Area high school football teams are starting to get into a groove heading into the second week of the regular season.
The majority of teams are still playing non-league contests as they prepare for the coming conference battles.
There are some interesting matchups tonight (all games kick off at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted):
Hermiston at Kamiakin, Lampson Stadium: Both teams are 0-1, and the visiting Bulldogs are the defending Oregon 5A state champions.
Kamiakin lost on the road to Ferndale 35-34 in overtime last Saturday, but the Braves rolled up 393 yards of offense in the game.
Jethro Questad rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns for the Braves, while Kamiakin quarterback Zach Borisch passed for 173 yards and three TDs.
Kennewick at Eisenhower: The Lions defense surrendered just 285 yards last week in a 27-0 loss at Ellensburg.
Kennewick must find more offense this week or their luck won’t improve against the Cadets, who scored 20 points in a 31-20 loss to Evergreen.
Richland at Shadle Park, Joe Albi Stadium, Spokane, 5 p.m.: The Bombers must also find more offense, after losing last Friday at home to Gonzaga Prep by a 13-10 score.
The defense, however, played well against the Bullpups and will need to do so again against Shadle.
“First off, these Shadle kids are very used to winning, so we got that issue right off the bat,” said Richland coach Mike Neidhold. “They are a very competitive program, so we have our hands full. Also, they like to spread the field out quite a bit on offense. That leaves a lot of space to defend, and they are pretty fussy on defense too.
“As for us, our defense played great last week against G-Prep,” Neidhold. “Alex Chapman had two interceptions, one for a pick-6, and that was nice. Lakota Wills had a great game too. He was in on everything, same for Brecken Galliher. We will need another great showing by our defense to give us a chance at them.”
Wenatchee at Chiawana, Edgar Brown Stadium: After a slow start against visiting Camas last Friday in a 35-14 loss, the Riverhawks look to bounce back against a visiting Panthers team that lost 43-19 to Mead.
Andrew Vargas rushed for 133 yards and two TDs last week for Chiawana, while quarterback Troy Simpkins had 169 yards passing. Josh Wilson caught six passes for 67 yards for Chiawana.
West Valley-Yakima at Hanford, Fran Rish Stadium: Brett Jay was a rousing success in his first game as Hanford’s head coach last week, as the Falcons beat Hermiston 41-20.
Falcons QB Desmond Samples had 266 yards of total offense — 221 passing and 45 rushing.
But Jay wants his team to keep pushing, and that starts with West Valley.
“(We need to) continue to stay aggressive by executing our game plan,” said Jay. “We must spread the ball around offensively and get as many of our players involved as we can. Offensively, we must win the line of scrimmage and execute our assignments. We must take care of the football.
“Defensively, we have to win the line of scrimmage and play in West Valley’s backfield,” Jay continued. “Also, we have to know where wide receiver Justin Vandebrake (10 catches, 151 yards last week) is at at all times. He can play, and so can their quarterback, Quinton Stromme. We must get takeaways! Lastly, we have to tackle as a team.”
East Valley-Yakima at Prosser, Fiker Stadium: The big Prosser stat from last week was Mustangs cornerback Michael Kernan getting four interceptions against Emerald Ridge. That’s right, four.
“Our defense played very well,’ said Prosser coach Corey Ingvalson. “We were fast and extremely effective disrupting Emerald Ridge’s flow and scheme. We forced seven turnovers throughout the game and kept Emerald Ridge under a 100 total yards rushing, which is a key for us. Any time we can hold a team under 14 points, we feel we have a strong chance to win.”
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