RICHLAND -- Richland High School football coach Mike Neidhold and his Pasco counterpart Dustin Lamb were in complete agreement about the significance of Friday's Richland-Pasco football game.
Even though the game didn't count in the Columbia Basin Big Nine 4A standings, and even though the two teams are no longer even in the same classification, the coaches agreed that Richland-Pasco is still a very big deal.
"It's a 100-year rivalry," Lamb said after seeing his team battle a much bigger, and much more physical, Richland team to a near standoff for three quarters before losing 21-0. "You better believe it's a big deal."
"Any time Richland and Pasco get together, there's a lot of emotion," Neidhold said. "The kids want to do well on both teams."
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If not for three Pasco miscues in the fourth quarter -- two fumbles deep in Richland territory and a muffed punt -- this game would have been much closer than the 21-0 final.
"If they score (on one their fourth quarter possessions), it's a 14-7 game, and Pasco is in it," Neidhold said. "Pasco is going to score a lot of points. With kids like Brandon Search and DeVaunte Lamb, they've got some weapons over there."
Richland running back Jake McKinney scored one in each of the first two quarters to give the Bombers a 14-0 half time lead.
The Richland senior's first score came from 22 yards out with 8:27 left in the first quarter and capped a 66-yard drive on the Bombers opening possession.
McKinney's second touchdown came just 24 seconds into the second quarter, just one play after junior quarterback Colter Quick sprinted 68 yards to the Pasco 1-yard line.
"I thought we came out a little slow," Lamb said. "Then we got going. But that's a real physical team over there. You just can't give them a lead. They really run the ball between the tackles."
Pasco's best chance to cut into Richland's early lead came just inside the 11-minute mark of the fourth quarter when DeVaunte Lamb outran the Richland secondary up the left sideline for 55 yards to the Bomber 13-yard line. Only a desperation tackle prevented Lamb from scoring.
Lonnie Hurley, who shared quarterback duties with Search, got the ball to the five on the next play. The Bulldog drive stalled when Mike Burke pounced on a Search fumble on the Richland six.
Richland's Gage Reynolds then turned the ball back over to Pasco on the third play of the Bomber possession. The Bulldogs held, but Pasco muffed the resulting punt on their own 45. Reynolds put the game away with a three-yard touchdown run six plays later with just 2:25 left in the game.
"I thought our defense looked good," Lamb said. "They kept us in the game in the first half. "I just think we didn't come out with the fire and intensity that Richland had."
Both McKinney and DeVaunte Lamb -- two of the CBBN's best running backs -- performed well.
Richland 21, Pasco 0
Pasco 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Richland 7 7 0 7 -- 21
R--Jake McKinney 23 run (Kevin Garza kick)
R--McKinney 1 run (Garza kick)
R--Gage Reynolds 3 run (Garza kick)
RUSHING--P, DeVaunte Lamb 14-61, Brandon Search 23-47, Aaron Cantu 2-5, Luis Murillo 2-7, Lonnie Hurley 6-25. R, McKinney 16-136, Colter Quick 5-75, B.K. Robinson 5-34, Reynolds 6-26.
PASSING--P, Search 5-8-1-25, Hurley 2-4-0-11. R, Quick 9-21-2-86.
RECEIVING--P, Lamb 5-21, Search 1-8, Cantu 1-7. R, Reynolds 4-31, Cole Hornbeck 4-43, Andrew Kusuda 1-12.
FIRST DOWNS--P 10, R 11. FUMBLES-LOST--P 3-2, R 2-2. PENALTIES-YARDS--P 4-27, R 4-26.