SPOKANE -- Football games aren't played in a vacuum, and it's impossible to say how Richland would have fared had the Bombers not gift-wrapped a pair of touchdowns late in the first half for Ferris on Friday night.
But there is no question the 14-point swing put Richland in a big hole on the road against a playoff-tested team, turning a 10-point game into a three-score margin as the Saxons went on for a 33-17 win in the first round of the 4A state football playoffs at Joe Albi Stadium.
"That stole some momentum from us, and we didn't get over the hump from there," Bombers coach Mike Neidhold said via telephone during the bus ride back to town.
Jake McKinney ran for 157 yards and two scores and the Bombers limited Ferris to just a safety in the second half.
"The kids played hard, and I'm very, very proud of them," Neidhold said. "You take those two scores out of there, it's 24-17 and a one-score game."
It was a three-point game before Ferris scored on a 19-yard pass from Ben Goodwin to Jordan Tonani with 4:28 left in the first half.
On the ensuing possession, Richland faced fourth-and-3 at its 37 and went for it. Quarterback Colter Quick was sacked, and three plays later Goodwin hooked up with Riley Stockton for a 34-yard score.
Moments later, Ferris' defense struck again. Senior defensive end Dillon Beschel forced Colter to fumble and junior lineman Drew Sharkey scooped up the ball and returned 4 yards for a TD.
"We could just feel the momentum shift," Sharkey said. "We put so much effort into this game. The momentum shift felt amazing."
Neidhold gave a lot of credit to Goodwin, who threw for 229 yards while completing 15 of 19 passes.
"We ran the ball like we wanted to," Neidhold said. "But when they're scoring ... but when you're down three scores, it's tough to go on a 12-play, 10-minute drive."
Ferris (11-0) will travel in the quarterfinals next week to either Chiawana (10-0) or Newport of Bellevue (7-3). Those teams play today at Pasco.
Richland will have to settle for a 9-2 season and turning a corner to reach the playoffs.
"We had great senior leadership, and I think we changed the culture of the football program to the positive," Neidhold said. "And I'm going to root for Chiawana."
Ferris 33, Richland 17
Richland 0 7 3 7 -- 17
Ferris 10 21 0 2 -- 33
F--Stockton 24 pass from Goodwin (Belling kick)
F--FG Belling 38
R--McKinney 6 run (Paychack kick)
F--Tonani 19 pass from Goodwin (Belling kick)
F--Stockton 34 pass from Goodwin (Belling kick)
F--Sharkey 4 fumble return (Belling kick)
R--FG Paychack 37
R--McKinney 10 run (Paychack kick)
RUSHING--R, McKinney 31-157, Quick 5-(minus 24), Robinson 4-9. F, Goodwin 9-13, Heidinger 21-84, Sharkey 3-5, Tonani 3-2.
PASSING--R, Quick 3-11-0-51. F, Goodwin 15-19-0-229, Tonani 1-1-0-24.
RECEIVING--R, Gardaya 1-4, Reynolds 1-24, Gallinger 1-23. F, Tonani 5-65, Livingston 1-6, Bozett 1-1, Lerner 1-17, Stockton 4-114, Heidinger 4-50.
FIRST DOWNS--R 13, F 16. FUMBLES-LOST--R 2-1, F 2-1. PENALTIES-YARDS--R 3-15, F 9-90.