Ben Fewel had another outstanding game for Richland’s football team on Friday, as the Bombers beat visiting Sunnyside 41-15 in a non-league contest.
Fewel caught 14 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns – a 36-yard catch and run, and a 6-yard scoring strike – both from Richland quarterback Harrison Westover.
But none of those catches were as important as the one he made on defense early in the fourth quarter.
Let’s set the scene: Despite trailing Richland 27-8 at intermission, the Grizzlies began to catch fire in the second half.
A 22-yard run for a TD by Arturo Fernandez in Sunnyside’s opening drive of the third quarter cut Richland’s lead to 27-15.
And suddenly, Sunnyside’s defense started keeping Richland out of the end zone.
Mike Rivera intercepted Westover in the red zone on the next Bombers series, then the Grizzlies dodged another bullet when Richland missed on a 26-yard field goal attempt.
After that missed field goal, Sunnyside – using a no-huddle offense that was causing the Richland defense problems – marched from its own 20 down to the Richland 6 in 11 plays.
On the 12th play, Grizzlies QB Logan Rodriguez found an open receiver in the end zone, firing the ball at him.
Bombers DB Marshaun Davis-Copeland, however, closed in fast and hit the receiver and the ball at the same time. The ball popped up into the air, where Fewel caught it in the end zone for a touchback.
“(Our guys) were all manned up, and I was free back at safety,” said Fewel. “Marshaun hit him, and I was at the right place at the right time.”
A Grizzlies touchdown would have cut the Bombers lead to one score.
Instead, Richland was able to tack on a few more touchdowns to pull away, especially when the Grizzlies declined to punt deep in their own territory late in the game. That gave the Bombers a very short field for the final two scores, raising their record to 2-1 overall.
“We can’t let a good team like Sunnyside hang around like that. They’ll beat you,” said Richland coach Mike Neidhold. “Our defense had to help our offense tonight. We left three scores out there on the field.”
Neidhold said he and his staff had no idea that the Grizzlies ran the no-huddle offense.
“You don’t see that on the film,” he said. “It’s just clips of 100 plays. It’s not like a running movie. So when they’re doing that, it’s hard to get in the call to the defense.”
Sunnyside coach John Lobbestael said his team had its chances to get back in the game.
“Two or three times, we just did not finish,” he said. “It’s frustrating to say that because we moved the ball a lot.”
It was a good win for Richland, who looked much better than their season-opening 37-0 loss to Chiawana.
“The Chiawana loss a few weeks ago, it exposed our problems,” said Fewel. “We fixed those problems in practice every day.”
There was never any thought of panicking, said Fewel.
“Our coaches have a lot of experience,” he said. “They know what they’re doing.”
NOTES: Westover had another big game, passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. … Davis-Copeland helped establish the run game, carrying 18 times for 88 yards. … Rodriguez had a good game at QB for Sunnyside, passing for 236 yards. … Jonathan Sanchez was the top Sunnyside receiver, catching 6 passes for 104 yards. … Sunnyside got hammered with 17 penalties for 144 yards. … LB Camron Ball led Richland defensively. Unofficially, he had 10 tackles, 1 for loss. Fellow LB Samuel Stanfield added 6 tackles (1 for loss), and three quarterback sacks. … Sanchez was also outstanding on the defensive side of the ball for the Grizzlies. The defensive back was in on 7 tackles, had a cover, and one interception. LB Adam Sanchez added 8 tackles and a blocked punt. … Sunnyside (2-1) opens Big Nine Conference play next Friday at home against West Valley of Yakima. … Richland travels to play Pasco (2-1) next Friday.
