Lions Fall in Semis

Kamiakin back in semis after tripping Kennewick 22-14

By Kevin Anthony, Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK -- On offense, on defense -- there might be a whisker's difference between the Kamiakin Braves and Kennewick Lions.

On special teams, though, there is a vast gulf. At least there was Saturday.

Two blocked punts and a fumbled return led to a Braves' scoring burst late in the first half, and another muffed punt return opened the door to a clinching score in Kamiakin's 22-14 win over the Lions in a 3A state quarterfinal at Lampson Stadium.

Zach Umemoto ran for 118 yards on 30 tough carries for Kamiakin, and Drew Oord scored a pair of touchdowns, including an 8-yard return of his own punt block.

That play proved a key turning point in the game.

"It's a game of momentum," said Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin, who has guided the Braves to back-to-back semifinal appearances in his three years.

Kamiakin (12-0) will face a familiar foe next Saturday back at Lampson when unbeaten and top-ranked Bellevue (12-0) comes to town (time TBD). The Wolverines have won eight of the last 10 3A state titles and three in a row, including last year's 38-0 rout of Kamiakin in the championship game.

"Everybody's excited," said Oord, a starter on last year's team. "We knew we have to practice hard this week to get ready for them. But for now, we want to redeem ourselves and show that we belong with them."

It was no surprise that points were at a premium with two dominating defenses on the field, and it was Kennewick (10-2) that struck first.

After threatening on their first drive but coming up empty from inside the 10, the Lions hit the big plays late in the first quarter.

Grant Woods, who broke off a 47-yard run on the first drive, bounced outside for 46 more to move Kennewick to the 26. From there, Brock Schuh went up strong to win a jump ball at the goal line for a 26-yard scoring pass from Bryce Leavitt and a 7-0 lead.

After Kamiakin stalled at midfield on its next possession, the Braves forced a three-and-out, thanks to a sack and another stop from Kevin Graeger.

Devven Ramos was back near the Lions' 10 to punt, but Oord crashed through the middle and stuffed the kick. The ball took a lollipop hop right into Oord's arms, and it was an easy score.

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Kennewick routs Southridge

Kennewick routs Southridge

By Jack Millikin, Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK -- Grant Woods was in eighth grade when the Kennewick football team last won a state playoff game.

He's hoping the Lions' latest win, a 39-6 victory over Southridge in the first round of the 3A state playoffs, will leave as big an impression on future Kennewick players as the 2007 team did on him.

"To be a part of the team doing it now is awesome," Woods said. "There's got to be some eighth graders out there watching."

The senior running back gave them something to cheer about Saturday at Lampson Stadium, rushing 26 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and taking a screen pass 65 yards for another score to help lift Kennewick into the 3A quarterfinals next Saturday against Kamiakin.

That's the same Braves team that beat them 14-6 back in Week 4, still the Lions' ony loss.

"That's pretty neat. We get a quarterfinal rematch," Woods said. "It's going to be a big game."

Before the Lions even thought about that game, however, they had to take care of business against a Southridge squad loaded with weapons.

The Lions got to it quickly, as quarterback Bryce Leavitt threw a simple screen pass to Woods just a minute and 20 seconds into the game and watched the CBBN 3A scoring leader cruise down the left sideline for a 65-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The Suns answered back with a 12-play drive that ended with a 46-yard field goal by Chandler Mertens that cut the lead to 7-3.

That's when Leavitt and Woods, behind a punishing front five, started to take over. The two combined for 282 yards and three scores on the ground, but Leavitt set the tone with a mad scramble on third and 1 from the Kennewick 40-yard line. The 6-foot-4 senior zig-zagged back and forth across the field until, before it was over, he had a 41-yard gain.

That set up a 1-yard sneak by Leavitt that pushed the lead to 13-3.

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Love goes a long way for Templeton family

Love goes a long way for Templeton family

Two weeks ago, Kennewick football coach Bill Templeton was grateful for the gift of technology as he watched via internet from a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as his Lions recorded their third shutout of the year against the Pasco Bulldogs 35-0.

