KENNEWICK -- The Southridge Suns did just about everything right Friday, while defeating West Valley 33-14 in a CBBN 3A game at Lampson Stadium.
The Suns played well offensively and defensively, they remained healthy and they got a win heading into the playoffs next week.
"Our biggest accomplishment was to keep the momentum going into the playoffs," Southridge's Matt Mendenhall said.
The Suns play at University High at 7 p.m. Friday in the regional playoffs. The winner will advance to the state playoffs the following week.
On Friday, Mendenhall threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He also recovered a fumble and returned it 45 yards to set up another score. It was one of three fumbles the Suns recovered.
"We were just trying to strip the ball," Mendenhall said. "That has been an emphasis of ours for a while, but we haven't had many fumble recoveries. We played hard defensively."
West Valley, which will play in a non-advancing crossover game against Sunnyside on Thursday, fumbled on its fourth play of the game.
Southridge's Chris Haueter then scored from 35 yards out on the Suns' first play from scrimmage.
After the teams traded possessions, West Valley had the ball near midfield when Mendenhall recovered his fumble and rumbled down the right sideline before getting rocked out of bounds.
Two plays later, Mendenhall found Josh Richards in the end zone for a quick 14-0 lead.
"There were a couple breakdowns, but I thought we played well offensively," the quarterback said. "We executed when we had to."
The Rams put together a 13-play, 66-yard drive to pull within 14-7, but Haueter quickly put the game back out of reach, scampering 72 yards for a 21-7 lead. Mendenhall also hit Haueter for a 7-yard touchdown right before halftime.
Now, the Suns will prepare for a Spokane team which finished 5-4 in the Greater Spokane League.
"I expect us to come out and play hard," Mendenhall said. "We'll have a few guys back on defense next week and I think we will give them a run."
Linebacker Matt Mahan and defensive end Garrett Willard missed Friday's game, but are expected to play next week.
Haueter finished with 122 yards on 17 carries and scored twice, while Richards had six catches for 91 yards and the touchdown.
* Craig Craker: 509-582-1509; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter.com/craig_craker
Southridge 33, West Valley 14
West Valley 0 7 7 0 -- 14
Southridge 14 14 2 3 -- 33
S--Chris Haueter 35 run (Chandler Mertens kick)
S--Josh Richards 4 pass from Matt Mendenhall (Mertens kick)
WV--Cody LaRiviere 9 run (David Ellis kick)
S--Haueter 72 run (Mertens kick)
S--Haueter 7 pass from Mendenhall (Mertens kick)
WV--Ronnie Roosendaal 10 pass from Max King (Ellis kick)
S--FG Mertens 25
RUSHING--WV, LaRiviere 29-104, Ronney Peckman 6-46, King 11-16, Braydon Shields 1-4, Jeremy Oram 1-(-2). S, Haueter 17-122, Kadin Diaz 3-21, Mendehall 1-2, Paul Hamada 1-(-7).
PASSING--WV, King 11-14-1--91, Zach Bissell 2-5-0--41. S, Mendenhall 17-23-0--210.
RECEIVING--WV, Roosendaal 8-93, Shields 2-19, Dylan Whitaker 2-18, LaRiviere 1-2. S, Richards 6-91, Hamada 4-63, Haueter 3-34, Clay Gonzalez 3-16, Bryce Overholt 1-6.
FIRST DOWNS--WV 18, S 13. FUMBLES-LOST--WV 4-3, S 1-1. PENALTIES-YARDS--WV 3-15, S 6-60.