Every time the Chiawana football team needed a big play Friday, someone stepped up.
The Riverhawks faced their stiffest test to date but held off Kamiakin 40-28 in Mid-Columbia Conference football action at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.
Chiawana’s final big play was its most important, as Dre Dorton made a spectacular diving catch on fourth-and-1 to set up an Austin Urlacher touchdown that salted away the game.
Clinging to a 33-28 lead, the Riverhawks had a fourth down from the 35 with less than 5 minutes remaining, Chiawana lined up for an expected handoff to Urlacher.
Instead, quarterback Joey Zamora rolled out and lofted a pass down the right side where Dorton made a diving grab at the 2.
Kamiakin (2-2 league, 4-2 overall) tried one final drive, but Kylle Robertson was intercepted by Blake Bishop and the Riverhawks ran out the clock.
The tightness of the game came as a surprise to many in the stands, as Chiawana (5-0, 6-0) came into the game giving up just 4.2 points per game and less than 200 yards of offense. But Kamiakin quickly dispelled any notion that the Riverhawks would have an easy night.
The Braves took the opening drive and marched down the field for a quick touchdown. After a three-and-out by Chiawana, the Braves scored again and a shell-shocked Chiawana sideline found itself down 14-0. It was the first time Chiawana had trailed in a game this season.
But that’s when the Riverhawks’ big-play ability took the game over.
Alex Weber took a short kickoff and rumbled 75 yards to the house for a touchdown. The extra point failed, but the Chiawana defense got a quick stop and on the first play of the ensuing possession, running back Urlacher went 74 yards untouched to pull Chiawana within 14-12.
After a Kamiakin three-and-out, Zamora hooked up with a wide-open Deion Singleton on a play-action, 44-yard touchdown pass.
Just like that the Riverhawks led 21-12.
The Chiawana defense then forced a three-and-out and on the punt, Austen Clarke returned it 41 yards to give the Riverhawks first-and-goal. Three plays later, Urlacher scored from 6 yards out for a 26-14 lead.
The Braves then went three-and-out again, and Clarke again had a monster punt return. He took this one 52 yards to give Chiawana another first-and-goal. Zamora scored on a keeper for a 33-14 lead.
Kamiakin wasn’t done yet, though.
Chiawana forced another three-and-out, but the Riverhawks went backward on the ensuing possession. They lost 28 yards, and a poor punt gave the Braves the ball at midfield.
Robertson then found Austin Gutierrez down the middle for a 34-yard score to pull the Braves within 33-21 at halftime.
It remained that way until late in the third quarter when Robertson found Casey Brandon for a 7-yard touchdown to pull the Braves within 33-28.
Kamiakin then had two possessions to attempt to take the lead, but the Chiawana defense held.
Defensive lineman Juan Noyola was a major reason for that, recording three sacks and harrassing Robertson throughout the game.
His biggest was on third-and-5, forcing a Kamiakin punt that set up Dorton’s big catch.
Robertson scored the first two touchdowns for Kamiakin on keepers, deking the defense both times with beautiful bootlegs.
Urlacher finished with 122 yards rushing on 15 carries and three touchdowns. Zamora was 8-for-13 for 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Clarke finished with 99 yards on punt returns.
Robertson was 15-for-29 for 188 yards with an interception and two touchdowns. He also had the two rushing touchdowns. Umid Ramizov carried 20 times for 93 yards, while Gutierrez had eight receptions for 99 yards.
Kamiakin 14 7 7 0 — 28
Chiawana 12 21 0 7 — 40
Kamiakin—Kylle Robertson 6 run (Connor Shymanski kick), 9:54
Kamiakin—Robertson 7 run (Shymanski kick), 2:37
Chiawana—Alex Weber 75 kickoff return (kick failed), 2:22
Chiawana—Austin Urlacher 74 run (pass failed), :25
Chiawana—Deion Singleton 44 pass from Joey Zamora (Logan Ellsworth kick), 10:26
Chiawana—Urlacher 6 run (Ellsworth kick), 6:32
Chiawana—Zamora 1 run (Ellsworth kick), 4:22
Kamiakin—Austin Gutierrez 34 pass from Robertson (Shymanski kick), :57
Kamiakin—Casey Brandon 7 pass from Robertson (Shymanski kick), 2:27
Chiawana—Urlacher 2 run (Ellsworth kick), 4:34
RUSHING—Kamiakin, Umid Ramizov 20-93, Robertson 14-(-29). Chiawana, Urlacher 15-122, Clifton Lozano 11-73, team 1-(-2), Zamora 4-(-22).
PASSING—Kamiakin, 15-29-1—188. Chiawana, Zamora 8-13-1—133.
RECEIVING—Kamiakin, Gutierrez 8-99, Hunter Shauers 2-17, Cam Rathbun 1-18, Jace Navejas 1-12, Brandon 1-7, unknown 2-35. Chiawana, Singleton 2-58, Dre Dorton 2-45, Blake Bishop 2-13, Lozano 1-16, Grady Graff 1-1.
INTERCEPTIONS—Kamiakin, Robertson 1-0. Chiawana, Blake Bishop 1-0.
SACKS-YARDS LOST—Kamiakin, Dylan Keech 1-10, Michael Jones 1-9, Kyle Millington 1-4. Chiawana, Juan Noyola 3-20, Austin Arndt 1-12.
KICKOFF RETURNS-YARDS—Kamiakin, unknown 2-8, Brandon Larsen 1-23, Ramizov 1-17, Gutierrez 1-16. Chiawana, Weber 2-86, Dorton 2-28, Singleton 1-13.
PUNT RETURNS-YARDS—Kamiakin, Navejas 1-14, Larsen 1-7, Gutierrez 1-3. Chiawana, Austen Clarke 4-99
FIRST DOWNS—K 14, C 8. FUMBLES-LOST—K 0-0, C 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDS—K 4-30, C 12-102. PUNTS-AVG.—K 8-14.0, C 5-31.6