RICHLAND -- The Richland Bombers displayed some championship moxie Friday night, rallying from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat a stubborn Hanford team 35-21 at Fran Rish Stadium.
Even though the Bombers took over the game in the second half, the Falcons' performance may make them a team to contend with in the CBBN 3A race.
"We've got the toughest non-league schedule around," said Hanford coach Rob Oram, whose team played well last week in a 24-0 loss to Chiawana. "Us and Pasco. Now we're ready to go win some league games."
Friday's game had upset written all over it until Richland's many-headed monster of an offense asserted itself in the third quarter.
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Hanford shocked the heavily favored Bombers with three touchdowns in the first half.
Jalen DeVine scored on a 9-yard run with 7:07 left in the first quarter after a bad snap on a punt attempt gave the Falcons a first-and-goal on the Richland 9.
The Bombers tied the score less than three minutes later when B.K. Robinson finished of a 69-yard drive with a 1-yard run at the 4:24 mark of the first quarter.
Hanford kept the pressure on when quarterback Austin Forsyth hooked up with Kyle Lafon on a spectacular 59-yard touchdown pass 21/2 minutes later. Lafon took Forsyth's short pass on the left side and appeared to be stopped after about a 5-yard gain. But the 175-pound senior broke at least two tackles along the sideline and outran the Richland secondary to put the Falcons up 14-7.
A similar 19-yard pass-and-run from Richland quarterback Colter Quick to Ellijah Gardaya tied the score again with just 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
Hanford got it's final score of the night and a 21-14 halftime lead when Josh Tayamen picked off the first of his three interceptions on the night. Two plays later, Tyler Sanchez took a wobbly pass from Brennan Rains over the middle, broke one tackle and dived into the end zone to complete a 32-yard touchdown play.
"We just made too many mistakes in the first half," Richland coach mike Neidhold said. "We were uptight and distracted. But Hanford works hard. They've got a good staff over there. They are a very good team. This game went exactly how I thought it would."
The Bombers put the game away with a nearly flawless third quarter. Richland took the opening kickoff and drove 74 yard in 10 plays, all but two on the ground. Quick hit a wide open Connor Egbert with a perfect 21-yard touchdown pass at the 7:38 mark of the third quarter.
Richland took its first lead when Egbert made a spectacular diving catch on a 30-yard touchdown pass from quick with 4:04 left in the third.
Richland put the game away when Jarett Wolf blocked a Hanford punt, and Sawyer Powell scooped up the loose ball and raced 46 yards untouched to put the Bombers up 35-21 with 2:11 left in the third period.
"Richland just played an excellent third quarter Oram said. "But we expected to win. I'm still pleased with the way we compete and with our physical play. We just need to clean up our execution."
The game provided a number of impressive numbers for players on both teams. Robinson rushed 19 times for 150 yards, and teammate Cameron Simpson had 90 yard on only 13 carries as the Bombers amassed 270 rushing yards. DeVine had another solid game running the ball for Hanford with 94 yard on 20 carries.
Quick passed for 130 yard and three touchdowns, two to Egbert.
Richland 35, Hanford 21
Hanford 14 7 0 0 -- 21
Richland 14 0 21 0 -- 35
H--DeVine 19 run (Bishop kick)
R--Robinson 1 run (Taychack kick)
H--Lafon 59 pass from Forsyth (Bishop kick)
R--Gardaya 19 pass from Quick (Taychack kick)
H--Sanchez 32 p[ass from Rains (Bishop kick)
R--Egbert 21 pass from Quick (Taychack kick)
R--Egbert 30 pass from quick (Taychack kick)
R--Powell 46 blocked punt return (Taychack kick)
RUSHING--H, DeVine 20-94, Forsyth 5-(minus 11), Reeves 1-3, Rains 3-(minus 5), Kinsey 1-(minus 1); R, Robinson 19-150, Simpson 13-90, Quick 4-18, Baird 2-12, Chalmers 2-4.
PASSING--H, Forsyth 3-8-93, Rains 2-4-37; R, Quick 19-26-130.
RECEIVING--H, Jones 1-13, Green 1-17, Lafon 1-59, Sanchez 3-42. R, Simpson 1-7, Gardaya 2-26, Egbert 4-65, Redden 1-5, Cameron Quick 1-5.