Suns and Lions Face Stiff Competition - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Suns and Lions Face Stiff Competition

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KENNEWICK, Wash - The lights were on late for a Wednesday night at Lampson Stadium.  The Kennewick Lions and Southridge Suns practicing in the frigid weather to make sure they're ready for some of the toughest competition they've faced all year.

Southridge probably the most surprising state playoff team.  Last Saturday they routed previously undefeated Kamiakin 20-6 to earn homefield advantage against the powerhouse that is Bellevue.  Bellevue, a team that has won 5 of the last 6 state championships. 

Despite starting the season 0-4 the Suns are in these playoffs because of their hard work.  They've won their last 7 straight and are on a roll giving them all the confidence they need.  "We knew if we got to this point that those first games wouldn't matter, no body remembers those games, they're just going to remember these games now," says Southridge lineman Brad Anderson.  "Our kids believe right now," adds head coach Andy Troxel, "you can see the results on the field.  We just hope we can keep the big blue machine rolling."

Southridge will host Bellevue at 4:30 on Saturday at Lampson Stadium.

As the Suns exited the field tonight the Kennewick Lions circled up for a drill called "bull in the ring."  It's a game where two players go head to head and try to force the other to the ground.  It teaches strength, determination and confidence, something the Lions have had all season long.  Despite losing one of their best wide receivers Luke Loftus to injury (a lacerated kidney) the Lions have remained one of the best teams in the league.

Last Saturday they soundly defeated Camas to earn a second playoff game.  This time though they travel to Issaquah to take on Skyline Saturday afternoon at 1.  Coach Bill Templeton says there's really no new game plan, they just need to tie up some loose ends.  "We have the confidence, we've had it all season long.  Right now we just need to keep doing what we're doing, execute, and not make foolish mistakes in the red zone."