser punt, River Ridge would have the ball at midfield when Jakob Lucht would pick off a Jevon Brown pass and scramble 55 yards for the score. Trevor Schier would put the extra point through the uprights and the Cruisers would take a 35-34 lead.

Just like it had been all night, River Ridge would respond. After starting at their own 47 yard line,  Hawks quarterback Jevon Brown would find Ke’ianu Trinidad wide open on 4th and 3 from 18 yards out for the score. The Hawks would attempt a two-point conversion to try and extend their lead to 7, but the attempt would be unsuccessful as Trevor Scantling and Kyle Cox chased down quarterback Jevon Brown on the keeper and force him out of bounds short of the goal. River Ridge would take a 40-35 lead.

After Chris Van Cour fell on the Hawks squib kick at the 40 yard line, the Cruisers were poised to mount a game winning drive.

Jumper would complete a 23 yard pass to  Blain Hanly to bring the Cruisers to the 26 yard line.

Trevor Schier would then haul in a Caden Jumper pass to bring the Cruisers down to the 2 yard line.  Jumper would score the game winning touchdown on a 2 yard dive up the middle. Schier’s kick would put the Cruisers up 42-40 with 8:00 minutes left in the game.

On the next possession, River Ridge would put together another great drive starting at their 40 yard line.

Big runs by Darion Brown and a nice screen play by Dontae Owens would have the Hawks set up at the Cruiser 10 yard line looking for the go ahead score. Senior Zach Smith had other ideas.

Smith would pick off Jevon Brown in the endzone and bring it out to the 3 yard line.

The Cruisers would then use their strong ground game to drive the field and run the clock out to take the 42-40 victory.

The win propels the Cruisers record to 2-0 in league play and 3-2 overall.

Next up for the Cruisers is a match up against the Foster Bulldogs (1-4) on Friday, Oct. 11.