As area high school football teams settle into a Week 3 routine, the Mid-Columbia Conference schools now know what they’re playing for.
Richland athletic director Mike Edwards confirmed this week that the MCC’s top three Class 4A teams, and the top two Class 3A teams, will get the chance against the Greater Spokane League to advance to the state playoffs.
That’s good news for the defending state 4A champion Bombers, who have started 0-2 in MCC play.
Richland has a nonleague game Friday, playing at Sunnyside (2-0).
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But the week’s biggest game still looks to be at Fran Rish Stadium, where Kamiakin (1-1) visits the 2-0 Hanford Falcons.
Here’s a quick look at Friday’s matchups:
Kamiakin at Hanford, Fran Rish Stadium
Best big-school matchup of Week 3 … Kamiakin (1-1), after a rough Week 1 start at West Valley of Yakima, bounced back with a 41-0 win over Southridge last week. … Tuna Altahir had 10 touches for 114 yards rushing and two TDs vs. Southridge. … Braves QB Lucas Castilleja tossed three touchdown passes in the win. … Falcons counter with a nasty 1-2 punch of QB Garrett Horner and RB Jared DeVine. Horner has passed for 444 yards (156 of those to top target Blake VanderTop) and five TDs in two games. DeVine has rushed for 207 yards in two contests. He’s also already found the end zone six times for TDs.
Northwest Christian vs. Tri-Cities Prep, Chiawana High
Best small-school matchup this week. … Prep’s game last Friday at Kittitas/Thorp was stopped in the first quarter, with the Jags leading 21-0, when lightning suspended the contest. … The Jags defense will need to contain Crusaders standout RB Silas Perreiah and QB Jake Gray. The two ran roughshod over a tough Lind-Ritzville-Sprague team last week in a win. … Prep will also pick up where they left off against Kittitas/Thorp on Monday, meaning the Jaguars are playing two games in four days. … DeSales transfer Dante Maiuri has played exceptionally well at QB, allowing athlete Kobe Singleton to move out to receiver.
Walla Walla at Chiawana, Edgar Brown Stadium
Big news out of Walla Walla this week is standout linemen Patrick Utschinski has verbally committed to Washington State University. … Blue Devils (1-1) need a bounce back game after getting belted 41-6 by Hanford last week at Borleske. … Wa-Hi didn’t have normal QB starter Keldan Swant (shoulder) ready last week. He’s likely still out this week. Riverhawks (2-0) dodged a bullet by scoring 10 points in the final 1:05 to beat Kennewick 27-26 last Thursday. … QB Preston Vine (non-throwing shoulder) missed last week’s game and is likely out Friday. If so, freshman JP Zamora is an able replacement. … Hawks K Ryan Lowry already had four field goals, including the game-winner against the Lions.
Kennewick at Hermiston
Lions are 0-2, but could just as easily be 1-1 or even 2-0. Kennewick coach Bill Templeton said his son, QB A.J. Templeton (non-throwing shoulder), is 50-50 at starting at Hermiston. Templeton missed last Thursday’s game against Chiawana. But the Lions also found a new weapon in freshman RB Myles Mayovsky. The youngster rushed for 166 yards and two TDs against Chiawana. … The defending Oregon 5A state champions are off to a great start in the MCC at 2-0. … Wyatt Noland rushed for over 100 yards last week against Richland. .. QB Andrew James is 20-for-28 passing for 206 yards. … Both teams have big linemen.
College Place at Connell
The SCAC East opener for both teams. … College Place is off to a great 2-0 start. … Connell lost to Othello in Week 1, 9-7. Then the Eagles lost a scheduled Week 2 game when Quincy opted to play Brewster instead. Connell will be champing at the bit to get a second varsity contest in.
Other scheduled contests (all start times 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted):
Pasco at Southridge, Lampson Stadium: Battle between 0-2 teams. Game is on KONA 610 AM.
Richland at Sunnyside: Josh Fonner (concussion protocol) is ready to play at QB for Bombers.
Prosser at Ephrata: Non-counter between 2A CWAC teams. Visiting Mustangs bounced back from opening loss with win over West Valley of Yakima.
West Valley-Spokane at Othello: The third of three tough opening games for 1-1 Othello.
Asotin at DeSales: Old Southeast B-11 foes meet again in non-league play.
Grandview at Quincy: Greyhounds (2-0) have yet to surrender a point.
Kiona-Benton at River View: Classic neighborhood rivalry game in the SCAC East.
Wahluke at Royal: Long-time neighborhood rally, but host Knights haven’t loss a game in 43 straight contests.
Warden at Cle Elum: Non-league SCAC game. Warden is 1-1, Cle Elum (0-2) has yet to score a point.
Dayton at White Swan: Both teams in this EWAC 2B game are 0-2.
Kittitas/Thorp at Columbia-Burbank: Host Coyotes off to a great 2-0 start in 2B ranks.
Liberty Christian at Manson: Patriots (0-1) take a long road trip to Central Washington 2B leaders (2-0).
Mabton at Brewster: Another non-conference game in 2B, Mabton is 1-1.