The Wildcats were in a mismatch as they advanced to the first round of the state 3A football playoffs. They scored 33 first-half points en route to a 47-7 romp.
Here’s my story:
Sunnyside got swallowed up in a
Swarms of blue-clad Wildcats overwhelmed the Grizzlies on both sides of the ball Friday night at Joe Albi Stadium, leading to a 47-7 rout and berth next week in the first round of State 3A football.
Kellen Clute, a junior outside linebacker, and senior tackle Travis Alton were among the defensive swarmers, although in most cases they were joined by several teammates in burying the visitors.
“We’re playing assignment football, everybody’s got a gap,” said Clute. “We believe if we fill our gap and everybody does our job that we’re going to be successful as a defense. That’s kind of how it played out.”
The first big defensive play came on the game’s initial possession.
“Defensively we did a nice job of taking their bootleg away,” said coach Mike McLaughlin, which he called their bread-and-butter.
After the next defensive stop, Chase Naccarato had a long punt return to Sunnyside’s 11-yard line that set up a short Williams run.
Williams later turned a short pass from Ward into a 37-yard score and 19-0 lead before the first quarter ended.
Williams was also a substantial part of the one long drive of the half. He caught two passes for 26 yards and carried four times for 26 more including for the score.
Final touchdown took one play. It was a 62-yard catch and run by Naccarato.
“I thought we played well,” said McLaughlin. “We didn’t turn the ball over and defensively we responded well.”
The lop-sided outcome didn’t surprise him. After all, he said, his Wildcats (9-1) are the Greater Spokane League champions and Sunnyside finished 3-7.
“Defensively we’ve been trying to get better against the run,” McLaughlin said. “That’s been our key to success this year. We like to hang our hat on it.”
“Travis threw well in warmups all week so it doesn’t surprise me,” said McLaughlin. “We play well when we practice well.”
By playing well, the Wildcats play on.