Ben Stanfield and Parker McCary combined for six touchdowns, the Richland High School defense intercepted one of the top quarterbacks in the state three times, and the Bombers blew out Bothell 49-28 on Saturday at Lampson Stadium in a state quarterfinal matchup.
Richland will face Skyview — which beat Chiawana in the opening round of the state playoffs and topped Lake Stevens 35-14 on Saturday — in the state semifinals next weekend.
The victory advanced Richland to the semifinals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1980-81.
“That’s really cool for our kids. It means that we might be doing something right,” Richland coach Mike Neidhold said.
For most of Saturday night, Richland could do little wrong.
Facing junior quarterback Jacob Sirmon, who committed to play at the University of Washington last year, the Bomber defense had one of its best performances of the season. While Sirmon was able to throw for 280 yards and three touchdowns, Richland’s front seven got after him all night and forced him to throw three interceptions.
“A lot of it comes from guys on the line. They set the plays up, and everybody’s going hard, and it messes up the whole offense,” said senior lineman Brigham Whitby, who had several tackles for loss and forced some of Richland’s takeaways by creating pressure up the middle. “Sometimes just the one person makes the play, and sometimes it’s me, sometimes its Jax (Lee) or Braden (Powell).”
Sirmon entered the game having thrown just two interceptions this season.
On the offensive side, Richland quarterback Paxton Stevens and the passing attack took a back seat to the Bombers’ running backs and offensive line. Stanfield totaled 127 yards on his 16 touches to go along with his three rushing touchdowns and one receiving score. McCary carried it 16 times for 79 yards and had two rushing touchdowns.
“They had so many guys back — they drop eight on occasion — and it’s just too cloudy to throw the ball in there,” Neidhold said. “So we figured we’d run it until we couldn’t, and so we did. And we could.
“Our O-line, I said it last week: They had to play better than they did last weekend, and they certainly did.”
After Stanfield and Sirmon traded first-quarter rushing touchdowns and Sirmon hit Kevin Liu for a miraculous 62-yard touchdown pass off his back foot, the Bombers reeled off the next 35 points to take a huge advantage at halftime.
McCary scored on runs of 10 and 13 yards on consecutive drives to give Richland a 21-14 lead with 3:30 left in the first half. A fumble by Bothell running back Alexander Indelicato that the Bombers recovered set up a short field and a 21-yard touchdown run by Stanfield.
Then Whitby hit Sirmon right in the chops while he was trying to throw on the following drive, which allowed Adam Weissenfels to make an interception that he returned to the Bothell 31-yard line. Stevens capped the short drive by throwing a 5-yard TD completion to Alex Chapman to put the Bombers up 35-14 at the half.
Garrett Guffey, who had an interception in the first half, recovered a fumble after a Whitby strip sack to give the Bombers another short field on their first drive for the second half. Stanfield scored his third touchdown on a 22-yard scamper to put Richland up by four scores and pretty much put the game out of reach.
“Through the whole game we had to just keep pushing, keep pushing, keep the foot on the gas pedal,” Stevens said. “We never let up, and we got the ‘W.’ We did a great job.”
R — Ben Stanfield 8 run (Adam Weissenfels kick)
B — Jacob Sirmon 1 run (James Johnston kick)
B — Kevin Liu 62 pass from Sirmon (Johnston kick)
R — Parker McCary 10 run (Weissenfels kick)
R — McCary 13 run (Weissenfels kick)
R — Stanfield 21 run (Weissenfels kick)
R — Alex Chapman 5 pass from Paxton Stevens (Weissenfels kick)
R — Stanfield 22 run (Weissenfels kick)
B — Ryder Locknae 32 pass from Sirmon (Johnston kick)
R — Stanfield 35 pass from Stevens (Weissenfels kick)
B — DaVicious Wilson 8 pass from Sirmon (Johnston kick)
RUSHING — B, Alexander Indelicato 10-51; Jalen Ford 5-20; Wilson 1-16; Christian Galvan 1-3; Logan McKinney 1-2; Sirmon 10-(minus 11). R, Stanfield 15-92; McCary 16-79; Stevens 4-29; Victory Strasser 2-4; Cade Jensen 1-4; Jared Whitby 2-(minus 7).
PASSING — B, Sirmon 18-27-3-280; Tyler Olason 1-2-0-4. R, Stevens 11-18-0-162.
RECEIVING — B, Ryder Locknae 4-82; Liu 3-73; Wilson 3-27; Ford 1-26; Jack Gagnon 1-25; Peter Davis 4-33; Jake Stansberry 3-17; team 1-4. R, Gaven Brasker 2-45; Weissenfels 4-42; Chapman 2-15; Ryan Piper 2-25; Stanfield 1-35; Blake Binns 1-2.