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  • Riverhawks Crush Suns 44-0

    CHIAWANA 44, SOUTHRIDGE 0: AJ Vongphachanh rushed for four touchdowns as visiting Chiawana beat Southridge at Lampson Stadium.

    Vongphachanh scored on runs of 2, 33, 1 and 6 yards.

    Riverhawks quarterback Preston Vine added two TD passes, including a 25-yard scoring strike to Bennie Alferness. Alferness was the team’s leading receiver with 3 catches for 61 yards.

    Alex Teal led Southridge offensively with four receptions for 71 yards.

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  • Defense gets Chiawana football back on the winning track - TCH Article

    AJ Vongphachanh worked on defending the play all week long in practice.

    The Chiawana senior linebacker knew what it looked like: When Hermiston quarterback Andrew James would fake a pass one way, he’d spin around and come back and dump the pass the other way for a screen play to his running back, Wyatt Noland.

    “We had a good week of game film preparation,” said Vongphachanh. “Only, when we played against it all week long in practice, I kept dropping the ball.”

    But on Friday night, at Edgar Brown Stadium, during the Riverhawks’ Homecoming game, Vongphachanh actually caught the pass this time.

    His interception came just 5 yards away from the end zone, and the big fellow waltzed into the end zone for the touchdown. It was the play that gave the Riverhawks the lead for good in a 34-10 Mid-Columbia Conference football victory over Hermiston.

    The win vaulted Chiawana back atop the MCC standings – tied with Hanford and Kamiakin, all three teams with 4-1 conference records.

    Vongphachanh led a swarming Chiawana defense that held the MCC’s No. 2 offense to just 223 yards.

    Noland, the conference’s leading rusher coming into the contest with 842 yards, was held to 82 yards on 25 carries.

    “We had to stop their run game first,” said Chiawana coach Steve Graff.

    It didn’t look good in the beginning, as James and Noland marched Hermiston 61 yards on 10 plays on the opening kickoff, with Noland going the final yard for a TD and a quick 7-0 Bulldogs lead.

    But from there, Hermiston had 12 more possessions and got just a field goal out of it.

    The other 11 possessions resulted in (in order) a fumble, a punt, a pick-6, a fumble, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, interception and punt.

    In all, Chiawana turned four Hermiston turnovers into 28 points.

    The key came three possessions in, with Vongphachanh’s pick-6 early in the second quarter. He said he knew what the play was when the offensive linemen released too soon. His TD turned a 7-6 Chiawana deficit into a 12-7 lead that was never relinquished.

    As an added bonus, Vongphachanh bulled into the end zone on the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt.

    But the Riverhawks weren’t done.

    On the ensuing kickoff, Chiawana sophomore Aidan Villarreal did a masterful job of popping the football out of the kick return man’s hands. Villarreal also grabbed the ball and ran it 24 yards down to the 2-yard line.

    One play later, Riverhawks QB Preston Vine dived into the end zone for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.

    If anyone is counting, that was two touchdowns in just 14 seconds – an offensive explosion similar to what Chiawana had given up two weeks prior to Union and last week to Hanford in consecutive losses.

    “I know how that feels,” said Graff. “It doesn’t feel good.”

    Vine also understood that pain. It was his two passes intercepted by Hanford last week that helped provide the Falcons with an insurmountable 21-0 lead.

    But on Friday, Vine was almost flawless, throwing TD passes of 22 yards (to Kobe Young), 7 yards (to Bennie Alferness), and 22 yards (to Dion Lee).

    “We talked about setback, comeback this week,” said Vine. “Our line did an amazing job tonight, both in pass blocking and run blocking.”

    For Hermiston, it was a rare occasion in which the Bulldogs had to try to make a comeback in a game.

    “Those two special teams turnovers took the wind out of our sails,” said Hermiston coach David Faaeteete, whose team won the Oregon 5A state title last year. “They only had to go 20 yards and 1 yard after those turnovers. But aside from a few guys, a lot of our kids do not have the experience of playing in big games like this.”

    However, at 4-2 the Bulldogs are still very much alive for one of the two Class 3A postseason playoff berths available to the MCC. And after a non-league game at home next Friday against Eisenhower, Hermiston still has key games at Hanford and at home against Kamiakin.

    For Chiawana, the win was important in stopping a two-game losing streak.

    “The biggest difference,” said Vongphachanh, “in the last two weeks was our game film preparation.”

