Kennewick Lions win overtime thriller to advance in state football playoffs

The Kennewick Lions made some key plays on offense late and benefited from a special teams miscue to hold off Yelm 35-34 in overtime Saturday in a first-round 3A state playoff game at Lampson Stadium.

The Lions (10-1) move on to the quarterfinals to play the winner of Garfield/Bethel next weekend.

“If you like high school football games this was a good one to watch,” said Kennewick coach Randy Affholter. “I’m happy for our kids and this is great for the community.”

Kennewick, which earned the No. 1 seed for 3A in the Mid-Columbia Conference, is moving on thanks to a missed Yelm extra point kick in overtime.

The Lions opened the overtime session with a touchdown.

Kennewick’s Simeon Howard (2) scores in overtime. Tri-City Herald

Elijah Tanner turned a broken play into a 12-yard TD pass to Simeon Howard on third down. Ethan Woolery connected on the extra point.

The scoring play was set up by a key fourth-down conversion earlier in the drive.

“We were going to go for it,” Affholter said about the fourth-down play rather than kick the field goal. “We like to be a little closer to try those.”

Then on the scoring play, Tanner rolled out right, looking for a receiver in the flat.

However, Yelm had the play bottled up. After eluding a tackler, Tanner threw the ball across the field to a leaping Howard to give the Lions the lead.

The play capped a huge game by Howard.

The sophomore finished with seven catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.

He also had an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown that gave the Lions a quick 7-0 lead.


On Yelm’s (7-4) ensuing overtime possession, Carson Amendt rushed in from 3 yards out to get Yelm to 35-34. But the extra point went wide left, causing a huge roar from the Lion faithful.

“What really impressed me was the way we played on both sides of the ball,” Affholter said. “We continued to make adjustments and make plays.”

Yelm, which trailed the entire game, needed to come up with some magic late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

On fourth-down and 10, Tornados quarterback Benjamin Hoffmann connected with Austin Schaler for a 15-yard touchdown with 14.9 seconds left in the contest.

The Lions, who beat Shadle Park last week to reach the state playoffs, dominated the game early and took a quick 14-0 lead.

Kennewick forced three first-quarter turnovers, the biggest by Howard.

On the second play of the game, Hoffmann lost the ball trying to get a few extra yards, and Howard scooped the ball up and went 26 yards for the score.

Yelm settled down in the second quarter after the disastrous start, coming back with two straight touchdowns to tie the game at 14 at halftime.

“You saw us in the first quarter,” Affholter said. “We just needed to pace ourselves because I think we got a little tired in the second quarter.”


Seahawks Announce Week Ten UnitedHealthcare High School Coaches Of The Week

RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks and UnitedHealthcare announced today that Coach Randy Affholter of Kennewick High School and Coach Jeff Weible of North Kitsap High School are the Week 10 NFL High School Coaches of the Week for the state of Washington.

Coach Affholter’s Lions finished the season 9-1, defeating Shadle Park 24-7 in to advance to the state bracket. This is Coach Affholter's first season as the head football coach at Kennewick after previously coaching for 22 years at Ellensburg High School. Under Coach Affholter's leadership, the team shows incredible discipline and did extremely well this season despite a tough schedule.

Coach Weible’s Vikings won the Olympic 2A League this season, defeating Fife 28-25 in the first round of the playoffs for a trip to the state tournament. Coach Weible does an incredible job of instilling character and sportsmanship with his players, along with coaching great fundamentals, effort, and a true sense of North Kitsap pride. In addition, Coach Weible is heavily involved in the Washington State Football Coaches Association and a tremendous advocate for high school football across the state.

The Seattle Seahawks High School Coach of the Week Program, presented by UnitedHealthcare, promotes the importance of youth football. Each week during the high school football season, the Washington State Football Coaches Association selects two high school football coaches as the Coach of the Week winners. Each recipient receives a $500 grant from the NFL toward their football program. At the conclusion of the high school football season, one coach will be selected as the NFL High School Coach of the Year for the state of Washington and will receive a $2,000 grant from the NFL and $10,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare.

For more information on the High School Coach of the Week, visit

Kennewick beats Shadle Park to qualify for 3A state football playoffs

The Kennewick Lions overcame some early mistakes, and thanks to a staunch defense, pulled away in the second half for a 24-7 victory over Shadle Park on Friday night at Lampson Stadium in a 3A regional playoff game.

The Lions (9-1) move on to the 3A state playoffs starting next week. Their opponent and location will be announced Sunday.

“This (win) is a big deal for these kids,” said first-year coach Randy Affholter. “We just need to keep building, relax and play the way we are capable of.”

Kennewick, which had the Mid-Columbia Conference’s No. 2 defense this season, did not allow a point against the Highlanders.

Shadle Park’s (5-5) lone touchdown came on a 70-yard interception return in the second half.

The Lions allowed just 106 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers. The Highlanders did not get a first down until the second quarter and crossed midfield just twice.

“Our defense was great tonight,” said sophomore running back Myles Mayovsky. “They pitched a shutout.”

