RICHLAND - The flu bug is going around and no one knows that as well as Sunnyside High School football Coach Mark Marro. The virus made its way through his team last week, which forced Marro to make some changes.
He took his starting center, Adam Peters, and moved him to the wing position and made him lead blocker.
"He did a fantastic job," Marro said of Peters' play. "He was just mowing down the field."
The move helped Sunnyside running back Steven Monterrey rush for a game-high 190 yards and two scores as the Grizzlies were able to hold off the Hanford Falcons 19-16 this past Friday in Richland.
With Monterrey breaking tackles and rushing all over the Falcons, the Sunnyside defense stepped up and shut down the Hanford offense for the most part, limiting them to just two big plays that went for touchdowns.
One of those plays came in the first quarter when Riley Shintaffer found Matt Jones on the third play of the game for a 65-yard TD pass completion.
Marro blamed broken coverage on the play, adding he kept his defense in man-to-man coverage all night.
With Hanford leading 7-0 the Sunnyside D settled down and stopped the Hanford offense the rest of the half.
In the second quarter Monterrey broke away for his two scores. He ran in a 13-yard score and then sneaked in for a one-yard score a little later. The offense allowed Sunnyside to head into halftime with a 12-7 lead.
The Falcons got on the scoreboard again in the third quarter when Will Bishop kicked a 33-yard field goal to cut Sunnyside's lead to 12-10. After that, the Sunnyside defense again shut the Falcons down until midway through the fourth quarter.
By then Sunnyside was leading 19-10 after Andrew Daley found Rafael Salmeron for a nine-yard TD catch.
With six minutes left in the game the Falcons found a breakdown in the Grizzly coverage for the second time that night. Shintaffer passed the ball 41 yards to Cameron Wager for a score. The kick failed and Sunnyside led 19-16.
Marro said his defense then came up real big. Twice in the last six minutes Hanford had the ball but the Sunnyside defense pushed them back.
"They never got past our 40," Marro said.
Daley finished game with 176 yards on 11 completions for the Grizzlies. Salmeron had 99 yards on three catches.
Marro praised his defense for their effort in Friday's game. He said twice Hanford was able to make it to the red zone but both times the Grizzly defense held the Falcons scoreless.
Sunnyside (2-5, 3-6) will host Shadle Park this Friday, at 7 p.m. in a cross-over match-up with the Greater Spokane League.