Kennewick's Devven Ramos had been waiting his whole life for a game like this one.
The running back, who lost most of his junior season to a broken collarbone, ran for a career-high 169 yards and two touchdowns Friday.
He sliced and diced, juked and jumped, spun and cut back, helping lead the Lions to a dominating 23-7 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over host Chiawana at Edgar Brown Stadium.
"It's definitely a good welcome back game," Ramos said. "It was just power running and hitting the holes hard. The linemen did a great job."
Ramos helped the Lions control the game clock, and also provided most of the offense for a team with some banged up stars.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound back carried the ball 28 times, as he helped carry an offense that was missing wide receiver Bodie Simpson -- though Simpson did enter at receiver a few times in the second half.
"This is a real confident booster," Ramos said. "We know we're a good team. The win feels good, and we're all pretty happy."
The Lions should be happy with not only Ramos, but a stifling defense that held Chiawana to 137 yards of offense and 10 first downs.
The Riverhawks debuted T.J. Avery at quarterback, as starter Joey Zamora is day-to-day with a chest injury. Avery didn't fare too well, throwing an interception and having repeated problems with snaps from the center.
He was replaced early in the second half by Logan Ellsworth, who also struggled to move the ball.
"(Kennewick) was better than us," Chiawana coach Steve Graff said. "We're not very good yet. We're gonna get better."
The season definitely hasn't started the way the Riverhawks had hoped, as they dropped their first two games of the season to Class 3A Hanford and Kennewick. Chiawana plays at Richland next week in a suddenly must-win game.
"Maybe we can beat a 4A team, since we can't beat a 3A team," Graff said. "You can't turn the ball over like that. We are missing some main guys and that makes it tough, but guys have to step up and make plays."
That didn't happen for Chiawana on Friday, though it happened on both sides of the ball for Kennewick.
The Lions forced four turnovers, tipped three passes and recorded two sacks, as the defense was stout.
"We just had to go out and shut them down offensively," Kennewick defensive lineman Jacob Meise said. "It's pretty satisfying, but we've got to execute better and play to our full potential."
The teams played to a scoreless draw for the first quarter and a half, before the Lions took over at midfield and Ramos went to work.
On a seven-play, 53-yard drive, Ramos carried the ball five times and scored on a 13-yard run using a nice cutback to the middle to punch it in.
After a fumbled snap for Chiawana, Kennewick again drove down and scored on a 31-yard field goal by Ethan Langlois with 1 second left in the first half.
Coming out of halftime, the Chiawana defense forced a three-and-out. But on their second offensive play, the Riverhawks again fumbled as Jeremiah Sprague recovered.
Three plays later, quarterback Dylan Tennancour hit Simpson on a 19-yard screen pass, and Simpson took it to the house to put Kennewick on top 16-0.
Ramos capped the scoring early in the fourth-quarter, going over left tackle and then cutting back to the middle and scoring from 18 yards out.
"When we looked at the schedule, we thought we had a chance to be 0-2 or 2-0," said Kennewick coach Bill Templeton. "We want to keep getting better each week."
Chiawana did have a bit of a bright spot late, as Clifton Lozano scored on a 14-yard run and added a 25-yard run to end the game.