MOSCOW, IDAHO - Football is a game of limited possessions. And with those possessions a team must make the most of its opportunities in order to win a game. But it is rather hard to win when a team can't hold on to the ball.
Such is the case for the Sunnyside High School football team this past Friday night, as the Grizzlies practically handed over the game in a 47-9 thrashing at the hands of the Moscow Bears.
Most of Sunnyside's seven turnovers in the game occurred during a disastrous second quarter, where Sunnyside surrendered 27 points.
"That was the killer," said Sunnyside Coach Mark Marro. "We just made some errors that hurt us."
Among the incidents that led to the Grizzlies' downfall was a fumbled snap. Sunnyside also had three interceptions in the game. One of the fumbles for the Grizzlies happened at their own one-yard line in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Bears to go easily into the end one.
Marro said the Grizzly defense held strong in the game, despite giving up 47 points. He said a number of the turnovers by Sunnyside's offense happened on the wrong side of the field, which made it hard for the defense.
The Grizzlies' defense held up rather strong against the run, surrendering only one really big running play, a 57-yard touchdown from Nate Dail in the third quarter.
"Our defensive line really played well," said Marro.
Where Sunnyside struggled was in the secondary, as the passing game of Moscow just ate the Grizzlies alive. Moscow quarterback Kelly Otto connected on 12-of-19 passes for 226 yards. Marro said Sunnyside's defense is young in spots and struggled on the corners.
"They threw the ball really well," said Marro.
The Grizzlies' offense was able to move the ball well inside the 20s.
"We moved the ball up and down the field," said Marro. "We just didn't finish."
The Grizzlies were finally able to get on the board in the fourth quarter when B.J. Miller punched it in from three yards out. Sunnyside also added a safety in the fourth quarter.
Both Miller and Joseph Villanueva had good nights carrying the ball. Miller averaged just over four yards per carry, finishing the night with 117 yards on 25 carries. Villanueva had 66 yards on 11 totes.
"What we really need to do to help them (Miller and Villanueva) out is solidifying a passing game," said Marro.
Marro split the quarterback duties between Jaime Sambrano and Adrian Cantu. The two young Grizzly quarterbacks combined for just 111 yards in the air. Marro said his two quarterbacks are young, he just needs to get them more repetitions at practice.
"It just takes time for them," said Marro.
Marro said he was proud of the way his team held its head high despite the game falling apart against Moscow, which improved to 3-0 with the victory.
The Grizzlies (0-2) will be looking to get their first win of the season at home this Friday night against winless Eastside Catholic. Sunnyside's secondary is going to have to find some answers for Jason Butler and the passing game of Eastside Catholic. Butler recently broke the state 3A football record for receptions in a game with 20. Marro said his team is simply going to have to work hard at practice this week and find a way to execute against Eastside Catholic.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at email@example.com
Sunnyside 0 0 0 9 9
Moscow 0 27 7 7 47
Sunnyside scoring-B.J. Miller had a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Sunnyside also had a safety in the fourth quarter.
Passing-Jaime Sambrano 9-for-13 for 81 yards with two interceptions. Adrian Cantu 2-for-8 for 30 yards and one interception.
Rushing-B.J. Miller 25 carries for 117 yards. Joseph Villanueva 11 carries for 66 yards.
Receiving-Brandon Coleman five catches for 66 yards. B.J. Miller 2 catches for 17 yards. Kyle Tyler 1 catch for 15 yards.