What brought him to that faraway place was the gift of love.

A trip that long is never easy, but the Templetons are looking forward to a profoundly adventurous journey of adding to their already rich family of four (they had two children before the adoption: Hannah and Atticus). Templeton and his wife Kelli Jo were there to put the final touches on their adoption of two Ethiopian boys.

"Ten or fifteen years ago, I was listening to a sermon on the radio. It talked about King David and his best friend Jonathan's son. When Jonathan passed away, David adopted his son," Templeton said.

"The sermon was about how adoption is a beautiful metaphor for how God adopts us into His family."

The process began almost two years ago in February at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Portland, where Templeton and his wife met the two boys — seven-year-old Gezahegne and four-year-old Endale — for the first time. They spent some time with each other and decided to push ahead with the adoption.

It's an expensive process — Templeton had heard it could be as much as $50,000 to adopt both boys — and it takes a lot of patience ("It's been a long journey," he said). However, he credited the generosity of friends, the church and the local community for their many levels of support.

"Most of it is plane tickets," Templeton said. "It ended up being closer to about $35,000."

Two years later, Bill and Kelli Jo couldn't be happier with their decision.

"We've been blessed," Tempoleton said.

It sounds like the boys are starting to adapt to their new home and city. For starters, they've both taken 'American' names. Gezahegne, now 9, is now called Silas. His brother Endale, now 6, is known as Jonathan.

"They probably know about 40 or 50 English words each," Bill said. "Their first experience with American football was our playoff win over Mt. Spokane."

Templeton loves telling his Kennewick players that it's not where you start, it's where you finish. A win Saturday against Kamiakin puts the Lions in the state semifinals for the first time since 1992.

But by graciously allowing Silas and Jonathan into their lives, the Templetons have shown others the true meaning of family and how, sometimes, long journeys are worth every single step.

Kennewick #9 In Final ST Poll

Kennewick climbs one spot to #9 in the final Seattle Times state football pollFrom here on out things will be settled on the field in the 3A Stte Tournament.

Class 3A

1. Bellevue 10-0
2. Lakes (Lakewood) 10-0
3. O'Dea (Seattle) 10-0
4. Kamiakin (Kennewick) 10-0
5. Meadowdale (Lynnwood) 10-0
6. Camas 9-1
7. Seattle Prep 9-1
8. Mercer Island 8-2
9. Kennewick 9-1
10. Mount Si (Snoqualmie) 7-3

Kennewick defense dominates Mt. Spokane

KENNEWICK -- The moment the referee ruled the ball a fumble, the Kennewick defenders told Grant Woods not to worry they'd get the ball back.

The Lions did just that all Friday night long, dominating Mt. Spokane 27-0 in a Class 3A regional football playoff game at Lampson Stadium.

Woods fumbled inside the 15-yard line early in the third quarter and the Wildcats took the next two plays 35 yards. But the Lions defense stiffened and forced a punt.

"That was a big stop," Kennewick's Brock Schuh said. "We knew we'd get the ball back. We told Grant not to worry about it and that we'd get it back."

After the punt, the Lions went 76 yards on seven plays highlighted by Reggie Clinton's catch-and-run 51-yard gain. Bryce Leavitt scored from 2 yards out for a 20-0 lead.

"It was only 13-0 at the half, but I felt we controlled things," Kennewick coach Bill Templeton said. "I felt like if we could punch it in, it would go a long way toward winning the game."

The victory puts the Lions into the state playoffs for the first time since 2007. Kennewick will face Southridge in the first round next weekend.

