The Kennewick football team knew it would have to get physical if it wanted to rally past Hanford on Friday night.
Thanks to the offensive line and the strong running of Devven Ramos, the Lions did just that, rallying for a 20-7 Mid-Columbia Conference victory at Lampson Stadium.
“We needed to get after it,” offensive lineman Robby Calvert said. “We had to get our stuff together. We just had to do our job and not make mistakes.”
With Calvert and his teammates up front getting a big push on the Hanford defensive line, Ramos did the rest.
The senior back rushed for 157 yards for the game, including 131 in the second half as the Lions (4-2-1, 3-2 MCC) rallied from a 7-6 deficit.
“We just got a fire lit under us (at halftime),” Ramos said. “We didn’t do anything special, we just went out and played physical.”
Ramos encapsulated that, consistently fighting for extra yards and providing some vicious stiff arms — including hammering linebacker Will Bishop to the ground when Bishop appeared to have Ramos captured for a loss in the backfield.
“It was just physicality,” Ramos said. “You’ve got to be tougher than the guy lined up against you.”
The Lions did that consistently in the second half, outgaining the Falcons 200-97 after the break.
Kennewick also put together a late 15-play drive that took 8 minutes, 28 seconds off the clock. The Lions didn’t score, but it effectively ended the game for a Hanford team (5-2, 3-2) that struggled to pass throughout the game.
“I can’t say thank you enough to our offensive line for stepping up in the second half,” Ramos said. “They got the job done and finished.”
Ramos ripped off a 45-yard run on the second play of the third quarter and scored from 5-yards out five plays later. After Jesse Salazar ran in the two-point conversion, Kennewick had a 14-7 lead, one it wouldn’t give back.
The Lions defense forced a three-and-out, and Kennewick then went on another long drive, taking the ball 60 yards. Ramos carried it on six of the 10 plays, but the touchdown went to one of his linemen. Quarterback Dylan Tennancour fumbled on a keeper, and Calvert recovered in the end zone for the score.
“I was trying to block upfield. I saw the ball down, dove on it and covered it up,” he said. “I think it was the first time I’ve ever touched the ball.”
Early on, it looked like Hanford would be the team dominating the physicality of the game.
The Falcons took the opening kickoff and marched methodically down the field, using up nearly 8 minutes of the clock before Kennewick ever saw the ball.
Bishop scored on a 1-yard plunge to cap the drive, as Hanford used a mix of Bishop and Jalen DeVine running the ball and some key play-action passing to go 86 yards for the early 7-0 lead.
Kennewick then fumbled on its next possession, but the Lions defense held.
Tennancour then went to work, hitting Ramos on a 30-yard swing pass and a 23-yard pass down the sideline. He then connected with Kaden Julian — a favorite target anytime the Lions needed a big play — on a 4-yard, play-action pass to pull the Lions within 7-6. The ensuing two-point conversion failed.
The teams traded possessions the rest of the second quarter, setting up the offensive line and Ramos to take over after the halftime break.
“We’re real happy,” Calvert said. “We’re ready to win out and go deep into the playoffs.”
Tennancour finished 12-of-16 for 145 yards with a touchdown. Julian had six receptions for 67 yards and the touchdown, while Ramos added three catches for 61 yards.
DeVine rushed 13 times for 47 yards, while Bishop had 13 carries for 31 yards as the Falcons’ high-powered rushing attack was shut down.Austin Forsyth was 8-for-21 for 94 yards, while Zack Gaston had three receptions for 32 yards.