The 2004 season didn't end on a bright note for the Sunnyside High School football team.
The Grizzlies ended their year with a lopsided 31-14 loss last night to 2A Naches, which was the number five seed out of the Central Washington Athletic Conference.
Sunnyside Coach Mark Marro didn't offer any great excuses for the loss.
"We just didn't play real well," said Marro. "They (Naches) came out fired up."
Marro said the Grizzlies have been in a bit of a downslide since having to go into Ellensburg only at half strength with its roster. Marro said it has been hard for his team to get out of the mode.
"We really dropped at the end of the year," said Marro. "It is difficult to keep that intensity level."
Marro said the last game of the season was also difficult for his team because there wasn't much left to play for, with the Grizzlies being out of the playoffs.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Grizzlies pulled ahead 7-0 when Greg Gilleland dashed in from five yards out. Naches, though, answered back, scoring with about 30 seconds left in the first half. Sunnyside took a 7-6 lead into the break.
Naches went wild in the second half on the Sunnyside defense, scoring 25 unanswered points.
"We gave up a couple of deep balls and that just gave them life," said Marro.
Sunnyside's last touchdown of the year came in the fourth quarter when quarterback Tony Cantu hooked up with Noe Zamarron on a 21-yard touchdown pass.
The Grizzlies posted mediocre statistics in the game. Cantu was 4-of-11 in the game for 79 yards. Gilleland had eight rushes for 49 yards.
Marro said Naches' defense did a great job of stopping Sunnyside's rushing game.
The Rangers also put together an effective ground attack, spreading the ball around between three players for nearly 150 yards.
"They were faster than us," said Marro. "They had the best game of their season."
Sunnyside finished its season with a Mid-Valley League record of 2-4, good for fifth place. The Grizzlies were 4-6 overall on the year.