High School Football

Kennewick defense looks strong after season opener

KENNEWICK -- Kennewick is on the road tonight at Hermiston, and the Lions will find out how much of their 53-6 win over Pendleton last week was on them, and how much was on the Buckaroos.

Lions coach Bill Templeton liked what he saw on video breaking down the game, especially from the defense.

"I loved the way our defense closed," he said. "There were times when it looked like Pendleton might have plays start to develop, and the kids did a nice job closing the gap, turning possible long plays into short ones, turning 2- and 3-yard plays into losses."

Kennewick didn't come away without one big loss from the game. As feared, junior linebacker/running back Devven Ramos will be sidelined 4-6 weeks with a cracked clavical. It was Ramos' sack and 50-yard fumble return on the opening series that jump-started the Lions last week, and his 57-yard TD run that kept the momentum going.

The Lions will face a Hermiston defense that did a number on Walla Walla's passing game, limiting the Blue Devils to 33 percent on completions (6-for-18) and picking off a pass.

Wa-Hi's Jonah Hoe racked up 152 yards on the ground, and the Lions have plenty of firepower in the run game.

"Whenever a team blitzes and puts as much pressure on a quarterback as Hermiston does, you better execute very well or you'll have turnovers," Templeton said. "It was a case of them turning the screws down a little bit."

There were some interesting notes coming out of Week 1, chief among them Davis' offense rolling up 684 yards in a 54-28 win over Eastmont.

Dangerous receiver Cooper Kupp scored touchdowns three different ways: He caught three balls for 97 yards -- including an 84-yard TD play -- ran in TDs of 78 and 16 yards and also threw a 9-yard TD to David Trimble.

It would be easy to overlook even those numbers when they're sitting next to Deion Wright's 462 yards passing.

Hanford may have gotten shutout 24-0 by Chiawana, but the Falcons did rush for 171 yards and averaged 4.9 yards a carry, and they also limited the Riverhawks to 100 yards rushing and 3.3 ypc.

Eisenhower's Kolney Cassel connected on 64 percent of his passes for 245 yards and three TDs in a 54-12 win over Rainier Beach. Also, the Cadets held RB to just 146 yards rushing and 3.0 ypc, a big performance considering the Beach's highly touted O-line.

Southridge lost two-way starter Dylan Maurer to a hamstring injury. Maurer started at center and linebacker last week. The Suns will shift senior Sam Barnes from left guard to center, while sophomore Trey Tutt will fill in at left guard.

* Staff writer Craig Craker contributed to this report.

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