Apollos get on track, upset Hawks 34-24
The Sunset football team gets its first Metro win on Friday
CEDAR MILL - If you're betting on Metro League football this year, you'd be better off not betting at all.
A season already filled with surprises and upsets added another on Friday, when Sunset - which came in at 0-2 in league play - knocked off Southridge - which came in at 2-0 - 34-24 at Sunset High School. The win lifted the Apollos' overall record to 5-2 and snapped a two-game losing streak, while the Skyhawks fell to 3-4 and stopped Southridge's win streak at three.
'We played like we thought we were going to play' heading into league, said Sunset coach Faustin Riley. 'The (non-league) schedule kind of sabotaged us because we had played some teams with perimeter skills but nobody with the skills up front we've seen in league.'
'They just played a lot better, a lot faster and a lot more physical than we did,' said Southridge coach Brad Mastrud.
The Skyhawks started well enough on Friday, getting a 4-yard Blake Wolfington touchdown run and a 34-yard field goal from Munther Dajani to lead 10-0 in the first quarter.
But the Apollos stood firm, got an 18-yard TD pass from Dane Poorman to Cole Abdie to move within 10-7 in the first, then took over the game in the second period.
'We had a drive and we scored and the world became right again,' Riley said.
'We got out early and had our chances, and then we just floundered,' Mastrud said.
In that second stanza, linebacker Spencer Hall scooped up a Southridge fumble and took it back 16 yards for his team's go-ahead touchdown, and teammate Bruce Jones tacked on a 17-yard scoring run later in the period to make it 21-10 at the half.
Southridge answered with a defensive touchdown of its own in the third quarter when Jordan Morgan picked off a Poorman pass and took it back 83 yards to cut the Sunset lead to 21-17.
But the Skyhawks got no closer. Jones scored on a 10-yard run later in the third period, and Apollo kicker Michael Metter converted two field goals in the fourth - one from 33 yards and one from 36 - for the final 34-24 margin.
Morgan scored Southridge's final touchdown on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Reza Aleaziz in the fourth.
Key to Sunset's win, Riley said, was its improved play on the line, and its overall focus and coordination.
'To do anything on offense, you have to have all 11 guys doing the right thing, and the first two weeks (of league play), we didn't have that,' Riley said.
'The bottom line is you have to practice with a sense of purpose and come ready to play,' Mastrud added.
Sunset's offense - led by linemen Stephen Hordes, David Fennell, Kyle Clausen, Joey Martin and Metter - helped the team rush for 194 yards, with Reggie Coulter picking up 110 on 20 carries and Jones 50 more on seven attempts. Poorman went 8-of-19 passing for 126 yards, with Abdie grabbing three for 67.
For Southridge, Devin Martinez carried 18 times for 100 yards, Aleaziz went 12-of-29 for 222 yards and two interceptions, with Morgan making three catches for 76 yards.
On Friday: Southridge hosts Jesuit at 7:30 p.m., while Sunset plays at Westview at 7:30 p.m.