KENNEWICK, Wash. — Welcome back, Sean Stewart.
Hermiston’s senior defensive tackle, who missed last week’s game with an injury, returned to block two punts, had three tackles and a sack as the Bulldogs rolled to a 37-7 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over Southridge on Thursday night at Lampson Stadium.
It was the first win of the season for the Bulldogs (1-4 MCC), who also got two touchdowns apiece from Trevor Wager and Broc Remmer.
“It was a great coming out party for him,” Hermiston coach David Faaeteete said of Stewart. “Winning is always good. Football hadn’t been any fun the month of September. Tonight, we did some good things and finished drives.”
Wagner scored on a 10-yard pass play, and on a 1-yard run.
“It’s good to get a win,” Wagner said. “Us having run in the game made a difference.”
Stewart’s first blocked punt ended up in a safety for the Bulldogs and a 23-7 lead.
The Bulldogs got the ball on the ensuing kickoff and promptly scored again, with Remmer scoring on a 10-yard pass from Sam Schwirse for a 30-7 lead.
The Suns (0-5 MCC) punted on their next possession, and it got blocked by Stewart, putting Hermiston on the Southridge 14-yard line.
“I was surprised I got the second one,” Stewart said. “I was getting blocked and I went that way. It’s great being next to my Dawgs on the field. I’m happy we got the win tonight.”
Wagner finished the scoring with a 1-yard run.
Hermiston took the lead less than 4 minutes into the game as Remmer hauled in a 24-yard pass from Schwirse.
Garrett Walchli looked to give the Bulldogs a two-touchdown lead 3 minutes later, returning a punt 58 yards to the end zone. A penalty negated the score.
The Bulldogs then turned its attention to defense, where they stopped Southridge on fourth down at the Hermiston 16-yard line.
Hermiston would add another score with 1:58 left in the second quarter as Schwirse hit Wagner on a crossing route for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Dawgs took a 14-7 lead at the half after giving up a late touchdown to the Suns.
Hermiston’s Daniel Faaeteete had just intercepted Suns’ quarterback Trenton Slatter with 43 seconds remaining in the first half, but two plays later, Schwirse was picked off by Fidel Gutierrez, who returned the ball to the Hermiston 1-yard line with 1.2 seconds left.
Slatter punched the ball in from the 1-yard line as time expired, and Lance Spaniel converted the PAT for a 14-7 game.