Riverhawks pound Bulldogs

Chiawana holds off Kennewick in MCC football

Vargas leads Chiawana over Walla Walla 36-13

Vargas, Chiawana outrun Hanford 49-35

Courtesty Tri City Herald

Chiawana might not quite have the same caliber as they have in years past. After playing in two straight state championship games — winning the title two years ago — the Riverhawks are fighting just to make the playoffs this season.

They showed how much fight they had Friday night. Chiawana withstood a comeback bid from the upstart Hanford Falcons before finally pulling away in the final minutes.

Andrew Vargas capped his big night with a 39-yard touchdown run with 1:55 remaining in the game as the Riverhawks pulled out a hard-fought 49-35 win over the Falcons at Fran Rish Stadium.

The win gets Chiawana back to .500 on the season at 3-3 and 2-2 in the Mid-Columbia Conference. Meanwhile, Hanford falls to 4-2 and is also 2-2 in the conference.

Vargas was a workhorse all night for the Riverhawks, carrying the ball 43 times for 327 yards and three touchdowns. But it was his final run of the night that was his biggest.

After Hanford closed the gap to 42-35 with 2:15 remaining, the Riverhawks were facing a second down and 10. That’s when Vargas burst through the right side of the line and reached the end zone to all but put the game out of reach.

Vargas also had a 63-yard touchdown run in the game as the Riverhawks scored 21 fourth-quarter points.

Forgetful Start

Falcons start was a forgetful one. Hanford turned the ball over two times – and interception and a fumble – and also was penalized for a holding in the end zone which resulted in a safety. The Falcons offense managed just 17 yards of total offense in the first 12 minutes.

Chiawana capitalized on those mistakes and rushed out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to two quick touchdowns and a safety.

Coming Back

With the clock turning to the second quarter, it also seem to turn the Falcons fortunes around. Hanford, on its first possession of the second quarter, got on the scoreboard with a 28-yard touchdown catch by Gavin Slack from freshman quarterback Joshua Fonner to cut the margin to 14-7.

The Falcons completely erased the slow start on their next drive, using 8 plays to go 76 yards for a touchdown, this time on a 12-yard run by Tayvonne Miller to tie the game.

The game went back-and-forth from there and Falcons tied the game at 28 late in the third quarter on a Miller 14-yard run.

Chiawana soars to 45-13 victory over Southridge

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If there was any question as to how the young Chiawana football team would bounce back from a big loss at Richland, the answer was pretty clear early on.

The Riverhawks breezed 57 yards downfield in less than 90 seconds for an Andrew Vargas touchdown, and Chiawana was off to the races against the undermanned and undersized Suns.

The Riverhawks pulled away with a big second-quarter scoring spree on their way to a 45-13 victory at Edgar Brown Stadium.

Chiawana improved to 2-2 overall on the season, while Southridge fell to 1-3 after losing its third consecutive game.

Vargas had a big night running the ball, carrying the ball 19 times for 127 yards and four touchdowns. His second touchdown run, a 3-yard jaunt, put the Riverhawks in front 21-0 with 9:50 remaining in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Suns’ run-oriented offense was kept in check all night, rushing the ball 40 times for just 148 yards. Southridge had just 210 yards of total offense.

Scoring in bunches

After the opening drive, the game seemed to settle down for the Suns. But that was before the Riverhawks scored 21 points in 2:31 to break the game wide open.

Troy Simpkins connected with Roman Ruiz for a 21-yard touchdown reception on fourth down to push the lead to 14-0 with 10:04 remaining in the first half. It was the second fourth-down conversion on the drive for Chiawana.

Southridge fumbled the ensuing kickoff.

One play and 14 seconds later, Vargas was in the end zone as the lead grew to 21-0.

Southridge gave the ball right back to the Riverhawks a few plays later on an interception by Hayden Carrasco. On the next play, Simpkins connected with Ruiz for a second time, this time from 20 yards to push the lead to 28-0.

Ending the drought

The run-first Suns try to mix in a few passes here and there, but it has been a struggle the past two games.

Last week, the Suns did not complete a pass, going 0-for-9 with one interception.

The Suns snapped the string of incomplete passes late in the second quarter on a screen pass to Zayid Al-Ghani that went for 43 yards, setting up an Al-Ghani 5-yard touchdown run right before halftime.

For the game, Southridge quarterbacks combined to go 2-for-5 for 62 yards.