    NOTES: Vongphachanh was very much the star of the game. He had 7 tackles (one for loss), a quarterback sack, a hurry, a fumble recovery and an interception. He also rushed for 63 yards on just six carries. … Teammate Hunter Williams also had a strong game on the defensive line, with 7 tackles (two for loss) and a QB sack; LB Cameron Breier added 5 tackles, a QB sack and a pass breakup. … LB Ryan Arnold led Hermiston’s defense with 10 tackles (one for loss), while fellow LB Zane Davis added 9 tackles (one for loss) and a hurry. … Chiawana, which plays at Southridge next Friday, currently has ahold of the No. 2 playoff seed among MCC Class 4A teams.

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  • Alumni - Deion Singleton has career night replacing ejected Skyler Thomas

    Utah Washington St Football.JPG U2SrojR t1170

    Washington State backup safety Deion Singleton was about to have career day. But it came as a result of a rather bizarre play: a fumble review that resulted in the ejection of starter Skyler Thomas.

    Early in the 28-24 come-from behind victory against Utah Saturday, the Cougars looked like they had flipped the script on an earlier turnover when the Utes’ Britain Covey caught a pass and fumbled after a hit by WSU’s Thomas.

    But after a lengthy review, the Cougars not only did not get the ball, they lost Thomas after he was called for targeting even though no penalty was called on the field.

    In came Singleton, a redshirt junior who grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, but played his senior season at Chiawana High School in Pasco. He finished the night with eight total tackles, including five unassisted stops.

    “I though Singleton did a good job replacing Thomas, for sure,” Coach Mike Leach said. “He’s been doing some good things this year.”

    Singleton, a 6-2, 195-pound defensive back, kept humble about his big night, saying coaches instill a “next-man-up” approach to make sure players are ready to step up.

    “I didn’t actually see the play, the targeting that was called,” Singleton said. “My mentality was, just do my job and stay focused and be a team player. And, be around the ball. It definitely feels good to be out there.”

    His play got notice from his teammates. Will Rogers, a 6-3, 250-pound sophomore defensive lineman, who was credited for three tackles against Utah, said Singleton played well.

    “Deion came in and he did his job. He had a couple big hits filling his holes,” Rogers said. “The dude played well. Hats off to him.”

    The defense got tested early with the legs of Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley, who rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns in addition to throwing for 118 yards.

    “He’s a gifted guy,” Leach said of Huntley. “He’s kind of a key to their offense … because you’ve got to keep your eye on both things.”

    Leach said the defense struggled at times in the first half to contain the mobile quarterback.

    “I thought we played better in the second half on defense, especially in the fourth quarter,” he said. “I thought the fourth quarter we played together and battled away. It was one of the more physical games I’ve been involved in.”

    The biggest stop of the night came on the second-to-last drive for Utah. On second and 12 from the Utah 37-yard line, Huntley dropped back to pass and was sacked for 14 yards by WSU linebacker Peyton Pelleur, who led the team with 13 tackles.

    “It’s just a special feeling, making a play like that and just hearing the crowd erupt,” said Pelleur, 6-foot, 230-pound senior from Sammamish. “It’s something that you really will remember for the for the rest of your life.”

    On the very next play, Utah running back Zack Moss scampered for 16 yards, but he was stopped 10 yards short of a first down by Singleton.

    After the win, Skyler Thomas was waiting to celebrate with his victorious Cougars.

    “We always all talk as a team and we always congratulate each other and whoever gets in,” Singleton said. Thomas “came up, not just to me but everybody else, and said, ‘You guys did a good job.’”

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  • Riverhawks Improve to 3-0

    Chiawana 48, Walla Walla 3: The Riverhawks defense nearly pitched a shutout, and freshman quarterback JP Zamora threw for three touchdowns in an MCC win over visiting Walla Walla.

    The Blue Devils were held to just 20 yards of offense. Aarloh Valdovinos returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown.

    Gabe Schilz ran for 48 yards and two scores for Chiawana, and Ryan Lowry kicked 30- and 29-yard field goals along with four extra points.

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School Name*W-L*Pct.*PF*PAW-LPct.PFPAStrk
Hanford5-10.833219836-10.8572751184 W
Chiawana5-10.833193735-20.7142021142 W
Kennewick4-20.6671391205-20.7141811205 W
Richland4-20.667173815-20.7142011085 W
Hermiston4-20.667205885-20.7142661301 W
Kamiakin4-20.667163664-30.571172831 L
Pasco1-50.167541801-60.143612154 L
Walla Walla1-60.143852331-60.143852336 L
Southridge0-70.000133200-70.000133207 L