YAKIMA Last Saturday one group of youngsters was fired up and ready for action, facing the challenge of their young lives.
The Sunnyside B-Black Grid Kid football team was vying for the championship against the Warriors from the Upper Valley League.
Both teams entered the title game undefeated and only one would bring home the trophy, Sunnyside.
Sunnyside, representing the Lower Yakima Valley, won the championship, 33-14.
“Sunnyside did not hesitate and came out running,” coach Ralph Chadis said.
Ruben Espino handed the ball to Nate Garcia, who ran it 45 yards for the first TD of the game.
The second touchdown was the result of a fumble recovery. Deep into the next possession, the Warriors mishandled the ball and Hugo Torres of Sunnyside’s defense picked it up.
The offense took over and J.D. Briones scored on a 9-yard bootleg to improve Sunnyside’s score to 14-0.
On the kick return, the Warriors got a boost with a 73-yard return to narrow the deficit by half.
Chadis said much of the second quarter was played in the center of the field with neither team being able to get much movement on the ball.
“The Warriors toughened up and mad some key plays,” he said.
“Going into halftime, we regrouped,” Chadis said.
In the third quarter, Espino left the game with a knee injury.
“This kid is very versatile and fun to watch, but he couldn’t play anymore,” Chadis said.
With the injury, the team turned to Mason Chadis for leadership.
“The ground game was released,” coach Chadis said.
Mason Chadis tallied a career high 206 yards on 16 carries and 3 rushing TDs, including a 62-yard run.
Riley Gonzalez, the leading receiver, collected 72 yards on his catches.
“The running game was very effective (in the second half),” the coach said. “So we decided to give the Warriors a heavy dose of our ground and pound game, led by (Mason) Chadis and Pete Cardenas.”
Cardenas had 18 totes for 112 yards when all was said and done.
“These kids came to play and to finish what they set their goals at the beginning of the season, and become champions,” Ruben Reyes said.
“It was a pleasure coaching this team. They have great work ethic on and off the field,” he said.
Chadis said finishing the season with a 12-0 record, as well as the championship title, is a great testament to the hard work in practice and in every game.
“I find it well-deserving and fitting for them,” he said, adding the coaches and volunteer staff helped bring everyone together for a great season.