HERMISTON — The Hermiston Bulldogs will be a man short when they take on the Kamiakin Braves on Friday night.
Dawgs coach David Faaeteete was suspended one game, in accordance with WIAA rules, after being ejected with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter of last week’s game against Hanford.
He disputed a ruling on a fumble by Trevor Wagner.
“There’s nothing I can do about the ejection,” Faaeteete said. “I should never have lost my cool to get the second flag. I have to set a better example for the kids. We have a contingency plan. Nothing changes what our kids will do.”
Friday’s game at Lampson Stadium in Kennewick will be played at 5 p.m., followed by the Southridge-Kennewick game at 8 p.m.
“It’s a tough schedule to make when they share a stadium,” Faaeteete said. “I feel bad for the parents who have to get off early or miss part of the game.”
Hermiston is coming off a 50-28 loss to Hanford — a game that saw senior Garrett Walchli catch four touchdown passes, and quarterback Sam Schwirse throw for 303 yards.
Schwirse has the best completion rating in the league (minimum 1,000 yards) at 73.1%.
“They do a lot of good things,” Braves coach Scott Biglin said. “You see their record (1-6 MCC), but they are a few plays away from being a .500 or better. We will have our hands full.”
As will Hermiston with Kamiakin running back Tuna Altahir. The 6-foot, 215-pound junior has rushed for a league-leading 1,216 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
“Tuna has to be ready to play,” Biglin said.
The Braves (5-2 MCC) also have had success throwing the ball. Henry Mercado has thrown for 1,901 yards and 21 touchdowns. He’s also thrown 10 interceptions.
“If we return to fundamental defense and don’t turn the ball over, we can give them a game,” Faaeteete said. “We have nothing to lose. We are playing for pride.”
The Bulldogs still are playing a waiting game to see if defensive tackle Sean Stewart (knee) will be able to play.
The Braves also have players who are questionable.
“We are like any team — banged up,” Biglin said. “We are day to day, patching things up.”
No matter who is on the field come Friday night, Biglin is sure of one thing.
“It should be fun,” he said.