BEN REYNOLDS Special to the Herald
Charlie Hobbick walked off the field with a smile on his face, patting his players on the backs and helmets as they walked passed.
I am so proud of these guys, said Hobbick, in his fifth season as the head coach at Kiona-Benton.
His demeanor said it all. It wasnt a huge concern that his team was walking off the field after getting out-muscled, out-manned and outplayed in a 52-6 loss to the Zillah Leopards on Friday night at Ki-Be High School. His young players played to the end, and thats what he will take out of the Bears nonleague loss.
We knew we were not there yet, he said. But we battled and we were positive to the end.
The game essentially was decided midway through the first quarter, when the top-ranked Leopards (2-0) scored their third touchdown in less than seven minutes. Zillah used an efficient run game and some deft touch passes down the sideline to account for its scoring taking a 45-0 lead into halftime.
Zillah rolled against a Bears offensive and defensive line that was banged up from the start of the game. The Leopards led 45-0 at halftime.
They are a good football team, Hobbick said of the Leopards who outgained the Bears in yards 352-61 in the first 24 minutes. Were a young team that is continuing to grow and get better.
The Bears started just three seniors Friday, the rest a slew of underclassmen including freshman quarterback Christian Williams.
Williams had little time to throw most of the night, but when he did, he was able to hit his receivers sprinting across the middle for sizable gains. One of those included a 21-yard catch and run by Cruz Del Angel in the fourth quarter, resulting in the Bears lone score of the game. Williams finished the night 7 of 19 passing for 101 yards and the touchdown. He did throw three interceptions.
Hes just a freshman, and he did some really good things tonight, Hobbick said.
Jacob Heinen led the Bears in rushing with 13 carries for 50 yards but could never really get going against the middle of the Leopards defense.
Zillah controlled the game up front on offense, and moved down the field smoothly with big gain after big gain. Eleven of the Leopards 17 first-half rushes went for more than 10 yards. All totaled Zillah carried the ball 26 times for 314 yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Ki-Be, coming off a 1-1 preseason, opens SCAC East play next Friday night at River View. The Panthers are one of the league favorites coming off an 11-2 season, losing in the 1A state semifinals to league rival Royal.
I think they are ranked too, Hobbick said. We will be a better team next week because of this.
Zillah 21 24 7 0 52
Kiona-Benton 0 0 0 6 6
ZKurt Calhoun 54 run (Luis Medina kick)
ZJustin Dunsmore 11 run (Medina kick)
ZBrady Widner 24 pass from Dunsmore (Medina kick)
ZAustin Krueger 23 run (Medina kick)
ZWidner 20 pass from Dunsmore (Medina kick)
ZFG 32 Medina
ZCalhoun 41 run (Medina kick)
ZWidner 76 punt return (Medina kick)
KBCruz DelAngel 21 pass from Christian Williams (kick failed)
RUSHINGZ, Calhoun 4-129, Dunsmore 2-22, Diego Hernandez 6-80. KB, Jacob Heinen 13-50, Williams 9-0, Jacob Trujillo 3-21.
PASSINGZ, Dunsmore 3-6-0-78, Anfernee Cortez 0-2-0-0. KB, Williams 7-19-3-101.
RECEIVINGZ, Widner 3-78. KB, Vladimir Rizen 1-7, Jaden Delong 2-40, Trujillo 1-3, DelAngel 3-51.
FIRST DOWNSZ 8, KB 11. FUMBLES-LOSTZ 0-0, KB 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDSZ 7-70, KB 4-40.