Lions Break Into Sea. Times Top 10

Class 3A

1. Bellevue (9-0) beat Liberty 38-0
2. Lakes (Lakewood) (9-0) beat Bonney Lake 62-14
3. O'Dea (Seattle) (9-0) beat Franklin 56-0
4. Kamiakin (Kennewick) (9-0) beat Eastmont 41-17
5. Meadowdale (Lynnwood) (9-0) beat No. 8 Oak Harbor 34-17 Thursday
6. Camas (8-1) beat Kelso 55-0
7. Peninsula (Gig Harbor) (8-1) beat Enumclaw 48-6 Thursday
8. Seattle Prep (8-1) beat West Seattle 42-0
9. Mercer Island (7-2) beat Lake Washington 52-7
10. Kennewick (8-1) beat Pasco 35-0 Thursday

Kennewick shuts out Pasco 35-0

Kennewick shuts out Pasco 35-0

By Kevin Anthony, Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK — On the first brisk night of the season, it took the Kennewick Lions a few series to get warmed up. But once they did, they never cooled off.

Grant Woods ran for 198 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, and the Lions defense pitched its third shutout of the season in a 35-0 rout of the Pasco Bulldogs on Thursday night at Lampson Stadium.

The win sends the 10th-ranked Lions (8-1, 6-1 CBBN 3A) into the postseason with just a single loss. Kennewick will entertain the No. 2 seed from the Greater Spokane League -- the winner of tonight's North Central-Mount Spokane game -- at 5:30 p.m. next Friday at Lampson ahead of Kamiakin's game against the CBBN No. 4, either Hanford or Eastmont.

Pasco (0-9, 0-7) kept the wraps on Woods during Kennewick's first two series, limiting him to 9 yards on his first six carries. But on the first play of the Lions' third possession, the speedy senior charged through a lane opened by Garrett Wilz and Clayten Ayres and raced 44 yards for the score.

The carry sent the CBBN 3A rushing leader over 1,000 yards, but he said that was the last thing on his mind.

"I was just thinking we need the score," said Woods, who sits with 1,168 yards and 14 rushing TDs. "They shut us down the first two drives."

It was just the start of a big night for the Kennewick offense, and a long one for the Bulldogs.

Woods scored on a 10-yard on the next possession and added 48- and 7-yard scores in the second half. Bryce Leavitt hit Brock Schuh in stride on a seam route for a 31-yard score at the end of the first half for a 21-0 lead.

The Lions went on to roll up 364 total yards, 286 on the ground.

"The line does a good job, and Grant runs hard," said two-way lineman Jarod Gonzales. "He doesn't stop. He fights for those extra yards."

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Senior Night Live!

The 2011 Regular Season finale will be live on the internet this Thursday at 7:15pm on starting at 7:15pm vs the Pasco Bulldogs.

The Lions wrap up the regular season on Thursday and then look to a week 10 Greater Spokane League crossover game vs the #3 seed.

Head Coach Bill Templeton may be tuning into the game as well from the other side of the globe.  Coach Templeton and his wife Kelli are in Africa finalizing the adoption of 2 boys from Ethiopia. "If the place we are staying has internet I'll be tuning in for sure!" said Coach Templeton as he left the Tri Cities on Sunday.  Coach Templeton and new family members should be back in time for Sunday Film review.

Kennewick Manhandles Southridge

Kennewick manhandles Southridge 35-7

By Kevin Anthony, Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK Postseason seeding and a home playoff game on the line, a raucous homecoming crowd to entertain and a heated rival on the other sideline.

The Kennewick Lions picked a perfect game to put forth one of their best efforts.

Grant Woods piled up 162 of Kennewick's 298 yards on the ground, Bryce Leavitt threw for two scores and ran for another, and the Lions' defense turned away two threats in the first half and then turned out the lights in a 35-7 win over the Southridge Suns in a key CBBN 3A contest Friday at Lampson Stadium.

"It was a big game, and we knew we had to step to them," said linebacker Shaun Smith, who turned in three big plays to help deny points to the Suns after they reached the Kennewick 14 and 3.

The victory locks up the league's No. 2 seed for 10th-ranked Kennewick (7-1, 5-1), which finishes the regular season with Pasco next week and then will entertain the Greater Spokane League's No. 2 seed in the regional playoffs.

