Photo by Laura Gjovaag
Sunnyside QB Anthony Herrera targets a downfield receiver in last Friday’s football game against the visiting Eisenhower Cadets. Herrera completed 10-of-22 passes for 106 yards, and threw a TD pass for the Grizzlies’ only score of the game.
After forging an early 7-0 lead on visiting Eisenhower, thanks to a 2-yard TD flip from QB Anthony Herrera to Elijah Pena, Sunnyside yielded seven unanswered touchdowns to the Cadets.
By the time all was said and done, Ike’s football team boarded the bus last Friday night and headed home with a knockout 49-7 decision.
The victory improved the Cadets’ record to 6-3 on the season, and keeps alive Ike’s chances of qualifying for the postseason.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, fell to 0-9. Sunnyside closes out its season with an anti-climactic game at Wenatchee this coming Friday. The Panthers (7-2) have already wrapped up the Big Nine League championship.
Other than the first-quarter score on the Herrera to Pena hook-up, the Grizzlies had to scratch a bit below the surface to glean some positives from last Friday’s game. The most noteworthy performance came from senior running back Jesus Magallan. He galloped for 101 yards, toting the pigskin 17 times in all.
Magallan also set Sunnyside up in good field position on three different occasions. He fielded three punts, netting 103 return yards in all.
Sunnyside also received a 14-carry, 46-yard rushing effort from 5’7” senior Marcus Sanchez. The speedster also piled up 70 special team yards on three kick returns.
Of the 10 passes hauled in by Sunnyside’s receiving corps last Friday, Pena and Timmy Martinez were each credited with three receptions.
From an offensive standpoint, the two clubs pretty much put up identical numbers…as Eisenhower had 286 yards total offense compared to the 276 the Grizzlies tallied.
The killer for Sunnyside was its four turnovers. All four of them came on interceptions. One of them proved to be a pick-six, when Greyson Gilman snagged one of Herrera’s passes on the Cadet 17-yard line, and returned the ball 83 yards for a score.
Herrera finished the night with 10-of-22 passing numbers, tallying 106 yards through the air to go along with his four interceptions. Back-up quarterback Fabian Gonzalez was 0-for-4.
In defeating Sunnyside, Ike got a pair of back-breaking plays from Ridge Harmon.
The first came on the Cadets’ ensuing drive, after Sunnyside went up 7-0. Harmon took a hand-off from QB Chris Sawyer and raced 67 yards to pay dirt for the tying score. It proved to be Harmon’s only carry of the game.
Eisenhower forced the Grizzlies to punt the ball away on the next possession. Harmon was waiting downfield for the kick. He drifted under the ball, scooped it in and exploded for an 86-yard punt return, putting the Cadets up 14-7.
Harmon fielded two more punts Friday night, averaging 10 yards a return on them.
Sawyer, who was asked to lob up just nine passes total for the Cadets last Friday, found Darius Pati twice for scores. The first Sawyer-to-Pati TD came early in the second quarter on a 6-yard strike; the second was a 24-yard hook-up just before halftime. Pati ended up with four of the five receptions Ike’s receivers had in the game.
In running the ball against Sunnyside the Cadets used seven different players. Lucio Penaloza had the most carries, five in all, tallying a game-high 110 yards. In the process he scored twice, on a second-quarter, 3-yard dive and on an 86-yard breakaway scamper on Ike’s opening drive of the second half.
In all, Eisenhower’s ball carriers netted 212 yards on the ground to complement Sawyer’s 74 passing yards.