Starting the season with a victory

Three lower valley teams open with wins

As Mike Rivera holds off Wyatt Ekstrom of Cheney (58), Myles Alvarez of Sunnyside weaves his way past the melee.

Photo by Jennie McGhan
As Mike Rivera holds off Wyatt Ekstrom of Cheney (58), Myles Alvarez of Sunnyside weaves his way past the melee.

— With the sun setting on the western horizon, the adrenaline was flowing and Lower Yakima Valley football teams were hungry to get the season under way.

Hopes were high as Sunnyside High School hosted Cheney and won, 27-13, to start the season Friday.

Granger hosted Mabton and claimed the 50-6 win, and Prosser won its game at Neil F. Lampson Stadium against Kennewick, 22-14.

Mabton wasn’t the only team disappointed with the first outing of the season. Grandview suffered a 57-18 loss to Kiona-Benton.


Myles Alvarez of the Grizzlies scores the first touchdown of Friday’s game.

Sunnyside 27, Cheney 13

Relying heavily on the running game on offense and containing the Blackhawks’ passing play, the Grizzlies came away with their first victory of the season.

Sunnyside’s defense not only interrupted the pass, it was also adept at getting the offense to step out of line for false start penalties.

Cheney was charged 75 yards on 12 penalties, while the Grizzlies were penalized 6 times for 40 yards.

It was the quick feet of 5-foot, 4-inch running back Myles Alvarez that resulted in heavy gains for Sunnyside. He rushed 27 times for 208 of 283 yards and scored two touchdowns.

The Blackhawks were able to scramble for only 61 yards rushing and fewer than 200 yards of total offense.

“The team stepped up,” Sunnyside coach John Lobbestael said.

The only issue the Grizzlies suffered greatly from was the number of injuries. By the end of the first half, six of the team’s starters were sidelined with injuries.

Quarterback Ethan Montelongo kept his composure throughout all four quarters, completing 6-of-14 passes for 41 yards, rushing four times for 11 yards of his own. He was intercepted once and scored a touchdown.

In addition to Alvarez, Montelongo dished the ball to Marcus Maldonado one time for a gain of 16 yards, and Daniel Huizar had 10 carries for 47 yards.

The receivers combined efforts with the running backs. Alvarez had a catch for 10 yards, Airik Palacios had two catches for 9 yards and Mike Rivera caught the ball three times for 22 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, Derrik Escamilla contributed to the effort with an 11-yard interception.

Cheney quarterback Nick Morgan completed 11-of-23 passes for 107 yards.

“Defense bent, but never broke,” Lobbestael said.

The one exception was the touchdown scored by Cheney in the final stanza thanks to a trick play, he said.


Robert Berger of Granger, red on ground, gets enough of a block on Mabton’s Christian Mendoza for Granger running back Hernan Cortez to gain first down yardage.

Granger 50, Mabton 6

The Spartans were led by Robert Berger, who scored four touchdowns. He had 12 carries for 199 yards against the Vikings. Two of those carries resulted in him crossing the plan of the goal line. He had a 23-yard catch. An 83-yard interception sent him over the goal line before the end of the half. He tied it with a bow on a 51-yard kick-off return for the final touchdown of the game.

Also scoring for the Spartans was Trennan Slade, the team’s quarterback. He opened the scoring in the second quarter with a 1-yard scamper and scored on a 7-yard run in the third stanza.

Hernan Cortez caught a Slade 26-yard bomb for the second touchdown of the second quarter.

Mabton had a hard time keeping up, scoring its only touchdown in the third stanza. Christian Mendoza scored on a 25-yard punt return.

Prosser 22, Kennewick 14

The Mustangs’ J.R. Coleman scored the first touchdown against the Lions in the first stanza on a 2-yard run.

Kennewick answered with a 1-yard scamper by Tim Gee two quarters later.

Will Weinmann of the Mustangs lobbed the ball 4 yards to Tyler Durbin in the same stanza to regain the lead with another touchdown.

That’s when Kord Tuttle scored a touchdown to clench the win in the fourth on a 2-yard run into the end zone.

Kennewick, having more than 4 minutes on the clock, tried to come back from the deficit. Gee delivered a 12-yard pass to Emilio Ramos and Zenon Thornton snatched the ball for a 2-point conversion.

The effort was for naught and Prosser earned the victory.


Grandview quarterback Rocco Parrish looks for a receiver before delivering the pass.


Kiona-Benton’s Alex Maya breaks into the open field Friday against Grandview.

Ki-Be 57, Grandview 18

The Greyhounds couldn’t stop Bears quarterback Leo Gomez and his passing game.

He completed 11-of-25 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

Gomez’s favorite receiver was Daniel Rizin, who collected the ball four times for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Rizin, however, scored the first touchdown of the game on a 54-yard interception.

Kiona-Benton receiver Tyler Perkins is no slouch, either. He had three receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown, while teammate Alex Maya had three receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown.

The Greyhounds offense put in an effort to make the game more than just a one-sided affair.

Quarterback Rocco Parrish completed 11-of-23 passes for 127 yards.

Reece Ramos scored on a 16-yard delivery and Roy Campuzano scored after collecting the ball from 4 yards out.

A 61-yard pass successfully landed in the hands of Ricky Abarca, who scored, as well.


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