BOMBERS 41, GRIZZLIES 15
Sunnyside 0 8 7 0 -- 15
Richland 9 18 7 7 -- 41
SCORING PLAYS: R – Marshaun Davis-Copeland 7 run (snap fumbled) R – FG 31 Joseph Weissenfels R – Samuel Stanfield 4 pass from Harrison Westover (pass failed) S – Devontay Herrera 5 run (Dominick Gonzalez run) R – Ben Fewel 36 pass from Westover (pass failed) R – Fewel 6 pass from Westover (kick failed) S – Arturo Fernandez 22 run (Patrick Gallagher kick) R – Kainoa Steward 6 run (Weissenfels kick) R – Kade Brons 1 run (Weissenfels kick)
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: RUSHING – Sunn, Fernandez 11-58, Devin Escamilla 11-41, Herrera 10-27, Myles Newhouse 1-1, Mike Rivera 5-minus 6, Logan Rodriguez 6-minus 33, Total 44-88. Rich, Davis-Copeland 18-88, Steward 13-41, Brons 5-15, Team 1-minus 14, Total 37-130.
PASSING — Sunn, L.Rodriguez 21-43-1-236, Jonathan Sanchez 1-1-0-25. Rich, Westover 23-36-2-275.
RECEIVING – Sunnyside, J.Sanchez 6-104, Rivera 6-76, Adrian Pedroza 5-49, A.Fernandez 3-17, Herrera 2-13. Rich, Fewel 14-165, Kayden Roxburgh 3-44, Ben Kostorowski 2-24, Matt Robinson 1-17, Davis-Copeland 2-8, Stanfield 1-4.
FIRST DOWNS – S 18, R 24.
FUMBLES-LOST – S 3-0, R 1-1.
PENALTIES-YARDS – S 17-144, R 7-60.
KAMIAKIN 55, HANFORD 41
Henry Mercado passed for 415 yards and six touchdowns to lead host Kamiakin over Hanford in an MCC contest Thursday.
Tuna Altahir added 209 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Braves, while receiver Kelen Rutz caught 6 passes for 168 yards and two TDs.
Teammate Woodley Downard added 6 catches for 135 yards.
Hanford QB Easton Wise-Hyde led the Falcons with 228 yards passing and two TD passes.
Falcons teammate Dylan McElderry rushed for 169 yards on 24 carries, while receiver Jaxon Farrah caught 4 passes for 113 yards and two TDs.
CHIAWANA 41, WALLA WALLA 13
Gabe Schilz rushed for four touchdowns to lead visiting Chiawana over Walla Walla in an MCC game.
KENNEWICK 28, HERMISTON 17
Myles Mayovsky scored two touchdowns, rushed for 70 yards, and caught three passes for another 85 yards to lead host Kennewick over Hermiston in an MCC game.
The Lions led 14-11 going into the fourth quarter when they scored twice to pull away.
Blaine Chavez scored on a 2-yard run, and then Chavez passed to Max Meyer on a 5-yard scoring strike.
Ethan Woolery added 74 yards rushing on 12 carries for Kennewick (2-1 MCC, 2-1 overall).
Garrett Walchli paced Hermiston (0-3, 0-3) with 6 pass receptions for 108 yards.
PASCO 24, SOUTHRIDGE 21 (OT)
Francisco Valle’s 32-yard field goal in overtime stood up, and Alex DeLeon’s interception ended the game as Pasco won an MCC thriller over visiting Southridge.
The Suns led 21-13 late in regulation, when the Bulldogs’ Nick Gutierrez bulled into the end zone from the 1 with 5:30 to play in the game.
Armani Reyes then ran in the 2-point conversion to tie the game and force OT.
Reyes finished with 224 yards passing, while Pasco receiver Des Licon caught 7 passes for 184 yards and two TDs.
Ryan Stayrook led the Southridge offense with 107 yards rushing on 21 carries.
ROYAL 71, WAHLUKE 0
Royal’s defense held Wahluke to just 63 total yards of offense en route to an SCAC East victory.
Derek Bergeson scored three touchdowns for the Knights (1-0 SCAC East, 3-0 overall), while quarterback Caleb Christensen added three TD passes.
Tyler Allred also scored on a 65-yard kickoff return, while teammate Avery Ellis had a 49-yard interception return for a score.
CONNELL 33, COLLEGE PLACE 14
Jekoby Tuttle dominated on the ground for visiting Connell, which won its first game of the season that also happened to be its SCAC East opener.
Tuttle carried the ball 20 times and rushed for 254 yards and three touchdowns, including a 97-yard scoring run.
