PASCO -- The Chiawana football team may be the new kid on the block.
But in its inaugural meeting with cross-town rival Pasco, the Riverhawks were the ones who grabbed a piece of history, beating the Bulldogs 37-14 in the first-ever Gravel Pit Bowl on Friday at Edgar Brown Stadium.
Riverhawks fans exploded in cheers from the east grandstand as Pasco seniors DeVaunte Lamb and Loren Schellhase handed the etched, 20-pound stone known as "The Rock" to Chiawana seniors Luc Graff, Nick MacKay, Pat Sullivan and Nick Vincent. The Riverhawks will keep the trophy until the next meeting between the two teams.
"This was varsity football. A packed house. The game on the line. It's the greatest feeling ever," said sophomore Jordan Downing, a three-year starter who, like most of his Chiawana teammates, began his career as a Pasco Bulldog.
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Downing finished with 172 yards rushing on 37 carries and scored three touchdowns for the second straight game.
"Those guys up front gave him room to run," said Riverhawks coach Steve Graff, who led Pasco to three state championships and six league titles from 1997-2008. "This was like a playoff atmosphere, which is good going into (CBBN 4A) league games."
Chiawana got on the board first as Brett Adamson hauled in a 28-yard pass from Luc Graff at the goal line but fumbled.
Fortunately, Geramey Duckworth was there to fall on the ball in the end zone to give the Riverhawks a 7-0 lead with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
Pilate Lopaya added a 28-yard field goal in the second half for Chiawana, but Pasco got a huge defensive play when a pair of lineman teamed up for an interception. Nick Tidrick tipped a Luc Graff pass at the line of scrimmage and Ivan Vera snatched the ball out of the air to set up the Bulldogs' first score of the game.
Seven plays later, one of Pasco's big-play threats -- Brandon Search -- got loose for a 21-yard run, juking past a Riverhawks safety on the way there with 4:40 left in the half to cut the lead to 10-6.
Downing scored from nine yards out on Chiawana's first drive of the second half. But Lamb electrified the crowd on the next play, returning the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. Search hit Lonnie Hurley for the 2-point conversion to make it 17-14 Riverhawks.
"That definitely got us back in it," said Search, who led the Bulldogs with 55 yards rushing on 11 attempts.
Chiawana did well stopping Pasco's game-breaking duo of Lamb and Search, but it was the Bulldogs' passing attack that led to their own undoing. Search completed just 1 of 6 passes and threw two interceptions. Lamb tossed another pick on his only passing attempt.
"Turnovers were huge. You've got to win those battles," said Pasco coach Dustin Lamb. "Every time down, we gave them a 40-yard field because of turnovers or bad punts."
Pasco began pulling away after Lamb's big return. Downing punched in a couple of short runs for scores on successive drives to make it 31-14 at the end of three quarters.
Adamson led all receivers with 53 yards on four catches, but the 6-foot-1 senior also did some ball-hawking of Search, picking off two second-half passes in the defensive secondary.
"We watched a lot of film this week. We knew a lot of their trick plays," he said. "I've never played in a game so intense."
Watch the entire Chiawana-Pasco game.
Chiawana 37, Pasco 14
Chiawana 7 3 21 6 -- 37
Pasco 0 6 8 0 -- 14
C--Geramey Duckworth fumble recovery in end zone (Pilate Lopaya kick)
C--FG Lopaya 28
P--Brandon Search 21 run (kick failed)
C--Jordan Downing 9 run (Lopaya kick)
P--DeVaunte Lamb 93 kickoff return (Lonnie Hurley pass from Search)
C--Downing 2 run (Lopaya kick)
C--Downing 1 run (Lopaya kick)
C--Absalom Hernandez 5 run (no kick)
RUSHING--C, Downing 37-172, Hernandez 5-17, Luc Graff 4-(minus 5). P, Search 11-55, Hurley 1-3, Lamb 7-38, Aaron Cantu 1-2, Luis Murillo 3-8.
PASSING--C, Graff 15-26-2-206. P, Search 1-6-2-5, Hurley 0-1-0-0, Lamb 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING--C, Duckworth 3-50, Brett Adamson 4-53, Miquayah Zamora 4-41, Nick MacKay 1-8, Downing 1-9, C.J. Edrington 2-45. P, Lamb 1-5.
FIRST DOWNS--C 16, P 4. FUMBLES-LOST--C 0-0, P 2-1. PENALTIES-YARDS--C 8-80, P 9-50.