KENNEWICK — On the first brisk night of the season, it took the Kennewick Lions a few series to get warmed up. But once they did, they never cooled off.
Grant Woods ran for 198 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, and the Lions defense pitched its third shutout of the season in a 35-0 rout of the Pasco Bulldogs on Thursday night at Lampson Stadium.
The win sends the 10th-ranked Lions (8-1, 6-1 CBBN 3A) into the postseason with just a single loss. Kennewick will entertain the No. 2 seed from the Greater Spokane League -- the winner of tonight's North Central-Mount Spokane game -- at 5:30 p.m. next Friday at Lampson ahead of Kamiakin's game against the CBBN No. 4, either Hanford or Eastmont.
Pasco (0-9, 0-7) kept the wraps on Woods during Kennewick's first two series, limiting him to 9 yards on his first six carries. But on the first play of the Lions' third possession, the speedy senior charged through a lane opened by Garrett Wilz and Clayten Ayres and raced 44 yards for the score.
The carry sent the CBBN 3A rushing leader over 1,000 yards, but he said that was the last thing on his mind.
"I was just thinking we need the score," said Woods, who sits with 1,168 yards and 14 rushing TDs. "They shut us down the first two drives."
It was just the start of a big night for the Kennewick offense, and a long one for the Bulldogs.
Woods scored on a 10-yard on the next possession and added 48- and 7-yard scores in the second half. Bryce Leavitt hit Brock Schuh in stride on a seam route for a 31-yard score at the end of the first half for a 21-0 lead.
The Lions went on to roll up 364 total yards, 286 on the ground.
"The line does a good job, and Grant runs hard," said two-way lineman Jarod Gonzales. "He doesn't stop. He fights for those extra yards."
Meanwhile, the defense was at its stonewall best, limiting the Bulldogs to 188 total yards. It was the seventh time in nine games Kennewick has limited the opposition to seven points or less.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they contributed to their own demise with three interceptions -- one each by Schuh, Chase Reining and Tory Osmundson. Pasco also lost a fumble and at halftime had more yards in penalties (60) than yards of offense (57).
The Bulldogs did get something clicking in the second half when quarterback Sean McNiel found a rhythm with Jesse Salazar, who finished with eight catches for 87 yards. But whenever Pasco got within sight of the end zone, something broke down.
"We try to hard," said Pasco coach Dustin Lamb. "Push hard.
"We just play like a young team."
Pasco will cap the season next week with an opponent to be determined.
Meanwhile, the Lions will start the postseason on a high note.
"Everyone is stepping up and doing their job," Woods said, "being the athletes they're expected to be."
Note: Kennewick was playing without head coach Bill Templeton, who was out of the country on a family matter. Offensive coordinator Andy Prien filled in.
Kennewick 35, Pasco 0
Pasco 0 0 0 0 — 0
Kennewick 7 14 7 7 — 35
K—Grant Woods 44 run (Paul Martinez kick)
K—Woods 10 run (Martinez kick)
K—Brock Schuh 31 pass from Bryce Leavitt (Martinez kick)
K—Woods 48 run (Martinez kick)
K—Woods 7 run (Martinez kick)
RUSHING—P, Clifton Lozano 14-21, Miguel Torres 2-6, Kris Cruz 2-5, T.J. Avery 1-2, Ethan Cantu 3-(minus 8), Sean McNiel 6-(minus 10). K, Woods 23-198, Leavitt 6-36, Hunter Scanlin 9-32, Bodie Simpson 1-18, Jesse Salazar 2-4, Kaden Julian 1-(minus 2).
PASSING—P, McNiel 17-27-3—172. K, Leavitt 7-14-0—78.
RECEIVING—P, Torres 8-87, Lozano 4-36, Cantu 3-33, Avery 2-16. K, Simpson 4-25, Schuh 3-53.
FIRST DOWNS—P 10, K 18. FUMBLES-LOST—P 3-1, K 0-0. PENALTIES-YARDS—P 10-78, K 7-46.