As good as the Richland High School football team has looked so far this season, the Bombers roll into their Week 4 matchup against the Southridge Suns under eerily similar circumstances that led to a hotly contested, 26-10 Bombers‘ win a year ago.
Richland (3-0, 1-0) again leads the league in total (196 yards/game) and scoring defense (11.7 points/game), and leads the MCC in points scored (128). Southridge (2-1, 1-0), meanwhile, has shown glimpses of brilliance on offense — this year it’s with QB Mason Martin and a couple of explosive receivers in the passing game — under first-year coach Aaron Sonnichsen, but has proved vulnerable on defense and has had trouble running the ball effectively.
But even though it was a loss, the Suns led early last year, and used this game as a turning point in their season, which eventually saw them reach the state tournament for the first time since 2011.
Southridge’s Peyton Monson (32 rec., 386 yards, six touchdowns) leads the league in receiving this season, and Eric Stayrook (13-250, 3TDs) is right behind him on the leaderboard. They’ll try to break loose against a stingy Bombers’ defensive backfield this allowing just a little more than 65 yards per game through the air (though they have played two ground-and-pound offenses in Bellevue and Kennewick).
On the injury report for Richland, coach Mike Neidhold said that running back Parker McCary, who sat out last week’s win against Kennewick, will be at full health, and that receiver/DB/kicker Adam Weissenfels (jaw surgery on Monday) will also be ready to go. However, All-State linebacker Victor Strasser (Week 1 collarbone) is still a couple weeks from returning to action, the Bombers coach said.
The game will kick off at 5 p.m. at Lampson Stadium, beginning starting off the second of three doubleheaders this season at Lampson Stadium, with Kennewick hosting Walla Walla in the nightcap.
Richland (3-0, 1-0) at Southridge (2-1, 1-0)
When, Where: 5 p.m., Lampson Stadium
Series history: Richland has won 4 in a row, including a 26-10 win last year
Team offense: Rich—320 rush (6th in MCC), 815 pass (2nd), 378.3/game total (2nd), 128 points (1st). SR—203 rush (last), 886 pass (1st), 363/game total (4th), 83 points (4th).
Team defense: Rich—410 rush (6th), 178 pass (1st), 196/game total (1st), 35 points (1st). SR—565 rush (last), 454 pass (3rd), 339.7/game total (6th), 76 points (T-5th).
Key players: Rich—QB Cade Jensen (49-79-1—800, 9TD); WR/DB Josh Mendoza (6-100, 4 total TD); RB Jarred Whitby (17-116, 1TD); RB Parker McCary (19-64, 5 total TD); WR/DB/K Adam Weissenfels (10-129, 2 totalTD, 12 XP); DL Jax Lee; LB Victor Strasser (injured shoulder in Week 1, hasn’t played since); OL/DL Aric Davison; WR/DB Sammy Cervantes (13-143, 1TD). SR—QB Mason Perez (62-114-4—879, 10TD; 16-60 rush); WR/DB Peyton Monson (32-386, 6TD); WR/DB/P Eric Stayrook (13-250, 3TD; 11-469 (42.6 ave.) punt); RB/DB Jake Newbry (31-80); C/LS Flynn McPheron; DT Sergio Midili; LB Hayden Brimberry.
Next week: Pasco at Richland; Southridge at Walla Walla