RICHLAND, Wash. — Jalen DeVine had already been fantastic, rolling up over 128 yards in just over three quarters in Hanford's 23-7 Mid-Columbia Conference opener on Friday night at Fran Rish Stadium.
But he was just saving his best for last.
With Hanford holding a 16-7 lead, the 5-foot-10 senior running back was stopped at the line of scrimmage on third-and-12 from the Falcons' 45-yard line. But his offensive line never stopped moving, and he kept his legs churning.
DeVine got away from the scrum and bounced outside down the left sideline. When it looked like Riverhawks' defensive back Clifton Lozano had him dead to rights, DeVine put on the finishing touch -- a nasty stutter-step to elude Lozano and cruise to the goal line.
That put the finishing touches on the win.
"I also got a key block from my quarterback (Austin Forsyth)," DeVine said after the game, surrounded by an exuberant student section. "I really wanted to get to the end zone.
"We're coming off a couple bad seasons. This is so big."
DeVine finised with 209 yards on 26 carries. He wasn't the only running back to score -- Austin Taylor added a 6-yard plunge to end Hanford's final third-quarter drive to make it 16-7.
The Falcons rolled up 294 yards on the ground, a by-product of a strong offensive line that was missing one of its top cogs in senior Will Ramos.
The Falcons made a statement on their opening drive of the game, going 73 yards in five plays, capped by a 48-yard pass from Forsyth to Jake Oram on a curl up the right sideline.
Forsyth established the passing game on the first drive, which opened things up for the running game. The senior quarterback completed 6-of-13 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
"Certainly our strength is our power running game, but we've worked to develop a complementary passing game," Hanford coach Rob Oram said.
The Riverhawks answered on their first drive, as Terro Bell broke through the left side of the line and scampered 40 yards to tie the score at 7 with 7:06 left in the first quarter.
Chiawana then committed it's first big mistake of the night, a bad snap on a punt inside its own 25. The ball sailed over T.J. Avery's head, and he gave chase, kicking it out of the end zone to prevent further damage. That gave Hanford a 9-7 lead.
The Riverhawks looked to make a statement to open the second half, as quarterback Joey Zamora completed three consecutive passes before Bell fumbled at midfield. Cody Kowalski recovered the ball for the Falcons.
Hanford got another break on a muffed punt return by Bell with 3:13 left in the third quarter. The play extended a Falcons' drive and resulted in Taylor's TD run.
Hanford 23, Chiawana 7
Chiawana 7 0 0 0 -- 7
Hanford 7 2 7 7 -- 23
H--Jake Oram 48 pass from Austin Forsyth (Malik Slack kick)
C--Terro Bell 40 run (Isaac Mitz kick)
H--Safety, Chiawana snaps out of end zone
H--Austin Taylor 6 run (Slack kick)
H--Jalen DeVine 55 run (Slack kick)
Rushing--C, Bell 5-49, Joey Zamora 6-(minus 9), Clifton Lozano 3-4. H, DeVine 26-209, Taylor 7-28, Forsyth 3-1, Will Bishop 6-55.
Passing--C, Zamora 18-29-0-159, Logan Ellsworth 0-2-0-0. H, Forsyth 6-13-0-81.
Receiving--C, Bell 2-13, Alex Weber 2-30, T.J. Avery 6-65, Lozano 6-49, Blake Bishop 1-5, Jeff Peterson 1-4. H, Zack Gaston 1-12, Oram 4-69, Bishop 1-0.
First downs--C, 11. H, 15. Fumbles-Lost--C, 1-1. H, 1-1. Penalties--C, 6-50. H, 10-55.