The Sunnyside Christian eight-man football team ended its second season last night, Thursday, with the first league victory in the program's history.
In a see-saw affair, the Knights led by three touchdowns then had to rally for a 62-46 victory over visiting LaCrosse-Washtucna
The contest saw Sunnyside Christian continue to benefit from a newly installed spread offense, as Steven Bosma split time between quarterback and tailback and amassed 446 yards in total offense. Of that, 328 yards along with five touchdowns came on the ground.
Bosma wasn't the only Knight to chew up the Clem Senn turf last night, as Jackson Haak carried the ball 15 times for 101 yards and a touchdown and teammate Wyatt Hoff toted the pigskin five times for 94 yards and three touchdowns.
The Knights built a 36-14 lead at the half, but no advantage is safe in the eight-man game. Accordingly, L-W tallied three unanswered touchdowns to open the second half, including one that followed an onside kick. The damage resulted in a 38-36 lead for the Tigercats.
SCHS Coach Ray Hernandez explained that L-W switched to a multi-receiver set passing attack after the Knights stuffed the run in the first half. "It took us awhile to settle down and key on the right receiver," he said of the game's quick turn against his team.
In some games this season, a swing like that might have discouraged the young Knight program. But not last night, as Hoff - filling in at times at quarterback in the spread offense - ran the ball on a bootleg and never looked back, scampering 60 yards for a touchdown.
That put the Knights up for good in the third quarter and they never looked back, building the lead to two touchdowns heading into the fourth quarter.
The Tigercats' only score after their surge early in the third quarter was a fluke touchdown toss with about five minutes left in the game when SCHS tipped a pass attempt that was gathered in by the L-W player for the score.
Bosma reeled off a touchdown run a couple of minutes later to seal the win for Sunnyside Christian and end the season with an overall record of 2-8, one win better than last year's inaugural campaign.
Hernandez said the win was especially sweet, as L-W 45-pointed the Knights last season. Sunnyside Christian's victory last night also played spoiler to the Tigercats' playoff hopes.
As a result, the Knight's JV squad will get to play just its second game of the season next Monday when it travels to LaCrosse-Washtucna, now out of a postseason berth thanks to SCHS.
A season-ending victory is also a great way to build momentum for the 2011 season.
"It's our first league win in team history and shows the guys they can compete in this league," Hernandez said. "We're building a program here and this (a league win) helps create buy-in for the kids."