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  • KEHS v Pasco - TC Herald Video

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  • Kennewick rolls Pasco, into postseason with Kamiakin win over Southridge

    Offensively, a maligned Kennewick unit moved the ball at will against Pasco’s defense. The offensive line blasted open truck-sized gaps up front, and fullback JJ Rodriguez (nine carries for 82 yards) and tailback Cedric Riel (10 carries, 55 yards, three touchdowns) took advantage.

    “It’s very exciting,” said Riel, a senior. “Our season took a huge, positive turn last week, and it’s all about just carrying that momentum into next week. This is probably the last game I’m going to play in this stadium, and it couldn’t have gone any better.”

    With the running game picking up yards in chunks, quarterback Tim Gee had his best game of the season. The junior completed 10 of 16 passes for 122 yards, with no interceptions, and found Zenon Thornton 3 times for 63 yards, which included a 21-yard scoring strike

    The victory kept Kennewick alive for the conference’s second and final 3A postseason berth. The Lions (3-6, 2-5) needed No. 5 Kamiakin (7-1, 5-1) to beat Southridge (3-5, 2-4) later Thursday to clinch their spot.

     

    The Kennewick High School football team came into Thursday night’s matchup against Pasco with a goal in mind: Stop the run.

    Mission accomplished.

    The Lions defense only allowed Pasco’s feature running back Efrain Farias to four carries of more than four yards — just one before the subs entered in the fourth quarter — as he finished with 74 yards on 22 totes, and Kennewick took down Pasco 35-7 in a must-win, MCC season finale game at Lampson Stadium.

    “Coach (Oliver) Browning and the rest of the defensive staff worked very, very hard this week,” Kennewick coach Bill Templeton said. “Our kids are more and more and more starting to learn our scheme and our fits, our coverages. We’re doing things at the right time.”

    Kennewick beat Southridge 12-7 last week to stay in playoff contention

    “It’s the first win streak of the year,” Templeton said. “We’ll enjoy it right now, then get back to work tomorrow. We’re Braves fans for the next 3 hours or so, and we’ll see what happens.”

    As poor as the result turned out to be for the Bulldogs (0-9, 0-7), they started the game with a flurry.

    Kennewick received the opening kickoff and drove into Pasco territory on just three plays, but Jose Moreno-Gudino stripped the ball on a run by Rodriguez, and Farias recovered to change possession. Pasco then drove 69 yards in 8 minutes, 30 seconds, with Kason Tate hitting on 5 of 5 passes for 56 yards and finding Brandon Scott on a 6-yard fade route to take a 7-0 lead.

    “I feel after the first drive we kind of woke up,” said Kennewick defensive lineman and fullback Moses McAninch, who finished with two tackles for loss and three catches for 26 yards. “Playing Thursday at 5 ain’t the best feeling, but I feel like that woke us up a bit. We got the run in check, which forced them to rely on the pass more, screens and such.”

    Tate struggled from there, completing just one of seven passes for 2 yards and a pick to close the half, and the Lions scored 28 unanswered points to take a three-touchdown lead into the locker room that would never be threatened.

    Riel popped his third touchdown of the game in, from 4 yards out, with 11 minutes to play, which capped the scoring and turned out to be the only points of the second half.

    Tate finished the game with 141 yards on 20 of 34 passing, but was intercepted by Tucker Newman, Emilio Ramos and Joey Garza.

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  • Kennewick ekes past Southridge 12-7, still alive for postseason berth

    Members of the Kennewick Lions football team knew how big their 12-7 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over Southridge was on Friday night.

    That explains the revelry in the locker room afterward at Lampson Stadium, with players dancing, singing to music and generally howling at the moon.

    “It’s the playoffs for us,” said Lions coach Bill Templeton.

    Southridge entered Friday’s game with a 2-3 MCC record (3-4 overall), while Kennewick was 0-5 MCC (1-6 overall).

    The Suns just needed a win over the Lions to clinch the MCC’s No. 2 Class 3A berth for the upcoming crossover playoff with the Greater Spokane League.

    Didn’t happen.

    The Lions still need to beat Pasco next Thursday at 5 p.m. — part of a rescheduled Thursday night doubleheader at Lampson Stadium, with Kamiakin hosting Southridge at 8 — but they have the inside track to the playoffs now.

    The win didn’t come easy for Kennewick, which trailed 7-0 at intermission, thanks to a 9-yard Mason Perez TD run.

    But it could have been much worse. The Lions fumbled the football away three times in the first half. But the Kennewick defensive unit stood tough. Southridge had the ball inside the red zone three times in the first half and failed to come away with a score of any kind.

    “We chose to go with the wind in the third quarter,” said Southridge coach Aaron Sonichsen. “We thought we could put it in the end zone a few more times and put them away. But we didn’t get it done.”

    The Lions defense continued to play well.

    “Coach (Oliver) Browning (the Lions’ defensive coordinator) did a great job with the game plan,” said Templeton. “And the kids made plays.”

    Starting with Cedric Riel. The Lions senior starred on both sides of the ball, rushing for 121 yards on 23 carries, and making nine tackles, breaking up a pass, and intercepting another pass.

    “This is the best,” said Riel, looking around the locker room at his teammates celebrating. “This is my last season of football and it’s do or die. Offensively, we wanted to get run production.”

    Kennewick got some when Riel scored in the third quarter on a 12-yard run, but the Lions couldn’t convert the extra-point kick to still trail 7-6.

