KENNEWICK — You are in for a tough night when you lose a starting offensive lineman during pre-game warm-ups.
Wa-Hi lost Bryce Spendlove, and Kennewick’s Devven Ramos galloped for 316 yards to lead the Lions to a 40-28 Mid-Columbia Conference football win here Thursday at Lampson stadium.
“He (Spendlove) got hurt on our last play of our O-line drills,” Blue Devil coach Eric Hisaw said. “He’s one of our good linemen. To our kids’ credit, they rallied behind Nick (Fuller, Spendolve’s replacement). Nothing like being thrown to the fire, but Nick played very hard tonight.”
It didn’t get better for the Blue Devils as Wa-Hi went three-and-out on its first two possessions.
Kennewick got a 50-yard scoring run from Ramos, his first of three rushing touchdowns, on its first possession.
Then the Lions finished off an 85-yard drive with quarterback Dylan Tennancour finding Ramos for an 11-yard scoring strike, and the Lions led 13-0 with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
“We started awful,” Hisaw said. “I’m not sure they (Wa-Hi) believe they are a great football team. They are. They wait to see if they can play with them (an opponent) and once we figure out we can, we play people really well.
“For whatever reason, we don’t have that confidence,” he said. “I’ve got to get that through their heads that you don’t need to feel things out, you’re good from the start.”
On Wa-Hi’s third possession, Jonah Hoe, who was held out of the Blue Devils’ first possession due to a shoulder injury suffered last week against Hanford, broke a 31-yard run to give Wa-Hi its initial first down at the Lion 45.
Hoe ran four more times for 24 yards and Dakota Turner connected with Zach Gilvey for 11 yards as Wa-Hi marched to the Lion 5 as the first quarter expired.
Hoe finished the drive with a two-yard plunge, Dean Atkinson booted home his first of four PATs and Wa-Hi narrowed the gap to 13-7.
“Jonah gave us a spark,” Hisaw said. “We weren’t sure if he was going to play, but he said it felt fine. He’s a game changer, and it was nice to have him back there.”
The Blue Devils, thanks in part to a Jake Grandstaff sack of Tennancour, stopped the Lions at the Wa-Hi 27 and took over on downs with 7:58 left in the half.
Wa-Hi took nearly seven minutes off the clock with a 13-play drive.
Hoe ran for 29 yards, including the three-yard TD rush, and Stuart Gillin ran for 28 yards to highlight the 73-yard march. Atkinson added the PAT, and Wa-Hi led 14-13 with 1:01 left in the half.
But the Lions got a 46-yard kickoff return from Ramos.
Tennancour then completed four passes, with the last one a scoring pass from a yard out to Kaden Julian, and the Lions went to half with a 20-14 lead.
Kennewick struck quickly to open the second half. Tennancour hit Bodie Simpson with a flanker screen and Simpson raced 71 yards for a 27-14 Lion lead with 10:55 left in the third.
On the next Lion possession, Grandstaff fell on a Kennewick fumble and the Blue Devils took over on their own 47.
Three plays later, Turner threw a screen pass to Hoe, and Hoe scooted 48 yards as Wa-Hi trimmed the lead to 27-21 with 2:11 to play in the third.
But this night belonged to Ramos. On a third-and-8 to open the fourth, Tennancour found Julian behind the Blue Devil defense for a 48-yard completion to the Wa-Hi 11.
One play later, Ramos scored on a 10-yard run with 11:04 left.
Wa-Hi went three-and-out, and Ramos broke a 51-yard TD scamper and the Lions jumped the lead to 40-21 with 8:36 to play.
“I thought there were two or three plays where we just quit,” Hisaw said. “That really bothers me. That’s not the character these kids have. “
The Blue Devils bounced back as Turner found Paul Gilmore for 53 yards and a first down at the Lion 12. Hoe got six yards and Turner-to-Grandstaff got the last six for a TD and a 40-28 Lion advantage with 6:42 left.
The Lions drove to the Wa-Hi 6 with three minutes left.
Logan Reardon and Mitchell Huffman stopped Ramos for no gain.
Reardon stopped Ramos for a gain of one.
Paul Trapani dropped Ramos for a loss of one.
And Forrest Swant hit Tennancour and forced a fumble that Huffman scooped up and returned to the Wa-Hi 20 to give the Blue Devils one last shot.
“We did some good things,” Hisaw said of the goal-line stand. “But, we never stopped them all night. We weren’t very good defensively. Ramos is a physical back and he ran through tackles. We didn’t tackle worth a darn. Credit to him, he played harder than we did tonight.”
Hoe finished with 133 yards on 28 carries and Turner threw for 202 yards.
Wa-Hi drops to 2-3 overall, 0-3 in the MCC. The Blue Devils travel to Edgar Brown to play Pasco Friday in 4A MCC play.
“We’ve got to get back to work,” Hisaw said. “We fought hard. We’re going to go play and try to win them all.”
Kennewick 40, Wa-Hi 28
Wa-Hi 0 14 7 7 — 28
Kennewick 13 7 7 13 — 40
Kenn — Ramos 50 run (kick failed).
Kenn — Ramos 11 pass from Tennancour (Kutzke kick).
Wa-Hi — Hoe 2 run (Atkinson kick).
Wa-Hi — Hoe 3 run (Atkinson kick).
Kenn — Julian 1 pass from Tennancour (Kutzke kick).
Kenn — Simpson 71 pass from Tennancour (Kutzke kick).
Wa-Hi — Hoe 48 pass from Turner (Atkinson kick).
Kenn — Ramos 10 run (pass failed).
Kenn — Ramos 51 run (Kutzke kick).
Wa-Hi — Grandstaff 6 pass from Turner (Atkinson kick).
First Downs 17 22
Rushes/Yards 39-177 41-307
Passing yards 202 220
Passing (att-com-int) 24-12-0 12-10-0
Penalties 5-35 4-53
Punts 3-37.7 0-0.00
Fumbles 2-0 3-2
Rushing — Wa-Hi: Gillin 6-32, Turner 4-9, Hoe 28-133-2, Gilvey 1-3; Kenn: Ramos 31-316-3, Simpson 3-9, Tennancour 5-(-14), Salazar 2-(-4).
Passing — Wa-Hi: Turner 12-24-0, 202 yards, 2 TDs; Kenn: Tennancour 10-12-0, 220 yards, 3 TDs.
Receiving – Wa-Hi: Gilvey 2-14, Atkinson 3-27, Hoe 4-66-1, Gilmore 2-89, Grandstaff 1-6-1; Kenn: Julian 3-87-1, Ramos 2-31-1, Simpson 4-90-1, Rivera 1-12.