Before Friday night’s game against visiting Wenatchee, Chiawana coach Steve Graff wanted to see improvement in his young Riverhawks team.
“Typically you see the most improvements between the first and second game,” Graff said.
After the game, Graff sighed, “We have some work to do.”
Chiawana was able to get in the win column with a 27-16 come-from-behind victory over the Panthers at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.
Paced by the running of Andrew Vargas, the Riverhawks used a 93-yard drive during the fourth quarter to push across the winning score. Corey Bell, who missed last week’s opener against Camas, scored the touchdown on a 13-yard sweep around the left end.
Vargas finished the night with 32 carries for 248 yards on the ground, many coming up the middle.
“He (Vargas) runs hard,” Graff said. “The offensive line blocked better for him tonight, which was good to see.”
Wenatchee was driving for a go-ahead score, converting a 4th-and-14 yard play on a 16-yard scramble by Wenatchee quarterback Rowan Parmenter moving the ball down to the 11 trailing 20-16. Then the Riverhawks’ defense stiffened and took over the ball at their own 7-yard line with 6:08 remaining.
Vargas took over for runs of 24, 20 and 12 yards during the drive leading to Bell’s score.
Wenatchee started strong leading 9-7 at halftime. Chiawana took the lead in the third quarter when quarterback Troy Simpkins connected with Michael Sanchez over the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.
But three plays later, Parmenter hit Tony Esquivel on a swing pass, and Esquivel scampered 80 yards through the Chiawana defense for the score, giving the Panthers the lead back.
Chiawana finished out the scoring and earned the victory.