    It took a huge play by teammate Emilio Ramos to get Kennewick over the hump late in the game.

    With just under 6 minutes to play, the Suns had the ball at their own 3 heading into a constant 20 mph headwind that sometimes gusted up to 30 mph.

    Trying to be cautious, the Suns tried running the ball, handing it to Hayden Brimberry — who had a strong performance with 68 yards rushing.

    But Ramos, playing linebacker, shot in from the outside as the defense strung the play out on a sweep.

    “One of my teammates had him wrapped up, so I came up and just ripped at the ball,” said Ramos.

    It came out at the 4. Ramos picked it up and rambled into the end zone for the go-ahead score.

    “Ramos didn’t practice all week,” said Templeton. “He had some leg problems.”

    That happened with 5:22 to play.

    The Suns got one last shot with 1:31 to play. But they were back at their own 16.

    Lions defensive lineman Moses McAninch sacked Perez back at the 8, then almost got Perez for a safety on an incomplete pass.

    Suddenly, Perez settled down, moving the offense down the field with a calm demeanor — and into the wind. Key passes to Brimberry for 11 yards, and tosses of 11 and 15 yards to Peyton Monson, found the Suns at the Lions 15 with 1.4 seconds left.

    Perez rolled out and fired to the right corner of the end zone, where Eric Stayrook was headed. The ball landed in a diving Stayrook’s hands amidst three Kennewick defensive backs. But when the Southridge senior came down, he couldn’t hold onto the football, and the Lions’ celebration began.

    The Suns could still advance to the postseason if they can beat Kamiakin on Thursday and Kennewick loses to Pasco.

    “Football is a microcosm of life,” said Sonnichsen. “How do you respond after this? And the way you respond says a lot about you.”

    For Templeton and his Lions, they control their own destiny now.

    “Our senior leadership came through,” said Templeton. “We can make a little noise.”

    NOTES

    Whoever comes out as the MCC No. 2 will travel to Spokane on Oct. 31 — a Tuesday — to play the GSL No. 2 team for a chance to play in the state regionals. ... A key play that worked in the second half for the Lions was faking the handoff to Riel on the Fly Sweep, then handing it off to fullback JJ Rodriguez on the dive. He finished with 61 yards rushing. ... Monson had six catches for 50 yards for the Suns. ... Lions LB Isaac Ruiz added 9 tackles (one for loss), while McAninch had 5 tackles (one for loss), a QB sack, and a hurry. ... Bond, playing LB for the Suns, had 7 tackles and a forced fumble. Monson and Eddie Korotkov had 5 tackles each.

    Kennewick

    0

    0

    6

    6

    12

    Southridge

    0

    7

    0

    0

    7

    SCORING PLAYS

    S – Mason Perez 9 run (Peyton Monson kick)

    K – Cedric Riel 12 run (kick failed)

    K – Emilio Ramos 4 fumble return (pass failed)

    STATISTICS

    RUSHING – Ken, Riel 23-121, JJ Rodriguez 13-61, Tim Gee 5-10, Talon LaFontaine 1-4, Isaac Ruiz 2-2, Tucker Newman 1-minus 11, Totals 45-187. Sou, Hayden Brimberry 19-68, Perez 8-21, Jaden Walter 1-2, Mason Bond 1-minus 2, Totals 29-89.

    PASSING – Ken, Gee 2-6-0-16. Sou, Perez 17-38-1-132.

    RECEIVING – Ken, T.LaFontaine 2-6. Sou, Monson 6-50, Logan Grigg 4-26, Brimberry 2-21, Calee Beal 3-19, Eric Stayrook 2-16.

    FIRST DOWNS – Ken 11, Sou 15. FUMBLES-LOST – Ken 3-3, Sou 1-1. PENALTIES-YARDS – Ken 8-88, Sou 6-49.

     

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  • Kennewick, Walla Walla seek 1st MCC win in doubleheader nightcap at Lampson

    The only MCC game of the week featuring two teams without a league win figures to be a competitive one as the Kennewick High School football team hosts Walla Walla on Friday in the nightcap of a Lampson Stadium doubleheader.

    The Lions (1-2, 0-1) got steamrolled by 2016 Class 4A state runner-up Richland last week, 48-7, but showed a flash of what they hope to do well this season, run the ball, when Cedric Riel burst through the line for a 97-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter for Kennewick’s only score of the game. The ground game figures to get a shot in the arm this week as junior running back AJ Templeton — who hurt his ankle in a Week 1 loss to Prosser — is expected to return to the Lions’ backfield Friday.

    Walla Walla (0-3, 0-1) has struggled mightily on offense this season, ranking in the bottom two spots of the league in most offensive categories, and not getting its first touchdown of the season until Darin Ongers 65-yard rushing score against Hanford last week. When Walla Walla has had success this season, it’s been on the ground, but that could be tough to sustain against a Kennewick defense that is allowing an MCC-low 84.3 rushing yards per contest.

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  • 1
School Name*W-L*Pct.*PF*PAW-LPct.PFPAStrk
Richland7-01.0003175414-01.00061917014 W
Kamiakin6-10.857239929-20.8183691581 L
Chiawana5-20.714272717-30.7003331251 L
Hanford4-30.5711641625-50.5002292362 L
Walla Walla2-50.286861893-70.300992561 W
Kennewick2-50.286791933-70.3001452411 L
Southridge2-50.2861452553-70.3002173505 L
Pasco0-60.000512780-100.0007743210 L