The Chiawana Riverhawks might want to change their opening statement in their next game, but they’ll let their first address to the Mid-Columbia Conference stand.
The Riverhawks overcame a slow start to score 27 third quarter points in a 43-7 MCC win over the Hanford Falcons on Friday at Edgar Brown Stadium.
“We were a little overenthusiastic, maybe a little more than we should have been,” said Chiawana coach Steve Graff. “We didn’t start playing until 7:30 or quarter to 8.”
But once they did, there wasn’t much the Falcons could do.
Chiawana stopped Hanford on its opening drive, forcing a punt from the Falcons 34-yard line. But the trouble started when Austin Arndt was called for roughing the kicker, which gave the ball right back to Hanford.
The Riverhawks committed more than 50 yards of penalties in the first quarter alone. But Joey Zamora knew it was only a matter of time before the offense started clicking.
Zamora scored Chiawana’s first points to cap a five-play, 43-yard drive, diving into the end zone from 2 yards out. Zamora also threw for two more touchdowns in the second half and 241 yards.
“We know how hard we work. We have confidence in that,” Zamora said. “The coaches told us we needed to get our stuff together, and we started gashing them with our run game.”
The Riverhawks did have to overcome an early scare after backing Hanford up to its own 1-yard line with just over 6 minutes left in the second quarter. Falcons quarterback Aaron Enderlin made a quick drop and lobbed a deep ball to Tyler Cowen along the left sideline.
Cowen leaped for the ball, along with Chiawana defenders Dre Dorton and Deion Singleton. The Riverhawks players collided in mid-air and fell to the ground, but Cowen held on and kept his feet.
It was all green grass from there, as Cowen crossed the goal line for a 99-yard touchdown catch to give Hanford a 7-6 lead.
He finished with five catches for 161 yards.
“We didn’t start like a ball of fire. We gave up some third-and-1s and that 99-yarder,” Graff said. “But those kids worked really hard in the off season, and they want to go out strong.”
It was all Riverhawks from there.
Logan Ellsworth hit a 24-yard field goal with 1:40 left in the first half to give Chiawana a 9-7 lead. It also started a run of 37 unanswered points for the Riverhawks.
Clifton Lozano looked especially strong in the second half, rushing for 146 yards — 109 of them in the third quarter — and two touchdowns. The second TD, a 1-yard dive to put Chiawana up 22-7 with 9:39 left in the third.
Zamora threw back-to-back TD strikes to Christian Penny and Grady Graff to make it 36-7 before Alex Weber sprinted around left end for a 48-yard touchdown run, getting a fine downfield block from Cortez Ruiz to free him.
That capped the scoring at 43-7.
Coach Graff was proud of the way his defense played.
“We allowed just nine yards total rushing,” Graff said. “Our offense executed when we needed it to. We need to get tidied up so we don’t squander opportunities.”
Hanford 0 7 0 0 — 7
Chiawana 0 16 27 0 — 43
C, Joey Zamora 2 run (run failed)
H, Tyler Cowen 99 pass from Aaron Enderlin (Will Bishop kick)
C, FG Logan Ellsworth 24
C, Clifton Lozano 8 run (Ellsworth kick)
C, Lozano 1 run (kick failed)
C, Christian Penny 13 pass from Zamora (Ellsworth kick)
C, Grady Graff 12 pass from Zamora (Ellsworth kick)
C, Alex Weber 45 run (Ellsworth kick)
RUSHING—Hanford, Will Bishop 10-5, Aaron Enderlin 6-(-1), Malik Slack 5-(-6), Timmy Dinh 2-13, Tucker Anderson 1-(-6). Chiawana, Clifton Lozano 15-145, Alex Weber 5-80, Ernie Sanchez 5-10, Joey Zamora 4-(-2), Logan Ellsworth 3-34, Anthon Ramos 4-(-2), Nate Murrillo 1-3.
PASSING—Hanford, Enderlin 10-28-1—197. Chiawana, Joey Zamora 14-30-0—236.
RECEIVING—Hanford, Tyler Cowen 4-153, Ben Kelly 4-33, Jordan Reyes 2-11. Chiawana, Dre Dorton 6-82, Deion Singleton 3-69, Clifton Lozano 1-21, Isaiah Richie 1-20, Blake Bishop 1-19, Christian Penny 1-13, Grady Graff 1-12.
FIRST DOWNS—H 10, C 18. FUMBLES-LOST—H 3-1, C 2-0. PENALTIES-YARDS—H 8-40, C 10-95Aaron Enderlin (Will Bishop kick)
C — FG Logan Ellsworth 24
C — Clifton Lozano 8 run (Ellsworth kick)
C — Lozano 1 run (kick failed)
C — Christian Penny 18 pass from Zamora (Ellsworth kick)
C — Grady Graff 12 pass from Zamora (Ellsworth kick)
C — Alex Weber 48 run (Ellsworth kick)