The Chiawana Riverhawks weren’t about to have a letdown Thursday night, especially after their emotional 41-0 victory last Friday over Richland.
And it didn’t matter if star running back Austin Urlacher didn’t suit up, as the visiting Riverhawks still routed the Southridge Suns 40-0 in a Mid-Columbia Conference football game at Lampson Stadium.
“(Urlacher) had a bad bruise on his shin from last week’s game,” said Chiawana coach Steve Graff. “And we might have lost Corey Bell. He hurt his knee on a punt return.”
The Riverhawks were coming off the victory last week after Graff’s son, Mac, had been injured in a hunting accident.
Never miss a local story.
But even without Urlacher playing, Chiawana didn’t suffer any type of emotional letdown.
“We had some backups that we knew would step up,” said Riverhawks senior Dre Dorton.
It enabled Graff and his coaches to work on some other aspects of the offensive game — namely passing.
“We really did not know until (Wednesday) that Urlacher wasn’t playing,” said
Chiawana quarterback Logan Ellsworth. “We knew we had to throw the ball a little more”
Ellsworth finished with 156 yards passing, with his biggest play a 74-yard TD play to Isaiah Richie.
And while it may have took the Riverhawks (3-0 MCC, 3-1 overall) a while to get going offensively, the team was running on all cylinders by the second quarter.
Matt Winn opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 33-yard field goal, and then Ellsworth connected with Cortez Ruiz on a 13-yard TD pass for a 10-0 lead.
Bell added a rushing touchdown, while Andrew Vargas had two more.
But as good as the Chiawana offense looked, the Riverhawks defense was even better, earning its second consecutive shutout.
“We know our defense has been playing really well,” said Graff.
Southridge coach Tony Reiboldt was impressed.
“That’s the best front seven we’ve faced in our four games this season,” Reiboldt said.
Chiawana held Southridge to minus-2 yards of rushing.
“We’re thinking about getting better on offense,” said Reiboldt. “On offense, it starts with protection, and we can’t sustain a block right now.”
Neither team is satisfied though.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said Dorton.
Chiawana 10 14 16 0 — 40
Southridge 0 0 0 0 — 0
C — FG 33 Matt Winn
C — Cortez Ruiz 13 pass from Logan Ellsworth (Winn kick)
C — Corey Bell 1 run (Winn kick)
C — Andrew Vargas 1 run (Winn kick)
C — Safety, Southridge recovered its own fumble in end zone
C — Isaiah Richie 74 pass from Logan Ellsworth (Winn kick)
C — Vargas 6 run (Winn kick)
RUSHING—C, Vargas 13-46, Bell 9-18, Ellsworth 2-16, Dre Dorton 2-14, Brayde Hirai 3-14, Josh Wilson 1-12, Troy Simpkins 1-minus 11. S, Michale Bibe 5-15, Gavin Willingham 2-8, Ricky Anaya 4-minus 2, Masceo Ealy-Thomas 8-minus 4, Andrew Stayrook 1-minus 5, Conner Grigg 3-minus 6, Jair Ealy-Thomas 1-minus 9.
PASSING—C, Ellsworth 10-19-1-156, Dorton 1-1-0-17, Simpkins 2-2-0-8. S, Grigg 4-9-0-50, J.Ealy-Thomas 0-4-2-0, Mason Martin 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—C, Richie 2-79, Dillon Coonrad 2-52, Ruiz 2-21, Wilson 1-17, Adrian Navarette 1-5, Dorton 4-4, Nathan Phillips 1-3. S, Stayrook 3-50, Anaya 1-0.
FIRST DOWNS—C 13, S 2. FUMBLES-LOST—C 0-0, S 2-1. PENALTIES-YARDS—C 9-84, S 5-61.