ELLENSBURG - The Sunnyside High School football team had its postseason hopes dashed this past Friday night at Ellensburg with a 20-0 loss to the Bulldogs.
But despite postseason aspirations having to wait another season, Sunnyside Coach Mark Marro is hoping his team can muster up some pride as the Grizzlies will try to finish with a winning season.
Sunnyside (2-3, 4-4) will finish Mid-Valley League play this Friday at Selah. The Grizzlies will then end the regular season at home the following week against the fifth seed out of the Central Washington Athletic Conference.
The shutout loss to the Bulldogs has more of a story than the final score might indicate.
"We played with a lot of young guys," said Marro. "They (Ellensburg) got a gift."
Due to injuries and other reasons, Marro had to go into Ellensburg with several of his younger players, who aren't used to performing at this level.
"Overall, I thought we played phenomenal," said Marro. "We were thin, but we played hard."
Grizzly fans might be inspired by the fact that Ellensburg led the game just 7-0 with about four minutes to go.
One performance that stood out for Sunnyside on Friday was the play of B.J. Miller, who played safety with a cast on his hand.
Marro said the Grizzly offense was able to put together several offensive threats throughout the game, driving down inside Ellensburg's 20-yard line on a couple of occasions, but could never finish off a drive.
"We had our shots at it," said Marro.
The offense was a bit troubled with the absence of one of its stars, Greg Gilleland. Gilleland had to miss the game after an altercation during Homecoming with Wapato. The duties in the backfield were mainly left to Joe Schwartz.
"Schwartz ran the ball hard, but it is hard when you are by yourself," said Marro.
Marro said his defense did well on Friday. He said his defensive line was pounding Ellensburg.
"The linebackers did a really good job," said Marro.
Marro is looking forward to this Friday's game at Selah. The Vikings have a new addition to their coaching staff this season in former Greyhound head coach Wayne Purdom, who is heading up the defense.
"Selah is a lot like us," said Marro. "They throw the ball minimally and they just run the ball at you."
Marro said the Grizzlies should be at full force next week with everyone in the line-up.
"Now it is about pride," said Marro.