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Game Recap October 21, 2016

The final score of a game doesn't always give an accurate depiction of that game. Bombers vs Riverhawks 2016 was one of those games. Both teams were undefeated, both had a high scoring offense, both had a tough defense that hadn't allowed many points, and both teams were ranked in the top five in the state. Since both teams had already secured playoff spots, this game would be for playoff seeding as well as the conference championship. Bragging rights were at stake in this relatively new rivalry game as local media had proclaimed Chiawana as both an immovable object and an unstoppable force. Although Richland came away with a 21-14 win, there was much more to it than that.
The Bombers took the opening kickoff, but were forced into the usual opening three-and-out.

Chiawana had no surprises up their sleeve, using the MCC rushing yardage leader Andrew Vargas almost exclusively. It seemed like it would work well since Richland hadn't adjusted their defense to account for the Riverhawk running game, but the defense stiffened near mid-field and forced a punt. After a short gain from scrimmage, running back Ben Stanfield fired up the Bomber faithful with the first big play of the game, breaking the grasp of one defender, spinning out of the pile of lineman, and breaking downfield before being pushed out of bounds at the 40 yard line for a 27 yard gain. Conventional wisdom would be the opposite game plan from Kamiakin—Kamiakin couldn't stop the run but could defend the pass, so run the ball. Chiawana had what was supposed to be an impenetrable D line and weak defensive backs, so the passing game would be the way to go. As it turns out, the Bombers could run and pass against Chiawana, but as they tested the waters there were punts and turnovers on downs through the first quarter. Chiawana, on the other hand, had no experimenting to do. It was Vargas or nothing. After Vargas broke a 26 yard run to get to Richland's 25, the coaches sent in 300 pound offensive lineman Dantae Powell to bolster the line. With Powell in to relieve Brigham Whitby from well-deserved double and triple team blocking, the shutdown began. Despite good field position, the Riverhawks couldn't find the endzone and the first quarter ended scoreless.

Taking over at the 20 after a missed field goal, the Bombers went to work again. Stanfield made another big play, breaking through and around the defense and nearly going all the way before being dragged down by the back of the jersey at the 45. Holding and intentional grounding penalties pushed Richland back to their 25, so another punt was in order. Chiawana's next offensive series served as a microcosm for the rest of the game. With the run stifled and the pass having no success, the frustration was visible. On a play that appeared to be successful, Josh Mendoza stepped in and simply took the ball out of Vargas' hands, the first of four fumbles for the back. Richland used running back Parker McCary to keep Chiawana honest and got two big catches from Mendoza. Victor Strasser bulled his way through the middle to get inside the 10, and Stanfield followed Strasser's block around the right end on the next play for the first score of the game. After trading punts, the Riverhawks started on their 11, but Mendoza popped the ball out of Vargas' hands again. They got the ball back on a blocked field goal, but lost it again two plays later on a bad handoff from the quarterback to Vargas. The half ended with Richland leading 7-0 and Chiawana's confidence visibly shaken.
The second half continued the Riverhawks' woes. The short kickoff hit star linebacker Caleb Weber in the numbers and the Bombers recovered at the 35. It took seven plays to take advantage of it, riding McCary down the field, aided by a pass to Mendoza. From the 1 yard line, McCary jab stepped left and then cut right, blasting through a hole provided by Colton Michaels and Aric Davison. At 14-0 early in third quarter it looked bad for Chiawana. The momentum had swung hard in Richland's favor and the defense was not letting up.

The Riverhawks weren't about to roll over, though. The return man took the kickoff back to the 50 and might have taken it all the way if William Harshaw-McDonald hadn't stuck his hand in and flipped the ball loose. From the 50, Chiawana abandoned their main weapon for a deep pass. Although the receiver was well covered by Ryan Piper, the pass was tipped and grabbed just before hitting the ground by a diving Riverhawk. The completion accounted for 45 of Chiawana's 77 passing yards. Five yards from the goal, Chiawana was poised to score. Vargas took the ball to the one before being knocked out of bounds by Garrett Guffey. With the 230 pound Weber lined up to block for Vargas it was no secret where the ball was going. The snap was bobbled under center and recovered by Piper on the blitz. Bomber ball on the 3 yard line.

After a timeout, the Bombers sensed a point of no return for the Riverhawks and went for the throat. With McCary and Stanfield both in the backfield it looked like a run. McCary blocked right as Stanfield jetted out of the backfield to the left and ran under a beautiful lob by Stevens, caught it wide open at the 25, and left every pursuer in the dust as he raced the length of the sideline to the endzone. It's normally the case that one call shouldn't alter the outcome of a game, but the penalty called on this play nearly did. As Stanfield crossed the 30, defender Josiah Richardson got within 2 yards before he was blocked by Mendoza. The line judge following the play about 15 yards behind threw a flag and called a personal foul. It was later determined that the call was for "unnecessary blocking" by Mendoza. On review of the game film it was a completely clean play. Mendoza's block on Richardson was textbook and a good play by him as Richardson was the nearest defender to the ball carrier. For the sake of public decorum the official's call would best be described as dubious. If the play had stood, the score would have been 21-0. The wind was taken completely out of Chiawana's sails. The frustration was palpable as their one weapon was proving sputtering against the Bomber defense. Up to that point in the game the defense had battered Chiawana's offense relentlessly, and the offense had done the same, rendering the vaunted defensive line and widely-feared Weber ineffective. With the play called back to the 25 and the score still 14-0, it all changed.
[As a side note, former all-state Bomber Chad Mitchell reports the play would have broken his 93 yard reception record]

