Wa-Hi slows down Lions in 34-14 win

WALLA WALLA — With fewer than 20 minutes left until kickoff Friday, the Walla Walla High School pep band marched into Borleske Stadium and inadvertently blocked Kennewick running back Dwight Norwood’s path as he and some teammates attempted to jog to the locker room.

The forward progress of the Lions’ bell cow rusher would remain “frustrated by Blue Devil” for the duration of the evening. Walla Walla neutralized Norwood by keeping Kennewick’s offense stuck in third-and-unmanageable all night, and unleashed its own dormant rushing attack after halftime to cruise to a 34-14 victory in the Mid-Columbia Conference football opener for both teams.

“We flushed those last two weeks,” said Wa-Hi senior Mitchell Huffman, who caught two touchdown passes from Trever Coronado in the first half. “This is when the real season begins.”

In posting its first win of the season, Walla Walla (1-2, 1-0 MCC) rediscovered the power running game that helped produce a winning season in 2013. Coronado was 9-of-16 passing for 129 yards in the first half but attempted just five passes after recess. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils — after gaining 14 rushing yards as an afterthought over the first two quarters — erupted for 212 in the second half.

“We haven’t been running the ball well,” Huffman said. “We wanted to set the tone.”

The tone — somewhere between “jet engine” and “death metal” — was struck on Wa-Hi’s opening second-half possession. The Blue Devils ran the ball on six of seven plays during that series, punctuated by Noah Porter’s weaving, slashing, 51-yard touchdown run for a 20-7 lead.

Porter added a 38-yard scoring run later and finished with 133 yards rushing — 118 in the second half.

“Coach (Eric Hisaw) said we were really going to run the ball tonight,” Porter said. “We played with a lot more effort this game, a lot more intensity. We had some mistakes, but ultimately, we kept our heads in it.”

Despite owning a 14-7 lead at recess, Walla Walla probably could built a more comfortable halftime cushion had it capitalized on excellent early field position. The Blue Devils scored just once on their first four possessions despite starting drives at their own 48, then the Lions’ 41, 23 and 44. Wa-Hi took advantage of its shortest field when Coronado found Huffman on a quick slant in the middle of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown with 29 seconds left in the first quarter.

Norwood’s two-yard touchdown run midway through the second tied the game, but the Blue Devils answered with a seven-play, 67-yard scoring drive capped by Coronado’s 35-yard touchdown catch down the home sideline after a Kennewick defensive back slipped and fell in coverage.

Norwood wasn’t shut down by any means. The 6-foot-1 senior, who came into the contest with 271 yards rushing on 38 carries, had 110 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns and 233 all-purpose yards. But Norwood saw limited touches in high-leverage situations: Kennewick (1-2, 0-1) faced third down 11 times on Friday, with an average down-and-distance of third-and-12.

“We just wanted to shut down their entire offense,” said Huffman. “Our goal was to hold them to two scores or less. We knew if we shut down 28 (Norwood) and got them in third-and-long, we knew they can’t throw.”

Kennewick quarterback Matthew Driver completed 11 of 20 passes for 84 yards.

Football: Kennewick rolls over Ike 41-0

Special to the Tri-City Herald September 11, 2014

It’s kind of a wonder why the Kennewick Lions even tried to pass the ball Thursday night. But they did — 13 times to be exact.

Maybe it was because the coaching staff got a little bored after calling the same running plays over and over. The reality of it was the Dwight Norwood probably needed a little time to catch his breath.

The senior running back led a dominant ground attack as he sliced its way through an Eisenhower defense all night long, leading the Lions to a 41-0 win over Eisenhower at Lampson Stadium.

“We just wanted to keep running the ball,” Norwood said. “We could tell they were getting tired and started to let down.”

Norwood led the charge with 184 yards on 23 carries in just three quarters and three touchdowns. But it wasn’t just him. Several others got their chances to break through the Cadets defense line and shed tacklers in the secondary. All totaled, Kennewick rushed the ball 37 times for 270 yards and four touchdowns.

“Our offensive line did a great job tonight,” said Kennewick coach Bill Templeton. “They got a good push.”

Norwood continually ran the ball going untouched until he reached the linebackers and defensive backs. That’s when his strength took over shedding the tacklers for extra yards.

“Dwight had a good night,” Templeton said.

Let’s not forget his 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter as he tip-toed the sideline to push the Lions lead to 27-0.

“That was big,” he said. “We just wanted to come out strong in the second half.”

The Lions (1-1) opened the season last weekend with a 21-6 loss to Ellensburg. Despite the loss, Templeton thought his team was close.

“We saw a lot of good things last week,” he said. “We were close.”

A week later, the Lions looked like a team that was poised to give teams fits in the Mid-Columbia Conference.

“We had a setback and we were ready for a big comeback,” Norwood said.

Kennewick took a quick lead thanks to an Eisenhower (0-2) fumble deep in its own territory. On the second play of the game, Bryce Reynolds could not handle the snap, and Hayden Docken jumped on the loose ball.

Three plays later, Norwood gave the Lions a quick 7-0 lead less 90 seconds into the game.

The Lions pushed the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter on a 5-yard touchdown catch by Brock Sittman from Matthew Driver.

After an interception by Jared Gray, his first of two on the night, Kennewick moved the ball 62 yards down the field, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Norwood to give the Lions a 20-0 lead with 5:51 left in the half.

The Lions defense allowed just 137 yards of total offense to a Cadet team that had just seven first downs and crossed into Kennewick’s side of the field just twice in the game.

“We played well on both sides of the ball,” Templeton said.

Eisenhower 0 0 0 0 — 0

Kennewick 7 13 21 0 — 41


K — Dwight Norwood 11 run (Norwood kick)

K — Brock Sittman 5 pass from Matthew Driver (Norwood kick)

K — Norwood 2 run (kick fail)

K — Norwood 78 kick return (Norwood kick)

K — Norwood 30 run (Norwood kick)

K — Raymond Gutierrez 12 run (Norwood kick)


RUSHING—E, Luis Leon 11-34, Julian Batten 4-44, Team 2-(minus-19). K, Norwood 23-184, Gutierrez 2-12, Driver 1-5, Alejandro Manzano 4-31, Keyshawn Owens 6-44, Team 1-(minus-6).

PASSING—E, Bryce Reynolds 9-21-3-78. K, Driver 11-16-0-72, Austin Knode 1-1-0-15.

RECEIVING—E, Devon Lawrence 6-48, Deltay Redick 2-21, Noah Ramirez 1-9, K, Sittman 7-51, Andrew Townsend 1-6, Norwood 2-8, Eric Moore 1-9, Leo Contreras 1-15.


Fundraising Friday 6-8:30!


Parents -

We are going to have our football fundraising blitz this coming Friday from 6-8:30 PM (right after practice)  Players will be selling Papa John’s cards at that time.  We’ll be selling the cards for $10 and our program will receive $9 of every card sold.

Thank you,

Coach Templeton

Senior Banner Photo Retake

ATTN Senior Parents:

We need to re-shoot the photos for the player banners and will do so this coming Monday, August 18th during clearance night at KeHS from 5-7.

We have some wrong settings on the camera used to shoot the photos, and since we want these to be of utmost quality we would rather re-shoot than deliver a substandard product.  We apologize for any inconvenience this will cause.

So Monday the 18th we will have the photo station set up in the upper gym by the weight-room dots from 5-7pm.  EACH SENIOR NEEDS TO HAVE THEIR PHOTO RETAKEN.  Coach T will have uniforms, pads, and footballs available again so before or after you get your clearance paperwork done stop by and get your picture taken again.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks!