You look at the career numbers put up by Kennewick running back Devven Ramos on Thursday night — 316 yards rushing and four total touchdowns — or the incredibly efficient night for Lions quarterback Dylan Tennancour (10-for-12, 220 yards and three TDs) and figure the game balls are going their way.
But the key to Kennewick’s 40-28 win over Walla Walla at Lampson Stadium lay elsewhere, with a group that rhymes with “shmoffensive line.”
“The line did an unbelievable job of opening holes, and I just had to be patient,” said Ramos, who scored on a 50-yard run to start the game and put the game away with a 51-yard stiff-arm clinic for a 19-point lead with 8:36 to play.
He also had two catches for 31 yards, accounting for 347 yards as Kennewick racked up 527 overall.
It was an outburst the offensively challenged Lions (3-1-1, 2-1 Mid-Columbia) were waiting for, and one coach Bill Templeton saw coming.
“The last drive last week against Sunnyside, we really felt like the offensive line took over, and Devven did a nice job, too,” he said. “And we pounded that into them (at practice) this week.”
Indeed, Clayten Ayres, Jacob Meise, Eddie Salazar, Robbie Calvert, Kyle Sittman and (when Sittman injured his knee early in the third quarter) Todd Pink dominated the line of scrimmage for Kennewick, giving the big, fast Ramos gaping holes and 5 or 10 yards of free space before he had to make his first cut ... or run over his first tackler.
“We know if we get in front of guys and do our jobs, Devven’s going to find a hole,” Ayres said.
Of course, Walla Walla (2-3, 0-2) has its own talented offensive line and big-play back, and Jonah Hoe was a big go despite an injured shoulder.
He served up 133 yards on the ground and another 66 on four catches, accounting for three of Wa-Hi’s four scores.
But Tennancour’s efficiency proved key as the two teams traded big-play runs. Aside from having two balls hit the ground all night, he clicked on completions of 39, 71 and 48 yards. That from a guy completing just 43 percent of his passes coming in.
“He did a good job of stepping up when he had to make good throws,” Ramos said.
That 71-yard play came on perhaps his shortest throw of the night, as slippery back Bodie Simpson hauled in the bubble screen and did most of the heavy lifting to open the third quarter on a big play.
Simpson finished with four catches for 90 yards, and Kaden Julian added three for 87.
Wa-Hi QB Dakota Turner also had one of his most effective games, going 12-for-24 for 202 yards, and Paul Gilmore accounted for 89 yards on just two catches.
But in the end, the Blue Devils simply couldn’t stop the Lions offense long enough to pull even.
“It was a momentum game,” Ramos said, “and we have to keep going the rest of the season.”
Walla Walla 0 14 7 7 — 28
Kennewick 13 7 7 13 — 40
K—Devven Ramos 50 run (kick fail)
K—Ramos 12 pass from Dylan Tennancour (Josh Kutzke kick)
WW—Jonah Hoe 2 run (Dean Atkinson kick)
WW—Hoe 3 run (Atkinson kick)
K—Kaden Julian 2 pass from Tennancour (Kutzke kick)
K—Bodie Simpson 71 pass from Tennancour (Kutzke kick)
WW—Hoe 49 pass from Dakota Turner (Atkinson kick)
K—Ramos 9 run (pass fail)
K—Ramos 51 run (Kutzke kick)
WW—Jake Grandstaff 6 pass from Turner (Atkinson kick)
RUSHING—WW, Hoe 28-133, Stuart Gillin 6-32, Turner 4-9, Zach Gilven 1-3. K, Ramos 31-316, Simpson 3-9, Tennancour 5-(minus 14), Jesse Salazar 2-(minus 4).
PASSING—WW, Turner 12-24-0—202. K, Tennancour 10-12-0—220.
RECEIVING—WW, Hoe 4-66, Atkinson 3-27, Paul Gilmore 2-89, Gilvey 2-14, Grandstaff 1-6. K, Simpson 4-90, Julian 3-87, Ramos 2-31, Alex Rivera 1-12.
FIRST DOWNS—WW 15, K 18. FUMBLES-LOST—WW 0-0, K 3-2. PENALTIES-YARDS—WW 5-37, K 4-35.