Call it trickory. Call it a gadget play. For the sake of the Southridge, we’ll call it a jumpstarter.
On the first play of the second half, Brenden Kelly hit Cody Sturdefant on a half-back option pass to kickstart the Suns on their way to a 42-3 route of the Pasco Bulldogs on Friday night at Lampson Stadium.
“We actually just put that play in in practice this week,” Kelly said. “I had the option to either run or throw. I was getting ready to run and I looked up and saw Cody wide open.”
That play gave the Suns (3-2, 2-2) the spark they needed as they pulled away from a pesky Pasco team.
Southridge outscored the Bulldogs 28-0 in the second half.
“It took us a little while to mesh up front,” said Suns coach Tony Reiboldt. “Pasco plays an aggressive style of defense and we had to adjust to that.”
The loss keeps Pasco (0-5, 0-2) winless on the season and their 15th straight loss dating back to last season.
The Bulldogs, who have scored just 46 points in five games this season, got the upper hand early against the Suns.
Pasco marched down the field 87 yards on its first drive of the game that resulted in a 27-yard field goal by Ryan Gibson to take an early 3-0 lead.
Kadin Diaz and the Suns answerd right back less than two minutes later on a 4-yard run by Diaz.
It was Diaz’s ninth rushing touchdown of the season.
Pasco kept the game close and drove deep inside the Suns' territory on its next two drives of the first half, but both times were stopped.
The second drive was ended by a Gavin Gervais interception.
It was the first of four interceptions on the night by the Suns.
That led to a 21-yard touchdown run by Masceo Ealy-Thomas to give the Suns a 14-3 lead right before halftime.
“We came out a little slow, but we started to pick it up,” Kelly said. “We knew they weren’t just going to roll over.”
Kelly had a big night throwing for a touchdown and catching another.
He finished with four catches for 84 yards.
Jair Ealy-Thomas, who was under constant pressure all night from the blitzing Pasco defense, completed 12 of 22 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown to lead the Suns.
“Give him a lot of credit,” Reiboldt said. “He stood in there and answered the mail and got popped.”
Diaz, who has been a workhorse all season, led all rushers with 81 yards on 15 carries and his first-quarter touchdown.
Kolby Killoy had a busy night for Pasco behind center, throwing the ball 42 times.
He completed 22 of those for 197 yards.
T.J Faamausili led the Bulldogs with 12 carries for 78 yards.
Southridge put the game seemingly out of reach late in the third quarter when Kelly caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ealy-Thomas.
The touchdown catch came three plays after two penalties negated an apparent Suns touchdown.
A hold compounded by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty pushed Southridge back to a first-and-goal from its own 31-yard line.
Pasco 3 0 0 0 - 3
Southridge 7 7 14 14 - 42
P - Ryan Gibson 27 field goal
S - Kadin Diaz 4 run (Nate Newbry kick)
S - Masceo Ealy-Thomas 15 run (Newbry kick)
S - Cody Sturdefant 59 pass from Brenden Kelly (Newbry kick)
S - Kelly 25 pass from Jair Ealy-Thomas (Newbry kick)
S - M. Ealy-Thomas 11 run (Newbry kick)
S - Conner Grigg 62 run (Newbry kick)
RUSHING—P, T.J. Faamausili11-76, Kolby Killoy 12-30, Team 1-(minus-20); S, Diaz 15-81, Sturdefant 1-(minus-3), J. Ealy-Thomas 6-10, Clay Gonzales 1-15, M. Ealy-Thomas 6-51, Grigg 1-62.
PASSING—P, Killoy 21-42-4-197; S, J. Ealy-Thomas 12-22-0-218, Kelly 1-1-0-59.
RECEIVING—P, Roger Ingram Jr. 10-78, Spencer Calveard 5-54, Tim Martinez 3-29, Kendal Lee 1-14; S, Bryce Overholt 2-22, Brandon Zane 2-14, Kelly 4-84, Diaz 1-(minus-4), Sturdefant 1-59, Gonzales 2-42.
FIRST DOWNS—P, 15, S 14. FUMBLES-LOST—P 2-0, S, 1-1. PENALTIES-YARDS—P, 9-124, S, 15-130.