Southridge tight end Bryce Overholt would do anything for his brothers on the football field, but before Friday's game against Pasco at Edgar Brown Stadium, the 6-foot junior had a difficult decision to make.
His 2 1/2-year old brother, Jaspyr, was flown to the pediatric ward in Spokane after a seizure Thursday night when his temperature spiked at 104. Bryce rushed home from practice Thursday and struggled with the decision to make the trip with his young sibling.
His parents assured him, however, it was OK to be there for his team. So while Jaspyr was recovering nearly two hours away, Bryce was catching a touchdown pass that helped the Suns beat the Bulldogs 40-0.
"That was huge. We were trying to get everybody involved in the offense tonight," said Overholt, who marked up his wrists with a few reminders of his brother -- '#T Jaspyr' and '#much love'. "I looked up and thanked God, and then I looked right at my dad in the stands. He's my biggest fan."
Much of the team's thoughts were with Jaspyr, as most players wrote reminders of his struggle on their wrists.
Suns running back Kadin Diaz, a good friend of Overholt's, was particularly inspired, running for 144 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
"I consider (Jaspyr) my nephew," said Diaz, who scored Southridge's first touchdown on the last play of the first quarter to make it 10-0.
The Suns made a defensive statement on Pasco's first drive, as defensive end Kellen Hietala rushed hard from the left side and caught Bulldogs quarterback Brady Ritala in the end zone for a safety.
"We had to focus on stopping the run. (Luis) Murillo is the third-leading rusher in the league," Southridge coach Tony Reibolt said. "They have some unusual sets, but we were able to match their numbers."
The Suns carried a 12-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, but they poured it on in the second half, scoring 21 points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Murillo rushed 23 times for 110 yards but never got a chance to break the big gainers he's known for. Overall, Southridge held Pasco to just 141 yards of offense from scrimmage.
Reibolt also credited his quarterback, sophomore Conner Grigg, with a strong second half despite throwing two first-half interceptions. Grigg finished 8-for-13 for 95 yards, throwing touchdown passes to Brendan Kelly and Overholt.
"He was thrown into the fire after those two picks, but he showed a lot of character not hanging his head," Reibolt said. "This was a real team win."
Andrew Collins added a 19-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap the Southridge scoring.
Southridge 2 10 21 7 -- 40
Pasco 0 0 0 0 -- 0
S--Safety, Kellen Hietala tackles Brady Ritala in end zone
S--Kadin Diaz 3 run (Conner Mertens kick)
S--FG Mertens 32
S--Diaz 4 run (Mertens kick)
S--Brenden Kelly 34 pass from Conner Grigg (Mertens kick)
S--Bryce Overholt 9 pass from Grigg (Mertens kick)
S--Andrew Collins 19 run (Mertens kick)
RUSHING--S, Diaz 21-144, Kelly 1-5, Collins 2-25. P, Luis Murillo 23-110, Ritala 6-(minus 39), Isiah Sprinkle 1-12, T.J. Faamausili 1-3.
PASSING--S, Grigg 8-13-2-95. P, Ritala 8-19-0-75.
RECEIVING--S, Clay Gonzales 1-4, Addison Spivey 1-11, Christian Candanoza 2-14, Kelly 3-69, Diaz 1-(minus 3). P, Roger Ingram Jr. 3-40, Spencer Calveard 30, Kendall Lee 1-5.
FIRST DOWNS--S 11, P 11. FUMBLES-LOST--S 0-0, P 5-1. PENALTIES-YARDS--S 6-50, P 2-11.