Football: Chiawana rolls over Wenatchee and into semis

November 23, 2013 

Chiawana's Dre Dorton breaks away from a Wenatchee tackler during Saturday's Class 4A state quarterfinal. Photo by Mike Bonnicksen, Wenatchee World

MIKE BONNICKSEN, WENATCHEE WORLD

WENATCHEE — Chiawana coach Steve Graff was hoping his team would get out to a quick start offensively Saturday.

The Riverhawks didn’t just start quick, though. They were perfect offensively on their first five drives.

Thanks to that dominating start, Chiawana is into the Class 4A semifinals for the first time in the school’s short history after a 56-34 shellacking of Wenatchee at the Apple Bowl.

“If we execute, we’re pretty tough to stop,” Graff said. “They had trouble stopping us and we were able to do whatever we wanted.”

The Riverhawks will host Federal Way at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Edgar Brown Stadium in the semifinals.

Chiawana got there thanks to a scintillating performance from its offense.

Running Graff’s bread-and-butter zone and counter plays, running back Clifton Lozano had 273 yards on 46 carries, scoring two touchdowns.

“We just got physical up front,” Kayden Maughan said. “We get a push and Snoop (Lozano) makes us look really good.”

With Lozano running through open lanes, it opened up the passing game.

Quarterback Joey Zamora capped the first two drives of the day with play-action touchdowns to tight end Christian Penny, who had just four receptions and three touchdowns on the season.

“That was our game-plan coming in,” Zamora said. “It worked out pretty good. We tried to get the ground game rolling so we can go to the air.”

The offensive execution continued on the third drive, as fullback Alex Weber bowled over multiple defenders to score on a 9-yard run and put Chiawana on top 21-0.

“We’re a running team,” wide receiver Blake Bishop said. “We run whenever we want. Last time against them Snoop had 200-something and Austin (Urlacher) had (close to) 200 also, so we knew we could run on them for sure.”

All that running forced Wenatchee to stack the box and try to stop Lozano, a solution that not only didn’t work, but allowed Zamora to have his best game in weeks.

On the team’s next possession, he hit Dre Dorton on a fade route in the corner of the end zone on a fourth down play for a 28-0 lead.

After a quick Wenatchee touchdown, Zamora went back to work, finding Dorton over the middle for a 24-yard strike.

“He did a great job of getting the ball to different guys,” Graff said of his quarterback. “All those guys are capable of making plays.”

Zamora connected with five different receivers in the game, finishing 12-of-19 for 152 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Chiawana was without top receiver Deion Singleton on offense, though the Division I recruit was able to play defensively.

It was a big performance from Zamora, a week after he struggled against Moses Lake.

“I was just more focused,” he said. “I watched a lot more film this week and was really more mentally prepared for Wenatchee again.”

Wenatchee eventually did stop Chiawana’s offense, on the Riverhawks’ first possession of the second half.

But the Panthers didn’t have much time to celebrate, as Wenatchee fumbled on the next play and Bishop picked up and took it to the house for a 42-14 lead.

“Dre Dorton and Mac Graff cleaned them up, and I just picked it up and went in,” he said. “It was pretty easy.”

As it was most of the day for the Riverhawks.

Few teams in the state can stop an offense like Chiawana’s, especially when the Riverhawks are running and throwing the ball so well.

“We came out here and stayed focused and just wanted to run the ball,” Lozano said. “It is just our offensive line. They create big holes and I run through them.”

The Riverhawks did get sloppy late, fumbling three times in the fourth quarter — twice by backups — leading to three Wenatchee touchdowns.

No matter, though, because the quick start had given Chiawana a big enough lead that it didn’t have to worry about a rally.

Now the Riverhawks can bask in the glow of the school’s first trip to the semifinals and a possible date in the Tacoma Dome is within sight.

“We made history for this school,” Maughan said. “In doing that, we are following the tradition Graff had at Pasco. We are just so excited. We worked so hard — this class of seniors.

“It is going to be awesome.”

Chiawana 14 21 14 7 — 56

Wenatchee 0 14 7 13 — 34

SCORING PLAYS

First quarter

C—Christian Penny 18 pass from Joey Zamora (Matt Winn kick), 8:28

C—Penny 10 pass from Zamora (Winn kick), 3:24

Second quarter

C—Alex Weber 8 run (Winn kick), 8:12

C—Dre Dorton 10 pass from Zamora (Winn kick), 4:02

W—Blake Aguilar 81 pass from Dillon Sugg (Garrett King kick), 2:58

C—Dorton 24 pass (Winn kick), 1:27

W—Chase Resch 17 pass from Sugg (King kick), :19

Third quarter

C—Blake Bishop 23 fumble return (Winn kick), 8:55

C—Clifton Lozano 2 run (Winn kick), 2:37

W—Isaiah Brandt-Sims 88 run (King kick)

Fourth quarter

W—Brandt-Sims 2 run (kick failed), 6:27

C—Lozano 9 run (Winn kick), 4:15

W—Resch 12 pass from Sugg (King kick), :26

STATISTICS

RUSHING—Chiawana, Lozano 46-273, Weber 8-38, Andrew Vargas 3-4, Josh Wilson 1-0, team 1-(-2). Wenatchee, Brandt-Sims 16-204, Sugg 6-6, Resch 2-8, Spencer Smith 2-3, Joe Sells 1-(-3), Blake Aguilar 3-(-6).

PASSING—Chiawana, Zamora 12-19-0—152. Wenatchee, Sugg 8-27-2—205.

RECEIVING—Chiawana, Dorton 5-52, Cortez Ruiz 3-44, Penny 2-28, Grady Graff 1-17, Blake Bishop 1-11. Wenatchee, Resch 3-45, CJ Waterman 2-61, Aguilar 1-81, Brock Stone 1-13, Smith 1-5.

INTERCEPTION-RETURNS—Chiawana, Bishop 1-0, Mac Graff 1-0.

FUMBLES-RETURNS—Chiawana, Bishop 1-23. Wenatchee, Max Gould 1-8, Aidan Maher 1-0, Matt Blevins 1-0.

SACKS-YARDS LOST—Chiawana, Bishop 1-6, Penny 1-8.

KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS—Chiawana, Isaiah Richie 1-23. Wenatchee, Aguilar 4-39, Brandt-Sims 3-45, Resch 2-56.

PUNT RETURN-YARDS—Chiawana, Austen Clarke 1-3.

FIRST DOWNS—C 30, W 13. FUMBLES-LOST—C 4-3, W 1-1. PENALTIES-YARDS—C 6-77, W 7-68. PUNTS-AVG.—C 3-25.3, W 3-31.3.

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