Walla Walla will not be using its performance against Southridge as a measuring stick for all other games in what is becoming a special season for the Blue Devils.
But sometimes, you have that game you just have to grind out. That’s exactly what the Blue Devils did Friday night in a 28-7 victory over Southridge at Lampson Stadium.
“We’ll take it,” said Walla Walla coach Eric Hisaw. “We weren’t real sharp tonight until I didn’t think until the last quarter and a half.”
With the win, Walla Walla can now focus on its showdown with Chiawana (5-1, 4-0 MCC) next Friday night at home.
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“It’s a big game, and it would be hard to say if we didn’t look a little ahead to that game,” Hisaw admitted.
Chiawana kept up its end of the deal, staying unbeaten in the Mid-Columbia Conference with a 62-6 drubbing of Hanford, setting up a showdown of the two unbeatens at Borleske Stadium.
“It’s a big one,” said Walla Walla quarter back Trever Coronado. “It’s a been a long time since Walla Walla was in the hunt for a league title.”
The Blue Devils stayed unbeaten in conference thanks to it stingy defense that did not allow an offensive touchdown to Southridge (1-5, 1-3).
The Suns lone score came in the second quarter on a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brandon Zane to tie the game at 7.
However, Walla Walla had a quick answer and scored in the final seconds of the half on a 10-yard touchdown catch by Reid Magnaghi from Coronado.
“That was big for us,” Coronado. “That gave us some momentum for the second half.”
Walla Walla allowed just 98 yards of total offense. Southridge did not cross inside the Blue Devils’ 30-yard line the entire night.
“Our defense has been there for us all year,” Hisaw said. “Our guys love playing defense and we think that if we can score 21 to 24 points we have a chance to win any ball game.”
Coronodo accounted for three touchdowns on the night, including the game’s first score on a 40-yard scamper down the sideline on a zone-read play.
He also threw two touchdowns on the night.
However, he did throw three interceptions.
Coronado finished with 15 carries for 72 yards on the ground.
He also threw for 198 yards on 16 of 26 passing.
“I made some bad reads tonight and that’s all on me,” Coronado said. “Southridge did a good job of mixing things up and giving us different looks.”
Andrew Stayrook led the Suns rushing attack with 38 yards on 15 carries.
Southridge quarterback Conner Grigg completed just 4 of 18 passes for 57 yards, and had one interception.
He had just one completion after halftime.
“We have a lot of confidence in our defense and they did a great job tonight,” Hisaw said.
Walla Walla 28, Southridge 7
W — Trever Coronado 40 run (Ethan Gardner kick)
S — Brandon Zane 65 interception return (Nate Newbry kick)
W — Reid Magnaghi 10 pass from Coronado (Newbry kick)
W — Brennan Barberich 1 run (Newbry kick)
W — Willie Hayes 7 pass from Coronado (Newbry kick)
Rushing — W, Hayes 12-70, Coronado 15-72, Noah Porter 8-25, Barberich 10-39. S, Andrew Stayrook 15-38, Connor Grigg 5-1, Ricky Anaya 1-1.
Passing — W, Coronodo 16-26-3-198. S, Grigg 4-18-1-57.
Receiving — W, Mitchell Huffman 5-45, Magnaghi 7-77, Gerardo Gomez 2-23, JC Wicklund 2-56, Hayes 1-7. S, Zane 1-17, Michael Bibe 1-26, Stayrook 1-5, Jake Bauman 1-9.
First Downs — W 20, S 6. Penalties — W 8-65, S 5-26. Fumbles-Lost — W 1-0, S 0-0.