Monday, November 6, 2017/lk
SUNNYSIDE Bragging rights were on the line for the Grizzlies and the Eastmont Wildcats on Friday.
Neither team was looking to punch their ticket for a 4A State playoff berth with West Valley (Yakima) and Moses Lake having the only two spots for the Columbia Basin Big 9 in the first round.
The Wildcats and the Grizzlies battled one another, but Sunnyside seemed a little less ferocious than normal, and Eastmont won, 28-12.
The first TD was scored by Sunnyside. Art Fernandez crossed the goal line on a fumble return.
Eastmont scored a TD in the first quarter, as well to make it a 7-6 game.
In the second quarter each of the teams was able to score again, but the Wildcats made it into the end zone twice, thanks to some costly mistakes by the Grizzlies.
The score was 21-12 in favor of Eastmont at the half.
In the third stanza, it was a defensive battle. Neither offense was able to cover much ground.
Sunnyside QB Nic Ervin handed the ball to running back Myles Alvarez to start the half, but he made short gains as the Wildcats’ defense zeroed in on him.
In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies’ defense pushed Eastmont back to the 1-yard line.
Trying to get out of their own territory, Eastmont QB Caelen Massey handed the ball to Devon Schneider, who was responsible for rushing the ball over the goal line more than once in the first half. Schneider, however, was swarmed by Justin Reyes and Andrew Gallagher of the Grizzlies and crossed the Wildcats’ own goal line for a safety.
The officials didn’t have the right angle on the play and failed to call it in favor of Sunnyside, denying the Grizzlies two points.
Undeterred, the defense continued to limit Eastmont, keeping the Wildcats in Sunnyside territory until possession changed.
The Grizzlies offense seemed fired up. Ervin handed the ball to Derrick Escamilla, who ran the ball and was tackled at the 9-yard line.
Ervin attempted to pass the ball to Mikey Rivera as the Grizzlies knocked on the door to another TD, but two defenders were on him. Wesley Mcilwaine had his back to the ball but wasn’t penalized for pass interference. Jordan Jessup helped interrupt the pass.
Ervin turned to Escamilla for another rushing play, and he was stopped near the 3-yard line.
Marcus Maldonado was handed the ball on the next down, but couldn’t get it through the middle — coverage was provided by Schneider, Brett Womack and company.
Eastmont took over on downs.
Manny Lopez was given the first chance to get the Wildcats out of danger. He was stopped by Sunnyside’s Daniel Huizar and a slew of other defenders.
So, it was up to Schneider to break away from the Grizzlies, and he delivered. He got the ball past half field, paving the way for the final TD of the game.
The Grizzlies season came to an end with a 6-4 record.
Ervin completed 1-of-12 passes for 10 yards.
Alvarez had 17 carries for 60 yards, Huizar had 6 carries for 45 yards and Escamilla gained 58 yards on 5 carries.
Rivera had a 10-yard catch.
Escamilla also had 3 returns for 67 yards.
The Grizzlies were limited to 174 rushing yards and 10 passing.
Eastmont had 262 rushing yards and 35 passing yards.
Schneider carried the ball 12 times for 148 yards.