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Knights charge into state 1B semi-finals

The Sunnyside Christian defense overruns the Panther offense to get to running back Colton Hansen.

Photo by Jennie McGhan
The Sunnyside Christian defense overruns the Panther offense to get to running back Colton Hansen.

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Knight receiver Lane Marsh goes up for a pass as Panther Jerome Teasley tries to break up the play.

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Lucas Dykstra rushes past a Cusick running back to get to Panther quarterback Tanner Shanholtzer.

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The Sunnyside Christian Knights advanced to the state 1B football semifinals Saturday against Odessa after upending Cusick, 62-20, last week at Rich Leenhouts Stadium in Grandview. Pictured, Sunnyside Christian senior wide receiver Luke Wagenaar is brought down by Cusick’s Jedd Cupp.

— From the first possession, the Sunnyside Christian Knights took charge of Friday’s 1B state quarter-final game against Cusick at Rich Leenhouts Stadium.

The Knights punched their card into the semi-final against Odessa with a 62-20 victory.

The semi-final will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

Cusick received the ball first at the 49-yard line. But the Knights were able to keep the Panthers from making any gains and took over on the 50-yard line.

A couple carries by Kyler Marsh and a 45-yard pass from Chance Marsh to Lane Marsh resulted in the first touchdown of the game. Another connection between twin brothers ended in a 2-point conversion.

The kick was fumbled and recovered by the Panthers on their own 44-yard line in the next possession.

Sunnyside Christian’s Lucas Dykstra kept Jeb Cupp of Cusick from any gain the next play. Then Cade Bosma tackled Tanner Shanholtzer on a quarterback keep, placing the Panthers in a third-and-9 situation.

Shanholtzer handed the ball to Cupp and the running back made a 4-yard gain. Kyler Marsh made the next tackle, giving the ball to the Knights on downs.

It was a 51-yard pass from Chance Marsh to Lane Marsh on fourth down that resulted in the next Knights touchdown. The receiver caught the short pass for an 2 points, improving the score to 16-0.

The Panthers were able to finally get on the scoreboard on their next possession. Dylan Hendershot got a first down on a 19-yard pass, gaining some momentum. Colton

Hansen wasn’t able to gain ground on the next play, but a 26-yard pass to Hendershot ended in the end zone. He was also able to score the 2-point conversion to narrow the score to 16-8.

The Knights’ next possession started on their own 20-yard line. Chance Marsh spotted Luke Wagenaar open on first down and threw the ball for an 80-yard pass completion and the receiver ran it across the goal line to change the score to 22-8.

Lane Marsh recovered an onside kick, denying the Panthers the next possession.

Six plays later, Chance Marsh threw a 12-yard pass to Lane Marsh, and the receiver scored the 2-point conversion to make the score 28-8.

Another onside kick recovery by the Knights held Cusick at bay.

Four plays later, quarterback Chance Marsh scored his only touchdown of the game. The pass to Kyler Marsh for the extra points was good.

The Knights ended the first quarter with a 38-8 lead.

In the second quarter, Kyler Marsh scored on a 20-yard pitch by Chance Marsh, who was rushed by the Panthers. Wagenaar score the extra 2 points.

Another pass to Kyler Marsh with 7:07 in the second quarter ended in a touchdown. Wagenaar caught pass in the end zone for another conversion.

The score was 54-8, and the running clock was activated.

The Knights slowed the game, allowing Cusick to get within 19 yards of the goal, but the Panthers weren’t able to take advantage.

In the third quarter, Knights coach Jeremy Thomas began rotating the younger players on and off the field.

Chance Marsh tossed the ball for one more Lane Marsh touchdown, and Wagenaar added the extra points to account for Sunnyside Christian’s 62.

Cusick scored another two touchdowns in the fourth stanza.

Roddy Pierre was able to break out of a tackle and converted on a third down. The extra point conversion attempt failed.

Trevor Shanholtzer scored the final touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Tanner Shanholtzer, and the Knights kept the Panthers from adding another two points.

With 45 seconds on the clock, the Knights had the final possession and took a knee to end the game.

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