Zayid Al-Ghani ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Mason Martin threw for three more scores to lead the Southridge Suns ot a 44-20 win over the Shadle Park Highlanders in a Class 3A bi-district football game Tuesday at Lampson Stadium.
The win secures a spot for the Suns (6-4) in the state regional playoff Saturday at Juanita, the No. 1 team from the KingCo.
Southridge, seeded second in the Mid-Columbia Conference, jumped all over the Greater Spokane League’s No. 2 team, with Al-Ghani scoring on a 2-yard run and Brycen Kelly returning an interception 23 yards for a 14-0 first-quarter lead over the Highlanders (5-5).
Samuel Kori scored on a 37-yard throw from Martin early in the second, and Hunter Spiva — who converted five of six extra points — nailed a 36-yard field goal for a 24-0 lead at the break.
Gavin Willingham’s 13-yard TD catch to open the third quarter pushed the lead to 31 points. That’s when Shadle Park found a scoring spark in receiver Vinny Epefanio, who hauled in TD passes of 48, 24 and 38 yards from Carson Doyle as the Highlanders reeled off 21 unanswered points to make a game of it with 7:56 left in the fourth quarter.
But the Suns responded with Willingham’s second TD catch from 11 yards out, and Al-Ghani put the game away with a 39-yard gallop in the final three minutes.
Martin only threw 10 times for 67 yards, but he also picked up 64 yards on the ground. His Shadle counterpart was 18-for-29 for 241 yards, with Epefanio accounting for 135 yards on six catches.
S—Zayid Al-Ghani 2 run (Hunter Spiva kick)
S—Brycen Kelly 23 interception return (Spiva kick)
S—Smauel Kori 37 pass from Mason Martin (Spiva kick)
S—FG Spiva 36
S—Gavin Willingham 13 pass from Martin (Spiva kick)
SP—Vinny Epefanio 48 pass from Carson Doyle (kick fail)
SP—Epefanio 24 pass from Doyle (Colton Kinder kick)
SP—Epefanio 38 pass from Doyle (Kinder kick)
S—Willingham 11 pass from Martin (kick fail)
S—Al-Ghani 39 run (Spiva kick)
RUSHING — SP, Xavier Wicks 22-83, Doyle 6-(minus 10). S, Al-Ghani 25-156, Martin 18-64, Kori 1-2.
PASSING — SP, Doyle 18-29-1—241, Jeremiah Smith 1-1-0—9, Ethan Eickstadt 0-1-0—0. S, Martin 6-10-0—67.
RECEIVING — SP, Epefanio 6-135, Ryan Wier 4-40, Kyle Cozza 3-37, Ethan Eickstadt 3-21. S, Willingham 4-26, Kori 2-41.
OTHELLO 1, ELLENSBURG 0: Tori Cantu scored off a Nikki Velazquez corner kick in the 60th minute and the Huskies held on to win the CWAC’s third/fourth place match at Grandview High School.
With the conference’s third seed, Othello will host the loser of Wednesday’s match between Clarkston and East Valley (Spokane) in its glue-crossover game. The state play-in game will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Ellensburg won its regular season matchup with the Huskies — a 3-2 home victory on Sept. 27 — and Othello coach Bernie Garza was pleased with how his team responded in the postseason atmosphere.
“They had the offensive player of the year, they had the defensive player of the year, and we shut them down,” Garza said.
Othello’s home field has been verging on unplayable for the last couple weeks because of poor weather, which could cause the crossover game to be moved to a different site. The league chose to play Tuesday’s game at Grandview to let the players get experience on a turf field before the state playoffs start, and Garza said it had nothing to do with field conditions.
Scoring: O, Tori Cantu G; Nikki Velazquez A. Shots: O 16, E 13. Saves: O, Janelle Garza 10; E, Rose Sitton 9.
KIONA-BENTON 1, CONNELL 0: Ariel Loften scored the lone goal of the game as the Bears earned a state berth with a win over the visiting Eagles.
Kiona-Benton (17-1) will play La Salle for the SCAC title at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Royal High School. LaSalle beat Cle Elum 4-0 to advance.
Mickey Ramirez had the shutout for the Bears.
Scoring: KB, Ariel Loften (Hunter Anderson).
GRANGER 3, KIONA-BENTON 0: The SCAC East champion Bears struggled in their first district tournament match, getting swept by the Spartans.
Ki-Be will host River View at noon on Saturday in a loser-out game. A win puts them in another loser-out game against the loser of Goldendale-Naches Valley, with the winner advancing to the district’s third/fourth place game. All of those matches will take place on Saturday.
Set scores: Granger 25-20, 25-16, 25-11. Kiona-Benton: Mihaela Edwards 12 kills, 9 digs, 8-8 serving; Tegan Carlson 8 kills, 9 digs; Maloree Calzadillas 8 kills, 12 assists, 13 digs, 10-10 serving; Nya Calzadillas 12 assists, 7-7 serving; Michelle Ochoa 12 digs, 9-9 serving.
GOLDENDALE 3, CONNELL 1: Heather Hawkins had 16 kills and 20 digs, but the Eagles couldn’t keep up with their SCAC West foe.
Connell will face Columbia-Burbank on Saturday at Kiona-Benton in the first of three potential loser-out games.
Set scores: Goldendale 25-22, 20-25, 25-13, 25-15. Connell: Heather Hawkins 16 kills, 14-15 serving, 20 digs; Makenna Price 12 assists, 9-10 serving; Rylee Pickle 3 kills, 18-19 serving, 4 aces, 5 blocks, Dakota Egbert 3 kills, 9-9 serving, 10 assists; Allison Walker 10 blocks.