Game Recap October 18, 2023
BY GUNNER HORTON
Going into the game Friday, October 6th, the Richland Bombers and Kennewick Lions facing off was a big matchup, both grinding for the win all game with the goal of coming out on top to put their chances at MCC champs closer to reach. Ultimately ending with the Lions on top 36-29.
Before the game, in an interview with Head Coach of the Bombers, Mike Neidhold, when asked how they prepared for this game, said, “They are focused on themselves and giving it their best efforts,” which is definitely what the bombers did. Starting off the game with Kennewick in possession using everything they had to get out early in the game ended quickly from the Bombers' defense forcing the Lions to punt just three minutes into play. With the bombers starting off deep in the Kennewick territory, it is now game time for the Richland offense, which has been outstanding all year led by quarterback Josh Woodard, showing what they're about on the first drive Josh put out a phenomenal pass to Brody Bocek, for a 40-yard catch then to punch a touchdown caught by Zach Rose to go up 7-0 early.
With their momentum, the aspiration of the bomber defense looking to make a play, and needless to say, they do just that not even a minute after scoring, Kooper Schmitt making a dominant play leading to a forced fumble. The energy of the Richland student section was through the roof. While carrying the energy in the air, it only got crazier after getting the second touchdown of the game caught by Bocek and leading 14-0 with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Lions knew they had to make a change. As they strut their way downfield with three minutes of play left in the first quarter, the Lions quarterback Ambrose Driver throws it up to senior wide receiver Kyler Witkowski in the endzone for Kennewick's fourth touchdown of the night and cut the two-score game down to one working there way into the second quarter.
Continuing into the second quarter, both defenses played phenomenally, and it was a shoot-out to see who would score next. With multiple penalties from the Bombers, it was giving Kennewick too much room field, and with just two minutes before half, Cannan Hays for the Lions came in big for them to score their second touchdown of the night and tieing up the game before half time.
Entering the second half of play, the Bombers are looking to make some plays on defense to get that upper hand early. Kennewick's offense had a few 1st downs on their way down the field, but just over halfway through quarter three, John Corbin had a late pick on our own 20-yard line to stop the Lions from scoring, which really gave the bombers a giant momentum swing on offense. Using their momentum, they continued to work their way down the field, but with Kennewick's strong defense, the bombers got stopped on downs. Then while working their way down the field, Kennewick's running back had a good run to put them in scoring possession. The bombers doing whatever it takes to try and make sure they don't score, but with just under a minute thirty left on the clock, the Lions find a way to make a play, scoring to take the lead for the first time that night, making the score 21-14.
With Kennewick scoring in the last few minutes before the final quarter, the Bombers felt some pressure, but with the Lions feeling their momentum, they forced Richland into a fumble and made some plays down the field. They got it to David Wacenske off a 10-yard pass to put Kennewick's lead bigger, making it 14-28, but the bombers weren’t out yet. Knowing the bombers have to make a play on their way down the field, Josh Woodard finds the open man Rayce Reeves downfield to make an amazing grab for a 52-yard bomb to get him in the endzone to start the comeback and turn the score around 21- 28 with eight mins of play left. Kennewick, now with the ball, is giving it its best to put more on the board to extend the difference and make it harder for the bombers. With the energizing defense, Richland makes the stop on the Lions offense. With them working their way down the field, Kennewick works the bombers to their own set of fourth downs to give back possession.
With under two minutes left in the game, the bombers had a game-changing interception caught by Reeves, then on the starting drive, got the ball to Bocek to gain a first down. Driving down, picking up back-to-back first downs with the second one caught by Reeves, the Bombers are getting closer to scoring. In the next play, quarterback Woodard aired the ball out to Brody to put the Bombers on the 10-yard line. With the game on the line, it's handed off to John Simons to run it in to put the Bombers down by one. A two-point conversion is necessary to go for the win. Going for it, Colson Mackey caught the pass in the back of the endzone to put Richland ahead in the final seconds of the game, putting them up 29-28. After an interview with Nate Ruelas asking him what it was like being on the field for the comeback touchdown and two-point conversion he had to say, “It was nerve-wracking, but we trusted each other and had the confidence to get the job done”
With just 15 seconds of time left on the clock for the Lions, the Bombers' defense just needs to waste the time. Kennewick gets in formation to try one last play. With Richland's defense pilling in on the Lions' quarterback, he gets out of the pocket and finds Kyler Witkowski for a flip pass running it 71 yards into the endzone to end the game 36-29.
October 6, 20231234Final
- 1st Quarter
Touchdown: Zachary Rose 50 Yd Pass From Joshua Woodard (Jason Slack Kick) (6:00)
Richland 7, Kennewick 0
Touchdown: Brody Bocek 4 Yd Pass From Joshua Woodard (Jason Slack Kick) (4:54)
Richland 14, Kennewick 0
Touchdown: Kyler Witkowski 49 Yd Pass From Ambrose Driver (Tanner Chavez Kick) (2:18)
Richland 14, Kennewick 7
- 2nd Quarter
Touchdown: Canaan Hays 6 Yd Run (Tanner Chavez Kick) (2:40)
Richland 14, Kennewick 14
- 3rd Quarter
Touchdown: David Wacenske 3 Yd Pass From Ambrose Driver (Tanner Chavez Kick) (1:20)
Kennewick 21, Richland 14
- 4th Quarter
Touchdown: David Wacenske 10 Yd Pass From Ambrose Driver (Tanner Chavez Kick) (9:17)
Kennewick 28, Richland 14
Touchdown: Rayce Reeves 52 Yd Pass From Joshua Woodard (Jason Slack Kick) (8:02)
Kennewick 28, Richland 21
Touchdown: John Simons 3 Yd Run (Josh Woodard to Colson Mackey for Two-Point Conversion) (0:21.8)
Richland 29, Kennewick 28
Touchdown: Kyler Witkowski 71 Yd Pass From Ambrose Driver (Alex Roberts Run For Two-Point Conversion) (0:05.8)
Kennewick 36, Richland 29