SUNNYSIDE — The Knights’ offensive aggression led by Senior quarterback Marty Fultz’s 71-yard touchdown run with 8:10 remaining in the final quarter grounded the Eagles 42-32 at Clem Senn Field Friday night.
“You just have to run hard and get ready for the next play,” Fultz firmly responded after he helped his team to regain the momentum after St. John-Endicott rallied in the third quarter with 13 unanswered points to cut the Knights’ lead 30-24.
“If you get a stop on eight man and take back momentum, it means everything,” the strong-willed Fultz stated. He completed 7 of 16 passing attempts for 126 yards, 2 TDs and 1 Int. The hard charging QB rushed for 124 yards on 12 carries with 2 TDs.
Sunnyside Christian’s offense struck first on a four-yard TD pass from Fultz to senior wide receiver and defensive back Arie Prins. The two-point conversion failed, and the Knights led 6-0 8:46 into the first quarter. Prins had 4 catches for 78 yards and 1 TD.
“They came out and played their hearts out,” head coach Jeremy Thomas stated. He, along with half of his team came down with colds, all at the same time. The Knights accrued 429 total yards on offense, with 288 yards rushing and 141 passing.
On the defensive side, the Knights played solidly, and the line made their hard-hitting presence felt. Senior outside linebacker Matt Beltman led the tackling surge with six while sophomore Kolby Thomas matched his teammate’s total and added a sack. The running back also had 59 yards rushing on 15 attempts.
Both Austin Prins and his brother Arie, contributed two sacks while they held St. John-Endicott scoreless in the first quarter.
Five minutes into the second quarter, Fultz ran around the right end and down the sideline for a 45-yard score. Following a the successful two-point conversion, the Knights increased their lead 14-0.
The Eagles answered right back with their ground attack and with 6:29 left in the second quarter, the Knights’ lead was cut 14-8.
About three minutes later, Sunnyside Christian marched into the end zone. The two-point conversion was good, and the Knights were ahead 22-8.
Following a quick four and out by a strong defensive stand, the Knights looked to add another score before halftime. The ball was at the Eagles’ 25-yard line and the Knights faced a third down and 20-yards for a first down with under a minute left in the first half.
Fultz dropped back and threw it up for freshman Cole Wagenaar, who was covered by two defenders on the left side and the 6-foot tall wide receiver hauled it in at the five-yard line and scampered in for the TD with :45 remaining. They converted the two-point conversion and went into halftime with a commanding 30-8 lead.
In the second half, St. John-Endicott (1-1 and 1-2) came out determined to make Sunnyside Christian (2-0 and 2-1) earn the hard-fought victory.
The Knights visit Lyle/Wishram for a conference game on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.