College Place was led by Joel Jameson, who caught 8 passes for 156 yards.
TRI-CITIES PREP 43, NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 0
Dante Maiuri was 25-for-35 for 290 yards passing, with four TD passes, to lead the visiting Jaguars to the non-league win.
Jacob Levy (7 catches for 80 yards) and Landon Amato (5 for 71, two TDs) were the main recipients of Maiuri’s passes.
Davion Iniguez added 60 yards rushing on seven carries.
Defensively, Prep was led by Noah Elliot (12 tackles) and Kellen Hobson (11 tackles).
MANSON 50, LIBERTY CHRISTIAN 30
Keegan Bishop passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns for visiting Liberty Christian in a non-league loss.
Aiden Lesser caught 11 passes for 139 yards for the Patriots (0-3).
Chiawana 3-0 MCC, 3-0 overall
Kamiakin 2-0, 3-0
Pasco 2-0, 2-1
Kennewick 2-1, 2-1
Richland 1-1, 2-1
Hanford 1-2, 1-2
Walla Walla 1-2, 1-2
Hermiston 0-3, 0-3
Southridge 0-3, 0-3
Kamiakin 55, Hanford 41
Chiawana 41, Walla Walla 13
Kennewick 28, Hermiston 17
Pasco 24, Southridge 21 (OT)
Richland 41, Sunnyside 15
Friday, Sept. 27
All games 7 p.m. kickoff unless noted otherwise
Chiawana at Union, 4:30 p.m.
Kamiakin at Kennewick
Richland at Pasco, Edgar Brown Stadium
Southridge at Hanford, Fran Rish Stadium
Walla Walla at Hermiston
2A CWAC STANDINGS
Quincy 0-0 CWAC, 2-1 overall
East Valley 0-0, 1-2
Othello 0-0, 1-2
Ellensburg 0-0, 0-3
Ephrata 0-0, 0-3
Toppenish 0-0, 2-1
Prosser 0-0, 1-2
Selah 0-0, 1-2
Wapato 0-0, 1-2
Grandview 0-0, 0-3
Cashmere 55, Wapato 21
Davis 20, Selah 18
Eastmont 42, Ellensburg 13
Prosser 30, Ephrata 0
Quincy 26, Grandview 6
Toppenish 41, East Valley 35 (OT)
West Valley Spokane 26, Othello 19
Friday, Sept. 27
All games are 7 p.m.
Ellensburg at Ephrata
Grandview at East Valley
Othello at Quincy
Selah at Prosser
Toppenish at Wapato
SCAC EAST STANDINGS
Royal 1-0 SCAC East, 3-0 overall
Kiona-Benton 1-0, 2-1
Connell 1-0, 1-2
Warden 0-0, 2-1
College Place 0-1, 2-1
River View 0-1, 2-1
Wahluke 0-1, 2-1
Connell 33, College Place 14
Kiona-Benton 34, River View 20
Royal 71 Wahluke 0
Warden 56, Cle Elum-Roslyn 0
Friday, Sept. 27
All kickoffs at 7 p.m.
College Place at Kiona-Benton
Okanogan at Royal
Wahluke at Connell
Warden at River View
EWAC 2B STANDINGS
Columbia-Burbank 2-0 EWAC, 3-0 overall
Tri-Cities Prep 2-0, 3-0
White Swan 1-0, 2-0
Mabton 0-1, 1-1
Dayton/Waitsburg 0-1, 0-3
Liberty Christian 0-1, 0-3
Kittitas-Thorp 0-2, 0-2
Columbia-Burbank 52, Kittitas-Thorp 0
Manson 50, Liberty Christian 30
Tri-Cities Prep 43, Northwest Christian 0
White Swan 24, Dayton/Waitsburg 14
Brewster at Mabton, 1 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 27
All kickoffs are at 7 p.m.
Dayton/Waitsburg at Liberty Christian, Hanford High School
Lind-Ritzville/Sprague/Washtucna/Kahlotus at Columbia-Burbank
Mabton at Tri-Cities Prep, Chiawana High School
White Swan at Kittitas-Thorp
Jeff Morrow is the former sports editor of the Herald.