Cruiser football clips Hornets
In his final game as a Cruiser Saturday, senior quarterback Caden Jumper went out with a bang. The University of Washington signee threw for 166 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 110 more and a touchdown as Eatonville secured a 33-21 victory over the Enumclaw Hornets, Saturday.
Head coach Gavin Kralik reflected on what Jumper has meant to not only the football program but also the Eatonville community these past four years.
“Caden did so much for our team on and off the field,” he said. “How he has treated the younger kids in our community that look up to him through coaching youth football and just being the person he is will be the greatest legacy he leaves. His talents on the football field are obvious, but his investment in the next generation of Eatonville youth is something I am very proud of.”
The Cruisers, ranked eighth in the state in the 1A classification, brought their balanced offensive attack and stingy defense to Art Crate Field looking to stop the punishing ground attack that the No. 4-ranked 2A Hornets brought.
The Cruiser defense was up to the task and successfully slowed the Hornet ground game.
“Our defense played great,” Kralik said. “Enumclaw really is known for having a physical rushing attack. For our kids to take their rushing game away from them demonstrated the hard work put in by our defensive staff and players.”
The Cruisers scored first after some stingy defense forced Enumclaw to punt. Job Kralik broke through the Hornets' special teams and blocked the punt attempt. Austin Wicker was right there to scoop up the ball and ambled a few yards into the end zone for the score. Kralik put the extra point attempt through the uprights to give Eatonville an early 7-0 lead.
The Cruisers extended that lead when Jumper found Jakob Lucht down the sideline for the 57-yard score. Kralik’s kick made the score 14-0.
With a little over 2 minutes left in the first half, the Hornets got on the board when quarterback Cameron Brauer connected with Dylan Watterson for a 33-yard scoring strike. After the extra point, the Hornets cut into the Cruiser lead, 14-7.
A personal foul on Watterson after the touchdown catch backed the Hornets up on the ensuing kickoff and gave the Cruisers good field position at the 47-yard line.
Jumper wasted no time answering back. He found a streaking Kralik down the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown. The Hornets blocked Kralik’s kick, but the Cruisers extended their lead to 20-7.
The Hornets answered back by going the length of the field in under two minutes and capped it off when Brauer was flushed out of the pocket and ran the ball in for the score. After the extra point, the Cruisers took a 20-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, Eatonville struck early when Jumper found Lucht again. This time Lucht made an acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone for the score. The Cruisers led 26-14 after the Hornets stopped the Cruisers' two-point conversion attempt.
The Hornets scored again when Brauer kept the ball and dove into the end zone for the score. After the extra point, they pulled to within five at 26-21.
With about two minutes left in the game, the Cruisers put the game away for good when Jumper linked with Kralik for the second time on the day for a 23-yard score. After the kick, Eatonville led 33-21.
The Hornets continued to try and claw their way back into the game by driving down to the Eatonville 21-yard line before Justus Roulst picked off Brauer at the 7-yard line to thwart the Hornet comeback. The Cruisers then ran the clock out to pick up the win.
With the win, the Cruisers ended their season with a 5-1 overall record and earned a share of the SPSL 2A title with the Steilacoom Sentinels. The Sentinels have one more game left on April 2. If they lose that game, the Cruisers will win the league title outright.
Caden Jumper — 7 for 8 passing for 166 yards, 4 TD. 18 carries for 110 yards, 1 TD
Job Kralik — 4 catches for 99 yards, 2 TD
Jakob Lucht — 3 catches for 67 yards, 2 TD
Austin Wicker — Recovered block punt for a TD