The loss for Southridge (5-3, 4-2) sends them to the third seed and on the road for regionals against University. But more than that, it exposed the fact that one of the most gifted teams in the area is not ready to stand up to the most physical teams in the league.

And Kennewick has proven they can punch and take a punch.

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TNT Ranks Lions #9 Statewide

CLASS 3A as of 10/9
1. Bellevue (6-0)
2. Lakes (6-0)
3. O’Dea (6-0)
4. Kamiakin (6-0)
5. Camas (5-1)
6. Meadowdale (6-0)
7. Peninsula (5-1)
8. Oak Harbor (6-0)
9. Kennewick (5-1)
10. Seattle Prep (6-0)
Next: Auburn Mountainview (5-1), Bonney Lake (4-2), Capital (3-3), Eastside Catholic (3-3), Kennedy Catholic (5-1), Lincoln (3-3), Mercer Island (4-2), Mount Si (4-2), Mountain View (4-2)

Win Over Falcons Runs Record to 5-1

Kennewick rallies past Hanford

By Bruce Blizard, Special to the Tri-City Herald

RICHLAND -- Sports fans love statistics, but numbers alone usually do not tell the whole story of a football game.

Then there are those occasions when they do.

Hanford played what may have been its best half of the season, capitalizing on a blocked punt and a pass interception to take a 16-7 halftime lead over a heavily-favored Kennewick team at Fran Rish Stadium.

Then, the Falcons succumbed to those undeniable statistics.

Kennewick held the Falcons to just eight yards in the third quarter and just 38 yards for the entire second half on the way to 28-16 win. The victory allows Kennewick to stay just a game back of Kamiakin in the Columbia Basin Big Nine Conference 3A standings.

As they have done at least a couple of times this season, Hanford outplayed a favored opponent in the first half.

Kennewick had run 19 plays in the first quarter -- compared to just three for Hanford -- when the Falcons forced the Lions to punt from midfield. The punt was blocked, and Hanford recovered the ball on the Kennewick 45. Falcons quarterback Austin Forsyth connected Jake Oram on a 45-yard touchdown pass on the first play from that spot. The extra point attempt was wide.

Grant Woods set up Kennewick's first score by returning the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to the Hanford 49. Woods gave his team a 7-6 lead from 13 yards out nine plays later, with 11:51 left in the second quarter.

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Kennewick gets crafty in 20-7 win

Kennewick gets crafty in 20-7 win vs. Sunnyside

KENNEWICK — A trick play isn’t an everyday thing. You use it when you need it, sometimes in the most dire of consequences.

The Kennewick Lions needed it — twice, in fact — Thursday night to pull out a 20-7 CBBN 3A win over the Sunnyside Grizzlies at Lampson Stadium.

“You always want to save those, but I felt we were stuck in the mud,” Lions coach Bill Templeton said after his team improved to 4-1 and 2-1 in the CBBN 3A.

Less than a week ago, Kennewick lost a 14-6 heartbreaker to Kamiakin on the same field, and the Lions knew a win would help close that wound.

“I’m very proud of the kids. Last Friday was crazy,” Templeton said. “One of our words for the week was perseverance. We were mentally tough, and we battled through some things.”

Kennewick fought through a rough first quarter, going three-and-out on its first two drives and then wasted a 39-yard run by Grant Woods on the next drive, which ended with a punt from the Sunnyside 35.

But Woods came up with another big run of 48 yards to set up Kennewick’s first score. With 3:14 left in the half, Lions quarterback Bryce Leavitt handed off to Woods, who then flipped it back to Kaden Julian on a reverse. Julian stopped and hit Troy Fulton in the front of the end zone for a 6-0 lead.

Sunnyside scored on its next drive, which was set up with a 50-yard quarterback scramble by Eduardo Salmeron that put the Grizzlies at the Lions’ 22-yard line. Israel Manzo scored four plays later on an 8-yard run, and Sunnyside pulled ahead 7-6 with just 44 seconds left before halftime.

