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Knights crush Mansfield, 58-44

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John Newhouse (L) and Collin Householder (R) along with other Sunnyside Christian teammates swarm to the ball to tackle Mansfield's Lane Ehrhard this past Friday.

The Sunnyside Christian High School Knights grabbed their first eight-man football victory of the season this past Friday, 58-44 over visiting Mansfield.

After yielding a Mansfield touchdown in the opening minutes, Sunnyside Christian grabbed control for good with four touchdowns over the final eight minutes of the first quarter.

Brant Bosma scored Sunnyside Christian's first points of the game - and season - with a six-yard touchdown scamper.

Bosma had two other touchdown runs in the opening quarter, as well as a successful two-point PAT attempt. John Newhouse had the Knights' other first-quarter score.

Sunnyside Christian pounded the ball to the tune of 200 yards rushing in the first quarter alone.

Coach Ray Hernandez was especially happy to see his team drive the ball inside the opponent's 10-yard line - then finish with a touchdown.

Last week the Knights had two drives stall near the opposing goal line.

"It was frustrating to move the ball and not finish, but this (Friday against the Kernels) was good to show the kids what it's like to finish a play," Hernandez said.

Up 28-6 after one quarter, the Knights built their advantage to 44-12 midway through the second stanza.

Hernandez was already substituting liberally against the young Kernels, who had two eighth graders on their roster of 11 players.

With its reserves on the field, Sunnyside Christian surrendered a 70-yard kick-off return for a touchdown to make it 44-20 at the half.

"We were intentionally trying to keep it to where the game wouldn't end early because they came all the way down from Mansfield," Hernandez said of the eight-man rule dictating play stop when one team is up by 45 points.

Extending the game four full quarters also helped Sunnyside Christian, as the Knights were able to play their reserves for three quarters.

"It was good all the way around," said Hernandez. "We were able to get our kids in there for quite a bit of the game and let them play."

One of those youngsters was freshman quarterback Joel Martin, who managed the game under center without a turnover.

Martin got the start in place of regular quarterback Wyatt Hoff, who was out with a pulled muscle.

Besides keeping the Knight offense humming, Martin also booted a 50-yard punt - all in his first football game.

"He did a pretty good job," Hernandez said of Martin. "We decided to see what the kid can do and what do you know, the kid can punt and throw the ball pretty well, too."

Sunnyside Christian's bread and butter, though, was the run game Friday night. Bosma had 13 carries for 150 yards and Newhouse toted the pigskin 12 times for 79 yards.

While Sunnyside Christian (1-2) relishes its first win of 2011, Hernandez said his squad has to get back to work with the first league game at Touchet at 3 p.m. this Friday.

"We know this week will be tough at Touchet," Hernandez said. "We'll focus in practice on executing."

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