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.
FIRST DOWNS—E 7, K 15. FUMBLES-LOST—E 4-1, K 3-1. PENALTIES-YARDS—E 7-47, K 4-38.