The night belonged to Andrew Vargas.
From the 30-yard rush on his second carry of the game to the last of his four touchdowns, Chiawana’s senior running back never let up in leading the Riverhawks (3-0 overall, 1-0 Mid-Columbia Conference) to a 35-13 win over the Kamiakin Braves (2-1, 0-1) on Friday night at Edgar Brown Memorial Stadium.
“I’m pretty tired; I haven’t gone over 30 carries these past three games,” said Vargas, who closed out the night with 417 yards on 36 carries. “My line stepped up big time this game. We had a couple plays where we could have done better, but they got it done.”
While Vargas tacked on to his gawdy season totals — now up to 939 yards and 13 touchdowns — Chiawana coach Steve Graff maintained that it was his offensive and defensive lines — opening up truck lanes for Vargas and containing Kamiakin quarterback Zach Borisch and the rest of the Braves offense — that allowed the Riverhawks to knock off the No. 3 Class 3A team in the state.
“I think our offensive line got off the ball really well, especially in the first half,” Graff said. “The defensive line did a really good job. (Assistant coach Don) Hogue had a really good plan, and we kept them from running around and hurting us.”
The Braves — who outscored opponents 85-0 in their two nonconference games — trailed the Riverhawks 35-7 with almost a full quarter left to play.
Senior linebacker Caleb Weber anchored the Chiawana defense that held the dynamic Kamiakin rushing attack to just 54 yards on 28 carries. Borisch was able to hit on a few deep passes and ended up going 13-for-29 for 175 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions.
“To be honest, right after the first drive, we were just pumped up and ready to go,” Weber said. “We were almost expecting a little bit more push from them, a little bit more fight back. We started whooping up on ’em, and right after that, when we started to pin them, we knew we could drive them into the ground.”
While Vargas was the offensive hero for the Riverhawks, senior quarterback Troy Simpkins opened the game’s scoring with a 24-yard touchdown pass to senior wide out Hayden Carrasco on the Riverhawks’ first drive. Vargas set up the score with a 30-yard rush to get Chiawana deep into Kamaikin territory.
The next two scores came from Vargas, the Riverhawks’ workhorse who punched in runs of 7 and 37 yards to put Chiawana up 21-0 in the second quarter. Vargas ended the first half with 216 yards on 22 carries.
Kamiakin recorded the final score of the first half on a 27-yard bullet pass from Borisch to senior Darreon Moore, but the momentum would be with the Riverhawks the rest of the way.
Chiawana will host Hanford (2-1, 0-1) next week in its second MCC contest. Kamiakin will hope to recover from the loss against the winless Pasco Bulldogs.
C — Troy Simpkins 24 pass to Hayden Carrasco (Ryan Lowry kick)
C — Andrew Vargas 7 run (Lowry kick)
C — Vargas 37 run (Lowry kick)
K — Zach Borisch 27 pass to Darreon Moore (Garrett Paxton kick)
C — Vargas 57 run (Lowry kick)
C — Vargas 5 run (Lowry kick)
K — Payton Flynn 10 pass to Isaiah Brimmer (kick failed)
RUSHING — K, Jethro Questad 15-56; Borisch 10-11; Team 3-(minus 13). C, Vargas 36-417; Ethan Garcia 8-27; Caleb Weber 3-16; Simpkins 2-(minus 4).
PASSING — K, Borisch 13-29-202-2; Flynn 3-4-27. C, Simpkins 3-7-78.
RECEIVING — K, Brimmer 7-135; Moore 2-30; Benson Smith 4-27; Champ Grayson 1-4; Talmage Jacobson 1-1. C, Hayden Carrasco 3-78.