Prince Fa’amalel's 1-yard fumble return for a touchdown lifted the Titans to 27-23 win and created a logjam atop the NPSL Mountain Division standings.
Prince Fa’amalele saw a huge opportunity for a bounce-back moment and pounced.
Never mind that Fa’amalele and his Beamer teammates just missed a prime opportunity one play earlier.
The Titans linebacker scooped and scored from 1 yard out on a fumbled snap, and that was the difference as Beamer upended previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Enumclaw 27-23 on Friday night in a key NPSL Mountain Division game at Enumclaw Stadium.
The 5-foot-9, 250-pound Fa’amalele, a sophomore, recovered the botched snap by Enumclaw quarterback Kellen Kranc for a touchdown to give Beamer a 27-23 advantage with 5:25 remaining. That came just one play after the Hornets defense stuffed the Titans on 4th-and-goal from the Enumclaw 1-yard line.
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“Initially I was a little bit mad that we didn’t get the touchdown, because I felt like I led the block pretty well,” said Fa’amalele, who helped lead the Titans’ defense on three defensive stops in the final 5:25, including a Kincade McFarlane interception. “So, I was a little heated, and they we were on their own 1-yard line and they brought their heavy set. And, we’ve got a heavy set on defense, as well. It seemed like a false start, but I guess we played on it.
“There was a fumble and it was right in front of me, so I picked it up and scored. I was a little gassed after our offensive drive, but the ball just fell right in front of me. I think it was a lucky play to be honest with you.”
The win for Beamer (5-2, 3-1 NPSL), combined with Kennedy Catholic’s 51-17 triumph over Auburn Riverside on Friday, created a three-way logjam at the top of the Mountain standings. The Titans are tied with Kennedy (5-2, 3-1) and Enumclaw (6-1, 3-1) with one week left in the regular season.
“We kind of expect this when we play each other,” said Beamer coach Darren McKay, whose team has beaten Enumclaw three seasons in a row, twice on the road in comeback fashion. “It was a fun atmosphere tonight.”
It was Senior Night for 25 of the Hornets’ players and their final game at historic Enumclaw Stadium. A win would’ve clinched at least a share of the Mountain Division for a second season in a row after taking home its first league/division title in 21 seasons in 2017. Beamer won the division in 2016.
Beamer answered when Billy Vann crashed into the end zone for a 2-yard TD for a 20-20 tie with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Gunderson’s third field goal of the game — a 29-yarder — gave Enumclaw a 23-20 edge with 15.2 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Nick Harberts led the Hornets with 154 yards rushing and a TD on 22 carries. Billy Vann led the Titans with 105 yards rushing and a TD.