Mayovsky was a key part in the Lions ball-control offense that methodically went down the field most of the night. He finished with 81 yards on 23 carries.

His final carry of the night was a 7-yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.

“We really wanted to control the football as much as we can,” Affholter said. “We did a good job of that in the second half.”

Leading just 10-7 after a dominating first half, the Lions broke through late in the third quarter on an 18-yard touchdown reception by Bronson Childs on a pass from Elijah Tanner.

The play came on a fourth-and-7 situation on Kennewick’s second possession of the third quarter. The Lions’ first drive of the second half covered 46 yards and chewed up more than 6 1/2 minutes off the clock. But the drive stalled out on the Shadle Park 16.

“We mixed in a few different formations in the second half,” Mayovsky said. “We just needed to settle down and adjust to what they were doing defensively.”

Tanner had a great second half, connecting on 6 of his 7 passes for 85 yards and the key fourth-down touchdown to Childs. He finished the game 13 of 21 passing for 199 yards.

“We know we have the potential,” Mayovsky said. “We think we can have a long playoff run.”

Lions 6th in Seattle Times Poll - Week 9

Seattle Times Rankings - Class 3A Top 10

1. O’Dea Fighting Irish (8-0)

Beat Garfield 35-7. Next: Bye

2. Eastside Catholic Crusaders (7-1)

Beat Blanchet 42-7. Next: Bye

3. Lincoln-Tacoma Abes (6-2)

Beat Lakes 42-21. Next: Bethel

4. Bellevue Wolverines (6-2)

Beat Juanita 28-0. Next: Mercer Island

5. Bethel Braves (6-2)

Beat Bonney Lake 34-0. Next: at Lincoln

6. Kennewick Lions (7-1)

Beat Richland 19-14. Next: Southridge

7. Mount Spokane Wildcats (6-2)

Beat North Central 42-0. Next: at Shadle Park

8. Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks (8-0)

Beat Arlington 42-14. Next: WesCo crossover vs. Snohomish

9. Kamiakin Braves (6-2)

Lost to Chiawana 10-7. Next: Hermiston (Ore.)

10. Lakes Lancers (5-2)

Lost to Lincoln 42-21. Next: at Wilson

Lions Win Tough Fight Against Blue Devils

The Kennewick Lions football team has a lot of offensive weapons.

But when the game is on the line, Lions coach Randy Affholter knows his team needs to go to the two most dangerous parts of his arsenal: sophomore running back Myles Mayovsky and that big, talented offensive line.

“Our strength is up front,” said Affholter. “And Myles sees things pretty well.”

Mayovsky scored two second-half touchdowns — including the go-ahead one, a 49-year screen pass from Elijah Tanner — to put away a pesky Walla Walla Blue Devils team 28-14 in Mid-Columbia Conference play Thursday night at Lampson Stadium.

Mayovsky finished with 189 yards of rushing on 28 carries, plus added another 58 receiving yards on two screen passes. He had just 55 yards rushing in the first half.

“Our line is just huge,” said Mayovsky, whose team improves to 5-1 in MCC play, 6-1 overall. “Our coaches have been yelling at me the last few weeks, saying, ‘Patience! Patience!”

He had been hitting the hole too early, not allowing the play to develop. By waiting an extra split second, the Lions line was opening holes that Mayovsky could drive a truck through without getting touched.

Wa-Hi coach Greg Lupfer saw it too.

“Our defensive line is 185 to 195 pounds across the line,” said Lupfer. “You’re sitting there, taking on guys who are 6-4, 240, 250, 260 pounds for a while. That’s the way it is. Eventually your body is gonna break down.”

And then Mayovsky comes at them.

“I definitely feel stronger the more I carry the ball. Give me 30 carries. We were just pounding the 4 and 3 holes (in the line),” said Mayovsky. “And I knew that screen pass was going to be big. I had some offensive linemen in front of me, and a lane.”

Tanner stepped in for normal starter Blaine Chavez, whom Affholter said was sidelined with a knee injury.

“We’re not sure when it happened, and that’s the honest truth,” said Affholter. “He’s going to have an MRI on it. We don’t know if he did it in practice or two weeks ago against Kamiakin. But on Sunday night, it just swelled up.”

But Tanner stepped in and filled Chavez’s role admirably, throwing for 237 yards and a TD.

“He did well,” said Affholter. “He moved the ball. We did have some Red Zone turnovers.”

Three in the first half — two fumbles by Tanner and an interception at the goal line by Wa-Hi’s Dash Sirmon.

That’s what kept the Blue Devils in the game, which was tied at 7-7 at intermission, and at 14-14 after three quarters.

But in the end, it wasn’t enough for Lupfer’s team, which falls to 3-4 in both MCC and overall play.

Yet the Blue Devils still have a chance to grab the MCC’s second 4A regional playoff berth.

“I’m extremely proud of the way these guys fight,” said Lupfer. “I’ve coached in a lot of big-time college football games. But this is the most fun I’ve had coaching football, besides the losses, in my 22 years of coaching football. These kids are tired of being a doormat. And you know what? We’re only 13 points away from being 5-1 (coming into Thursday’s game).”

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