WAPATO - A week after coming close in a loss to Hanford, Sunnyside's young football team was on the brink of savoring its first win of the season at Wapato this past Friday.
The host Wolves interrupted the party, however, with a late touchdown to upend Sunnyside 14-10 in Mid-Valley League play.
"It was a tough game," said Grizzly Coach Mark Marro. "We fumbled at their one-inch line in the first half and had some other mistakes that hurt us."
Wapato struck first, going up 7-0 on a 75-yard pass play to take the lead in the opening stanza.
Sunnyside threatened but turned the ball over at the goal line, as noted earlier, before breaking through with a field goal to pull within 7-3 at halftime.
B.J. Miller ran for 161 yards on the night for Sunnyside, but none were more important than a 14-yard third quarter scamper to put the Grizzlies up 10-7.
It looked like the advantage might hold up as following the opening touchdown toss, Wapato's offense was bottled up by Sunnyside.
But that changed about midway through the fourth quarter when the Wolves again found paydirt through the air, striking for a touchdown from 35 yards out.
The Grizzles answered late in the game, driving to the Wapato-30 for a potential game winning score. But a Wapato defender got a hand up in Sunnyside quarterback Jaime Sambrano's face on a pass attempt, which led to a game-turning interception. "We had the defender beat, but their pressure kept us from getting the ball out there," Marro noted.
As was the case against Hanford, Sunnyside out passed and out ran Wapato but to no avail.
"The kids are staying positive and I've told them to enjoy homecoming for all it can offer them," Marro said. "These opportunities don't come around very often."
This Friday's homecoming opponent is Ellensburg.
The youthful Grizzlies (0-4, 0-7) are learning from week to week, he added. "There's no quit in the team or in the staff," said Marro. "We're doing everything we can to get better."
Sunnyside - Sambrano 8-19-121, two interceptions.
Wapato - Pitt 8-17-173, one touchdown, one interception.
Sunnyside - Miller 27-161, one touchdown; Villaneuva 5-16.
Wapato - Monoian 19-82, one touchdown; Gaytan 7-21; Rocha 5-29; Pitt 4-9.
Sunnyside - Coleman 1-38, Cornelius 1-32, Dolan 3-19, Garza 1-20.
Wapato - Monoian 1-84, Contreras 4-63, one touchdown; Alantz 1-15.