Game Recap September 18, 2023
By Max Schuster
When the Bombers and the Falcons took the field for the 19th time on Friday night both teams had last year's grudge match on their mind. However, only one team could take that game and use it as a piece of motivation to take home the win. In this case, it was the Bombers, they started with a field goal and never looked back, defeating the Falcons 41-13.
The Bombers started the game with fireworks on the field by putting the ball in senior quarterback Josh Woodard's hands, and if there’s much to know about the MCC this year it’s that everyone wants Woodard to be on their team. Having ten total touchdowns through the first two games alone gave the Bombers an edge on the Falcons 4th ranked defense in the conference. The first drive did not end up how the Bombers were expecting it to. After easily marching down the field, Falcon's defense came up with three consecutive stops at the line to hold the Bombers to a field goal. Now was the Falcons opportunity they had waited for since the final buzzer blew last year. Eli Perkes, who is the returning quarterback for the Falcons, remembers that game last year well as he was telling me before the game “Losing every year to our cross-town rival does not feel good, and if you don’t have motivation from that I don’t know what will motivate you.”
After the Falcons ended their first drive with a punt there was a feeling the motivation Perkes was talking about was only enough to motivate him and his fellow captains but not the whole team. The Bombers received the ball back with the sour taste of only three points the drive before which called for the playbook to open up. For Woodard, this meant if he had to scramble he would, and that's exactly what they needed to keep their second drive alive. After 20 yards of penalties, Woodard escaped the pocket and picked up 15 yards and made it 3rd and manageable. Shortly after he found rhythm with his receiver Rayce Reeves for a 21-yard touchdown pass across the middle with only a few minutes into the second quarter.
Now coming into the second quarter the Bombers' defense had to prove what they were about after letting up 652 yards to Hermiston only a week ago. They had stopped the falcons once already but they needed more. Speaking to senior linebacker Colby Whitby “We need to hold up our end with how explosive our offense is”. Whitby also talked about how this week they worked on communication more than usual. As much as they worked on it there was nothing stopping the Falcons offense who scored an answering touchdown. With a 10-7 game halfway through the second quarter, it forced the Bombers to settle into their offense and construct a four-minute drive that ended with a 15-yard Colson Mackey receiving touchdown. The Bombers were able to stop the Falcons with only enough time for kicker Jason Slack to convert his second field goal of the night as time expired, sending the teams into the locker room with a 20-7 game with the second half of football left to play.
Starting the second half the Falcons looked as if they came out with a much more aggressive look. Perkes connected with Preston Bryant for a 30-yard bomb, which was followed shortly after by a Sports Center catch again by Bryant in the corner of the endzone to bring it back to only a one-score game. This didn’t last for long as the Bombers came out with dual backfield for the first 6 plays running the ball for four of those six. Until it was 4th and short and they went to the air to complete a fourth-down pass to John Corbin. Woodard took a shot at the end zone on third down and it fell incomplete which let Reeves show off his hands on fourth down bringing in a one-handed diving catch in the endzone to silence the Falcons.
After that, there was no stopping the Bomber offense and the defense was holding up their end with Whitby saying after the game “That was the best job of communicating and swarming the ball we have ever done.” At the end of the third quarter the Bombers' running back John Simons followed behind senior left tackle Nathan McClelland for his first rushing touchdown since the season opener. Speaking with offensive line coach, Tait Meyer, before the game he stated the key to the offensive line winning up front was “consistency and physicality” which the Bombers' offensive line displayed all night on both pass and run blocking. After Simon's rushing touchdown came yet another Woodard touchdown, this time as he ran it in. Earlier in the week Mike Neidhold told KNDU sports anchor David Graf “(Josh Woodard) gonna leave here as one of the best ever”, that became more and more believable with Woodard's four total touchdowns on Friday night.
After last year's “turf war”, as Atomic Times news reporter Jace Woodard described it, the Bombers looked this year as if they were in the driver's seat from the start, taking the team to a 3-0 start in MCC play. Next up, the Bombers will have arguably their toughest match yet against Chiawana Riverhawks on Thursday night.
September 15, 20231234Final
- 1st Quarter
Field Goal: Jason Slack 28 Yd (6:03)
Richland 3, Hanford 0
- 2nd Quarter
Touchdown: Rayce Reeves 21 Yd Pass From Joshua Woodard (Jason Slack Kick) (10:08)
Richland 10, Hanford 0
Touchdown: Eli Perkes 1 Yd Run (Kick) (8:33)
Richland 10, Hanford 7
Touchdown: Colson Mackey 16 Yd Pass From Joshua Woodard (Jason Slack Kick) (4:48)
Richland 17, Hanford 7
Field Goal: Jason Slack 30 Yd (0:00)
Richland 20, Hanford 7
- 3rd Quarter
Touchdown: Preston Bryant 17 Yd Pass From Eli Perkes (Failed Two-Point Conversion) (9:25)
Richland 20, Hanford 13
Touchdown: Rayce Reeves 33 Yd Pass From Joshua Woodard (Jason Slack Kick) (4:32)
Richland 27, Hanford 13
Touchdown: John Simons 5 Yd Run (Jason Slack Kick) (1:29)
Richland 34, Hanford 13
- 4th Quarter
Touchdown: Joshua Woodard 1 Yd Run (Jason Slack Kick) (9:30)
Richland 41, Hanford 13