High School Football

Kennewick, Walla Walla seek 1st MCC win in doubleheader nightcap at Lampson

Prosser's Hector Flores (10) attempts to tackle Kennewick's running back JJ Rodriguez (26) during the season-opening game Sept. 1 at Lampson Stadium. Prosser defeated Kennewick 22-14.
Prosser's Hector Flores (10) attempts to tackle Kennewick's running back JJ Rodriguez (26) during the season-opening game Sept. 1 at Lampson Stadium. Prosser defeated Kennewick 22-14. Herald file

The only MCC game of the week featuring two teams without a league win figures to be a competitive one as the Kennewick High School football team hosts Walla Walla on Friday in the nightcap of a Lampson Stadium doubleheader.

The Lions (1-2, 0-1) got steamrolled by 2016 Class 4A state runner-up Richland last week, 48-7, but showed a flash of what they hope to do well this season, run the ball, when Cedric Riel burst through the line for a 97-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter for Kennewick’s only score of the game. The ground game figures to get a shot in the arm this week as junior running back AJ Templeton — who hurt his ankle in a Week 1 loss to Prosser — is expected to return to the Lions’ backfield Friday.

Walla Walla (0-3, 0-1) has struggled mightily on offense this season, ranking in the bottom two spots of the league in most offensive categories, and not getting its first touchdown of the season until Darin Ongers 65-yard rushing score against Hanford last week. When Walla Walla has had success this season, it’s been on the ground, but that could be tough to sustain against a Kennewick defense that is allowing an MCC-low 84.3 rushing yards per contest.

Walla Walla (0-3, 0-1) at Kennewick (1-2, 0-1)

When, Where: 8 p.m., Lampson Stadium

Last year: Kennewick 41, Walla Walla 40 (OT)

Team offense: Ken—273 rush (7th in MCC), 198 pass (7th), 157/game total (last), 66 points (6th). WW—386 rush (5th), 151 pass (last), 179/game total (7th), 6 points (last).

Team defense: Ken—253 rush (1st), 549 pass (5th), 267.3/game total (3rd), 76 points (T-5th). WW—550 rush (7th), 572 pass (6th), 374/game total (last), 97 points (7th).

Key players: Ken—QB Tim Gee (19-46-3—178, 2TD); RB AJ Templeton (Injured ankle in Week 1, hasn’t played since); RB Cedric Riel (14-65); DE/TE Moses McAninch; RB/LB Isaac Ruiz; WR/DB Talon LaFontaine; WR/DB Tucker Newman. WW—QB Nickolas Zehner (14-37-6—110; 23-82 rush); RB Darin Ongers (24-117, 1TD); QB Keldan Swant (4-11-2—41); LB Jahmal Mangarero; WR Mason Knowles; WR Dalton Thompson.

Last week: Hanford def. Walla Walla 42-6; Richland def. Kennewick 48-7

Next week: Walla Walla at Pasco; Kennewick at Chiawana

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