But Woods turned savior again, hauling in a 45-yard pass from Leavitt down the left sideline to put Kennewick back in scoring position with 18 seconds left. Woods accounted for seven first downs — six by rushing, one by receiving — and finished with 223 yards rushing on 25 carries.

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Hard Fought Game ends In Loss

KENNEWICK -- There is smash-mouth football, and then there is "Pow! In your face, a fist to the teeth" football.

And somewhere on the other side of that, is Kennewick and Kamiakin football.

Zach Umemoto ran for 134 yards and crashed into the end zone two times, and Kamiakin's defense was at its blitzing best as the Braves took a physical, 14-6 decision off the rival Lions on Friday night before a packed house at Lampson Stadium.

A crowd near the 6,800 capacity watched a punishing game between two ranked, unbeaten teams -- even the coaches were limping after this one -- as Kamiakin (4-0, 2-0) remained on top of the CBBN 3A.

And this win came thanks to a ground-pounding attack that Umemotored on a late drive to put the game away.

"Unbelievable," said Joe Hunt, a member of the offensive line that cleared the way as well as an all-over-the-field defensive end and key special teams player. "This has got to be right up there next to the state championship game last year."

The Braves, state runners-up last year, couldn't pull free of Kennewick (3-1, 1-1) until Umemoto's 1-yard plunge with 1:48 to play.

The 10-play, 62-yard drive was all Umemoto, who was a gut punch to a defense that had traded blow-for-blow with the Braves.

"Those guys are pretty big, pretty strong," said Lions running back/corner Grant Woods, who came into the game averaging 11.2 yards per carry but was held to 22 on 10 touches. "We're smaller, but we have speed. But props to Umemoto."

East Kennewick > Eastmont

Eastmont no match for Kennewick

Saturday, September 17, 2011

KENNEWICK — Nobody saw this one coming.

Eastmont, down but not out after a pair of fairly competitive losses against Class 4A opponents to start the season, was whitewashed in its Big Nine 3A opener Friday night, a demoralizing 41-0 loss to Kennewick at Lampson Stadium.

While Kennewick (3-0) came into the game with momentum, its previous lopsided victories came against Prosser and Hermiston, both smaller schools.

Eastmont fared no better than either of the Lions’ previous opponents, allowing three touchdowns in each of the first two quarters and managing just 57 yards of offense before the half.

“They executed at a very high level, and right now we’re so thin in a lot of spots,” said Eastmont coach Doug McGill, whose team played without safety Trenton Osborn (agitated hip flexor) and lineman Kyle Brooks (shoulder). “Their defense was as advertised. They’re quick to the ball, quick to react, and it meant for a frustrating difficult night on both sides of the ball.”

Kennewick quarterback Bryce Leavitt torched the Wildcats through the air, racking up 208 yards and four touchdowns on 8 for 9 passing — all in the first half.

Grant Woods was just as effective on the ground for the Lions, piling up 103 yards and a score on six carries — also all in the first half.

Woods gave the Lions a jolt from the outset. He carried the ball on their first two plays from scrimmage, resulting in a 50-yard rush followed by an eight-yard scamper to the end zone.

Full Article

Lions 3-0

Kennewick rolls in big win over Eastmont

By Kevin Anthony, Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK -- The Kennewick Lions turned one of sports' oldest axioms on its head Friday night, proving that a bad practice makes perfect.

A sloppy effort midweek had coach Bill Templeton spitting fire, which in turn fired up the Lions and led to a 41-0 rout of the Eastmont Wildcats in the CBBN 3A opener for both teams at Lampson Stadium.

"If you've ever seen Coach Templeton mad ... I tell you what," said Kennewick receiver Reggie Clinton, who had two big catches and two nice punt returns in a perfect first half of football for the Lions.

Kennewick (3-0) did all of its scoring in the first half, converting all six possessions into touchdowns. Quarterback Bryce Leavitt was 8-for-9 for 208 yards and four touchdowns: 50 and 22 yards to Chase Reining, 40 yards to Clinton and 10 to Brock Schuh.