With the Riverhawks encouraged by thier good fortune, they forced a punt after three more plays, getting the ball back at the 45. Trading punts again, Vargas finally broke a big run, taking it from his own 15 to the Richland 30. It took four more plays for him to finally reach the endzone to make it 14-7 with the third quarter winding down. Chiawana gathered up a fumble on a Stevens keeper to get the ball back, and then used a long pass and a short run to get to the 1, where the quarterback dove in to bring the score even in the fourth quarter.

Two possessions later the Bombers found themselves pinned on their own 5 by a punt. With minutes to go in the game they had 95 yards ahead of them. Switching things up, they used passes to Mendoza and Adam Weissenfels to advance to the 35. From there, Stevens exploited the weakness in the Chiawana secondary when he saw Mendoza stutter step Richardson and blow by him. Mendoza caught the ball at the 25 and was brought down near the 10. Three plays later McCary took it in from 9 yards out, smashing one defender and spinning over another for the winning score. 21-14 with less than a minute left, and Chiawana had no choice but to go to their outmatched passing game. Weissenfels intercepted the last ditch attempt and the game was over.

For the majority of the game, the underrated Richland lines pummeled the opposition, all but shutting down a very good runner and rendering useless a celebrated linebacker. The defensive line—Whitby, Jax Lee, Dantae Powell, Braden Powell, and Kyle Kirby—kept the Chiawana O line in disarray and hit them like they haven't been hit this season, and the O line—Whitby, Davison, Noah Sprenkle, Colton Michaels, Dantae Powell, Cody Clements, and tight end Jacob Stanfield—blocked the daylights out of the Riverhawks, allowing the Richland backs to keep Mendoza in single coverage. One of the MCCs leading receivers, Alex Chapman, attracting double-teams most of the game, was held to one reception, also helping keep defenders away from the runners and the other receivers. McCary ended with 22 carries for 68 yards, Stanfield 12 for 73, 9 of those going for 65 yards in the first half, plus 37 yards receiving. Mendoza had 8 catches for 107 yards while preventing Richardson from catching any passes. While there was never any doubt in their own minds, the Bombers made this a statement game, beating a top ten team convincingly for the second time this season and earning their second straight MCC championship. The strength of this team lies not only in the talent and skill of the players but also in their ability to win in different ways. Shutting down one player only results in another player picking up the slack and making things happen.

Hopefully the playoffs don't loom so large that the next game, against newcomers to 4A Hanford at Fran Rish, gets overlooked. Hanford has speed and an offense that can score points at any time. It's a good setup for a cross-town rivalry, so come out and see what happens next Friday at 7.
Go Bombers!

  • October 21, 2016
    1
    2
    3
    4
     
    Final
  • Richland Bombers
    0
    7
    7
    7
     
    21
  • Chiawana Riverhawks
    0
    0
    7
    7
     
    14
  • 2nd Quarter
  • Touchdown: Ben Stanfield 6 yard run (Adam Weissenfels kick)
    Richland 7, Chiawana 0
  • 3rd Quarter
  • Touchdown: Park McCary 1 yard run (Weissenfels kick)
    Richland 14, Chiawana 0
  • Touchdown: Andrew Vargas 20 yard run (Ryan Lowry kick)
    Richland 14, Chiawana 7
  • 4th Quarter
  • Touchdown: Troy Simpkins 1 yard run (Lowry kick)
    Richland 14, Chiawana 14
  • Touchdown: McCary 9 yard run (Weissenfels kick) (:36)
    Richland 21, Chiawana 14

Friday October 20, 2017 Fran Rish Stadium

  • Senior Night

    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 20
    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 21
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday October 21, 2016 Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium

    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 21
    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 14
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday September 18, 2015 Fran Rish Stadium

    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 7
    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 28
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday September 19, 2014 Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium

    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 0
    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 41
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday September 20, 2013 Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium

    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 7
    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 42
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday September 14, 2012 Fran Rish Stadium

    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 14
    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 21
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday September 30, 2011 Fran Rish Stadium

    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 22
    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 14
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday October 1, 2010 Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium

    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 7
    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 17
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Friday October 9, 2009 Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium

    • Richland
      Bombers
    • 14
    • Chiawana
      Riverhawks
    • 6
  • Head Coach: Mike Neidhold

Chiawana High School
Chiawana High School
8125 Argent Road
Pasco, WA
Mascot: Riverhawks
  • Bombers v. Riverhawks
  •  
    Games
    Bombers
    Riverhawks
  • Wins
    5
    105
    61
  • Losses
    4
    28
    122
  • Overall
    9
    133
    183
  • Records by Head Coach
  •  
    Wins
    Losses
    Ties
  • Mike Neidhold
    5
    4
    0
Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium