PASCO -- They call it the Gravel Pit Bowl, and the trophy -- quite literally -- is a chunk of rock.
So it figures that Friday night's neighborhood football rivalry between Pasco and Chiawana would come down to a heavy dose of Jordan Downing smashing into the Bulldogs defense.
Downing bulled his way to 244 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries, giving the Riverhawks the muscle they needed to pull out a 22-14 win over the Bulldogs at Edgar Brown Stadium.
"We try some stuff out when the defense stacks the box," said Downing, held to under 100 yards in last week's opening win over Hanford. "But it's good to just get the ball and attack somebody.
"We're going to our bread and butter."
Indeed, Chiawana (2-0) rolled up 263 yards on the ground, more than enough to prop up a passing game that still is a work in progress with sophomore Joey Zamora growing accustomed to the Friday night lights.
"The seniors have started in the playoffs. They know what this is like," Chiawana receiver and safety C.J. Edrington said. "This one definitely had a playoff atmosphere."
Both sides of Edgar Brown were filled up, and the fans got a good show, especially as both teams came out of their shells in the second quarter.
Miquiyah Zamora scored on a 7-yard TD flip from his cousin, Joey, less than a minute into the second -- that after Edrington made a key play to beat the defender coming back to the ball on a 19-yard pass play.
Downing scored on a 50 yard run with 4:45 to play before the half. Chiawana failed to convert extra points after each score.
Pasco lost a golden scoring chance right before Downing's TD run. First, Lonnie Hurley broke free for a 29-yard score, only to have the play brought back on a procedure penalty. Then, on second-and-goal from the 2, Hurley hauled in a swing pass from T.J. Avery but was slung to the ground near the goal line. The ball popped loose, and Chiawana recovered in the end zone.
"We're getting there," said Pasco coach Dustin Lamb, whose team fell to 0-2 but has played three good halves.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board late in the third when defensive linebacker Zack Kreider sniffed out a screen, outjumped the receiver for the ball and then flashed some wheels on a 76-yard interception return.
With Pasco within 12-7, Chiawana went ground-and-pound, calling Downing's number on all but one play of a 14-play, 67-yard drive that resulted in Isaac Mitz's 20-yard field goal.
A three-and-out and defused fake punt by the defense -- which had yet to allow an offensive TD to that point -- put the ball back in Downing's hands. The Riverhawks promptly drove the 33 yards for a 22-7 lead with 2:26 to play.
Pasco converted quickly, with Ethan Cantu making a great catch-and-run to cover 57 yards for a touchdown with 2:08 to play. But the Bulldogs' onside kick was recovered when Miquiyah Zamora went high up for the ball.
Cantu's catch accounted for more than a third of Pasco's offense. Avery was 7-for-15 for 112 yards, but the Bulldogs managed just 41 yards on 22 carries.
It was a big night for Cantu, who turned in his best work playing corner and matched up with Zamora. Among his top plays was breaking up a pass in the end zone.
"I know it's going to make me better going up against the best," Cantu said. "I stopped him."
Stopped one aspect of the Chiawana attack, maybe. But shutting down the Riverhawks altogether is a whole other matter.
Chiawana 22, Pasco 14
Pasco 0 0 7 7 -- 14
Chiawana 0 12 0 10 -- 22
C--Miquiyah Zamora 7 pass from Joey Zamora (kick fail)
C--Jordan Downing 50 run (pass fail)
P--Zack Kreider 76 interception return (Ryan Gibson kick)
C--FG Isaac Mitz 20
C--Downing 9 run (Mitz kick)
P--Ethan Cantu 57 pass from T.J. Avery (Gibson kick)
RUSHING--P, Lonnie Hurley 14-30, Luis Murillo 4-15, Avery 4-(minus 4). C, Downing 37-244, Terro Bell 4-24, J. Zamora 2-(minus 5).
PASSING--P, Avery 7-15-0-112. C, J. Zamora 8-22-1-103, Mitz 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING--P, Cantu 2-59, Hurley 2-13, Jonathan McCormick 1-26, Karson King 1-11, Murillo 1-3. C, M. Zamora 4-66, C.J. Edrington 3-26, Zach Flieger 1-11.
FIRST DOWNS--P 5, C 16. FUMBLES-LOST--P 2-1, C 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDS--P 7-42, C 6-60.