Garrett Woods and Bodie Simpson each ran for a score, Woods racking up 103 yards on six carries as the Lions outgained Eastmont (0-3) 351-69 in the first two quarters.

"You see that scoreboard -- that shows it all right there," Clinton said. "That's hard work and dedication right there."

"Did you see that first play?" he asked, referring to Woods' 50-yard sprint through a gaping hole. "That doesn't happen if Ivan Diaz doesn't do his job, if Jarrod Howell doesn't do his job, Garrett Wilz, Jarod Gonzales, T.J. Fields."

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Kennewick roar past Pendleton 53-6

KENNEWICK -- It is no easy task figuring out the MVP of Kennewick's 53-6 drubbing of the Pendleton Buckaroos in the Lions' season opener Friday night at Lampson Stadium.

Is it Grant Woods, who ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns on nine first-half carries and provided some serious "stick 'em" from his cornerback spot?

Is it big-play 'backer Devven Ramos, who returned a fumble 50 yards for a defensive score and rumbled 57 yards for an offensive one?

The offensive line, which sealed off the running lanes for big gains; the defense, which picked off three passes, got the fumble and added three sacks and two more tackles for loss?

Or maybe it was the running clock, which made the second half fly by.

Heck, after a game like this, there are enough game balls for all.

"It felt awesome," said Woods, who scored on runs of 13, 3 and 5 yards and also broke off a 54-yard scamper that came up short of the end zone.

"I've had butterflies the entire time since third hour when we had a pep assembly."

Lions in TCH!

Taking the reins: Leavitt looks to step for KeHS

By Katie Dorsey, Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK -- In the dead of night, Bryce Leavitt might dream of juking out a defender on the football field or basketball court.

But the Kennewick High School senior probably isn't catching any "z's." He likely is wide awake, working under the moonlight to make those dreams a reality.

Leavitt, who aspires to play college basketball, likes to practice his shot at night. But after some noise complaints, his parents decided he couldn't play past 10 p.m.

That hasn't stopped the self-proclaimed gym rat from getting out there anyway.

"When I want to shoot, I go out and shoot really quietly," he said.

Leavitt averaged 16.7 points last season in leading the Kennewick boys basketball team to the CBBN 3A district playoffs, and his work ethic has carried over into football, while preparing for his new job as the Lions' starting quarterback.

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Templeton Nears 2nd Most Wins

Head Coach Bill Templeton (KeHS '87) is 2 wins shy of taking over 2nd place on Kennewick's all-time winningest coaches list.

Templeton's 39 career wins is just shy of Ted Homme's 40.  The top spot is held by legendary coach Ed Troxel whom coach Templeton played for.


1.  Ed Troxel  106-33
2.  Ted Homme 40-27
3.  Bill Templeton 39-49
4.  George Karamatic 26-18
5.  Mel Thompson 20-13

Football Game next Week!

Season opener next Friday!

Kennewick Lions (0-0) vs. Pendleton Buckaroos (0-0)
7:00PM @ Pendleton

Football Practice Just A Week Away!

Excitement is in the air as the Kennewick Lions begin fall football practice on Wednesday 8/17!

Word is getting out about the level of talent the Lions posess this year including Bryce Leavitt, Devven Ramos, Grant Woods, and Bodie Simpson just to name a few.

Look for the full roster and more as fall practices get underway counting down to the season opener 9/2 on the road vs. Pendleton!

2011 Football Camp

2011 Football Camp

Ages: 3rd - 8th Grades (entering Fall quarter 2011)
Dates: July 18th, 19th, 20th
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Lampson Stadium - Kennewick

Staff: Bill Templeton, Head Football Coach at Kennewick High, Craig Beverlin, former head coach of Kamiakin High School; and Tom Moore, former head coach of Prosser High School

Fee: $50/Child OR $75/Family

Registration Form

Sponsored by: Washington Sports Network (WSN)
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