Its a simple lesson, but its much more difficult to live by than to say.
Dont ever give up.
The Richland football team found itself in a dark place Friday night at Fran Rish Stadium. Down 21-7 just before halftime and facing a Kamiakin offense showing no signs of stopping, the Bombers found a way.
They found a way to score just before halftime, pulling to within 7 points. They found a way to tie the game and eventually pull ahead just before the fourth quarter.
When Kamiakin tied the score in the fourth quarter, Richland found even more about what kind of team it is, pulling out a 56-49 Mid-Columbia Conference victory in four overtimes.
Bombers quarterback Zach Whitby threw for for 324 yards and five touchdowns three of them in overtime a career-best performance when he needed it most. He found eight different receivers on the night, but few were more critical than Payton Radliff, a fellow senior who caught five passes for 70 yards and three touchdowns.
The pair connected on Richlands last score, a 10-yard fade to the right corner that Radliff hauled in near the back line to put the pressure on Kamiakin.
The Braves had been feeding the MCCs leading rusher Umid Ramizov all night, and the senior running back answered the call with 149 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. But the Bombers defense bottled him up, holding him to 17 yards on his final six carries.
Kamiakin quarterback Kylle Robertson had been hitting his targets all night, going 18-for-28 for 330 yards and three touchdowns. But on his final throw of the night, he rolled out to the left and spotted Brandon Larson in the left corner. The throw went low, and Larson met the ball at the grass, but the official ruled a trap.
The game was over, and Richland players flooded the field.
Radliff gave the Bombers some life in the second quarter after Kamiakin took a 21-7 lead when Ramizov scored from 1-yard out with just 47 secondsd left in the second half.
Whitby completed an 11-yard strike to Bennett Peterson, then hit Gibson McGeorge for 20 more to put Richland at the Braves 28 with just under 20 seconds left. He looked for Radliff twice on go routes down the sideline, overthrowing him by a bit each time.
But the third attempt was true, as Whitby ducked under an onrushing defender to hit Radliff in the end zone. Radliff, a key force on the Richland basketball team, had just one touchdown coming into the game.
Richland scored the next 14 points. Whitby found Garrett March wide open when Kamiakins safety bit on Radliffs 15-yard curl, and March went 41-yards for a score to tie it at 21.
The Bombers, who managed just 159 yards in the first half, scored on all four attempts in overtime.
McGeorge was also critical in overtime, catching two balls for 34 yards, including a 25-yard slant to open the second overtime.
Kamiakin 7 14 0 7 7 7 7 0 49
Richland 7 7 14 0 7 7 7 7 56
RAnthony Galat 8 run (Damien Ruiz kick)
KKylle Robertson 3 run (Connor Shymanski kick)
KAustin Gutierrez 90 pass from Robertson (Shymanski kick)
KUmid Ramizov 1 run (Shymanski kick)
RPayton Radliff 28 pass from Zach Whitby (Ruiz kick)
RGarrett March 41 pass from Z.Whitby (Ruiz kick)
RNathan Perry 3 run (Ruiz kick)
KRobertson 1 run (Shymanski kick)
KRamizov 6 run (Shymanski kick)
RRadliff 11 pass from Z.Whitby (Ruiz kick)
RGibson McGeorge 25 pass from Z.Whitby (Ruiz kick)
KBrandon Larsen 5 pass from Robertson (Shymanski kick)
KLarsen 11 pass from Robertson (Shymanski kick)
RGalat 1 run (Ruiz kick)
RRadliff 10 pass from Z.Whitby (Ruiz kick)