Rivalry games are supposed to be tight, down-to-the-wire, nail-biting intense, the outcome undecided until late in the fourth quarter.
That’s the way these games are supposed to go, but Richland’s annual showdown with Hanford at Fran Rish Stadium on Friday night was settled before most of the boisterous crowd had settled into their seats.
The Bombers started fast and then overcame a shower of penalty flags (108 yards worth) and sloppy play in the second half to rout Hanford 42-13.
The win was Richland’s first after a brutal three games stretch against three ranked teams to open the season. Hanford remains winless at 4-0.
The Bombers scored three times in the first 10:05 of the game and led 28-0 after one quarter before Hanford’s defense stiffened enough to make things difficult the rest of the night.
Senior running back Josh Phillips and senior quarterback Taylor O’Toole combined to shred the Falcons in the two quarters. Phillips rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. O’Toole passed for 181 yards and a touchdown in the first two quarters.
Phillips’ first score came from 12 yards out on the Bombers’ first possession and capped a seven-play, 68-yard drive. Phillips also scored from three yards out (twice) and on a 48-yard scamper, set up by a great black by Lakota Wills. Phillips second three-yarder put the Bombers up 35-0 at Halftime.
Wills was also on the receiving end of an 18-yard touchdown pass from O’Toole.
In the second half, Hanford sophomore quarterback Desmond Samples and running back Elwood Davis ran the ball effectively enough to give the Falcons a chance to make the final score a little more respectable.
Davis rushed for 72 yards in the second half after being held to minus-2 yards in the first half. Samples accounted for both of Hanford’s touchdowns. The first came on an 11-yard run with 1:20 left in the third quarter, and the second on a spectacular 87-yard run in which he outran the entire Richland secondary with 8:14 left in the game.
Richland’s final score also came in spectacular fashion. Griffin March made a diving one-handed catch on a ball that had been tipped at the goal line by Hanford’s Daron Neary for a 21-yard scoring play with 9:02 left in the fourth quarter.