Richland spoils Kennewick homecoming, 35-7

Courtesty Tri City Herald

It didn’t take Richland long to ruin Kennewick’s homecoming.

The Bombers allowed only one first-half first down, led 28-0 at the break and the final score was the only thing left in question.

Richland cruised to a 35-7 Mid-Columbia Conference victory Friday night at Lampson Stadium.

“We wanted to start fast,” Richland coach Mike Neidhold said. “The Richland-Kennewick game can go any way. We wanted to get up quick.”

The Bombers took Neidhold’s words to heart as Lakota Wills rumbled 42 yards on Richland’s third offensive play to give the Bombers a 7-0 lead before the game was 2 minutes old.

On their next offensive possession, the Bombers built the lead to 14-0 when Paxton Stevens hit Alex Chapman for a 39-yard touchdown with 5:17 left in the first quarter.

“We wanted to get after Kennewick,” Wills said. “(Neidhold) asked me what week it was and I said ‘Kennewick week.’ He told me he better not see me wearing any orange all week.”

Wills finished with 89 yards on just eight carries and scored two touchdowns. Wills also blocked a punt that Richland’s Brad Anderson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Wills didn’t play a down on either offense or defense in the second half.

“He’s a workhorse,” Neidhold said. “We shut him down at halftime.”

Wills welcomed the rest.

“That last touchdown I got hit in the head and was a little dinged,” Wills said.

Kennewick didn’t record a first down in the game until under a minute to go before halftime and had only 5 yards of total offense in the first half.

Richland’s third scoring drive saw the Bombers convert three times on fourth down, the biggest one coming when punter Ryan Wolski took off around the left end and ran for 22 yards on a fake punt. The final fourth down conversion came when Wills barely got into the end zone on a 1-yard plunge.

Kennewick went three and out before Wills broke free and smothered Lion punter Dillon Plew’s punt and it bounced into the end zone for a score, making it 28-0 with 1:21 before halftime.

Linebackers Wills and Brecken Galliher were instrumental in Richland defensive effort in the first half.

Kennewick’s only touchdown came when Robbie Loomis picked off a Stevens pass that bounced off the chest of the intended receiver, and Loomis grabbed it out of the air and cruised in for a 10-yard touchdown return.

Richland’s final score came when Stevens ran it in from the 6 with 11:20 left in the game.

Richland raised its record to 5-1 overall , 3-0 in MCC play, while Kennewick drops to 2-4, 1-3 in MCC play.

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Kennewick High School running back Ronnie Loomis (11) pushes past Walla Walla defender Sam Hoe on Thursday night at Lampson Stadium in the Mid-Columbia Conference opener for both teams.

Lions Down Cadets to go 1-1


KENNEWICK 40, EISENHOWER 6: Isaac Ruiz rushed for 115 yards and scored three touchdowns, and Ronnie Loomis added 108 yards rushing and another score, as visiting Kennewick belted Eisenhower in a nonleague game at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima.

Dillon Plew added 116 yards passing with a 46-yard scoring strike to Andrew Townsend for the Lions, who bounced back from a first-week loss to Ellensburg.


Prep football preview: Revamped Lions ready for action

Prep football preview: Revamped Lions ready for action

Posted by Annie Fowler on August 30, 2015

Ground game, defense key for Kennewick

Dillon Plew has never played quarterback, but the Kennewick senior has made it his mission to learn the position to be able to lead the Lions in their team-first approach to the season.

“I’m just jumping in and doing what Temp (coach Bill Templeton) wants me to do,” said the 6-foot-4, 185-pound former wide receiver. “It helps the team, and I’m taking on a leadership role.”

A three-sport athlete, Plew found out after basketball season that the Lions would need him to move under center.

“He told me I was going to play quarterback, and I started learning the plays,” Plew said. “I’m doing the best I can.”

With Matt Driver missing the season with back issues, Templeton knew Plew was his man.

“We are fortunate to have an athlete like Dillon to step in and do the job,” Templeton said. “We are excited about our seniors who have taken big strides athletically and in terms of leadership.”

The Lions finished 4-5 last season and last went to the playoffs in 2012. Templeton said the team has a renewed focus this season, and he believes if they can establish their run game and be a good tackling team that they will have success.

The backfield features Ronny Loomis (jr., 6-2, 185), Raymond Gutierrez (sr., 5-11, 175) and Isaac Ruiz (so., 5-9, 175).

“It’s a three-headed beast,” Templeton said. “If someone shows more initiative, we will go with that.”

Loomis is a three-sport athlete with quite an impressive rèsumè. He competed at the 3A state wrestling tournament in February and ran the 400 meters at the state track meet in May.

No matter if it’s three, two or one, the running backs and Plew have the comfort of a stout offensive line in front of them — led by junior three-year starter Brandon Villasenor (6-1, 306) — to pave the way.

“We have good size on the O-line,” Templeton said. “But they are also good competitors and they work hard.”

Large and in charge

Villasenor anchors the O- and D-lines and will have help along the front lines from seniors DJ Dyer (6-4, 290), Rogelio Guizar (6-2, 230) and junior Dion Kutzke (6-1, 300).

Dyer has drawn interest from several college programs, including Washington, Washington State and Portland State.

“We have a lot of experience, we are big and we are good athletes,” Villasenor said. “We are pretty deep, so for guys like me who play on both sides of the ball, that’s great. I don’t have the best cardio, so when the coaches see I need a break, there is someone to step in. If not, you have to toughen up.”

Experience matters

The Lions have a slew of experience returning. Along with Plew, Villasenor and his linemates, Jared Grey (jr., 5-8, 165) is a returning all-conference defensive back. Garrett Dixon (sr., 6-1, 200) lines up at fullback/linebacker, Devyn Edwards (sr., 6-0, 175) is back at wide receiver and Andrew Townsend (sr., 6-0, 205) has moved from fullback to tight end.

“When you have that experience and they take their roles seriously and do the extra work, that makes a coach more confident going into the season,” Templeton said.

On tap

The Lions open the season at Ellensburg, followed by a game at Eisenhower before hosting Walla Walla on Sept. 17. They play defending 3A Mid-Columbia Conference champion Kamiakin on Sept. 25.

“We have the mentality that we are not overly prepared for one game, but prepared for every game,” Villasenor said. “We all put our clothes on the same way. It’s all who wants it more.”

That includes the teams that struggled last season. Pasco and Hanford have new coaches, and Southridge implemented a new offense.

“You can’t look past anyone,” Plew said. “You never know what a new coach can bring to a team.”

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Kennewick Lions
500 S Dayton St
Kennewick WA 99336
Phone: 509-585-3230
A.D.: Anna Harris
Principal: Ron King
Coach: Randy Affholter