Kennewick, Royal & Connell All Post HS Football Playoff Victories
Local high school football weekend playoff road warriors Kennewick in Class 3A and Connell in Class 1A both eked out victories and top ranked Royal in Class 1A cruised again highlighting gridiron do-or-die action. Royal and Connell play each other next weekend for a chance to vie for a state Class 1A title.
Kennewick played the Bethel Braves in a consistently chippy, turnover laden and hanky-filled contest with the outcome being a missed extra point near the end of the 4th quarter as the Lions exhale and advance 21-20. It was Kennewick's 2nd straight one-point playoff win, both coming on the opposing teams' missed extra points.
The upcoming semi-final appearance for Kennewick will be only the fifth time the Lions have advanced this far in football.
Despite three turnovers in the first half, Kennewick's Myles Mayovsky scored with a 1-yard QB sneak late in the second quarter to make the score 14-7 Kennewick at the intermission.
Then in the second half, it was penalties and turnovers. On successive plays, Bethel coughed up the ball only to have Kennewick hand it right back to them on the next play. There were six turnovers between the two at that point.
Bethel scored late in the third quarter to tie the contest at 14-apiece headed to the 4th quarter. A gutsy Lions fake punt call paid off with a first down conversion from their own 30-yard line but that was negated by a Kennewick penalty.
A huge fourth down conversion by Bethel on a 4th-and-11 set up the Braves deep in Kennewick territory, but an illegal substitution by Bethel wiped a TD off the board. The drive ended at the 8:27 mark with Bethel missing on 36-yard field goal attempt.
Two plays later, Kennewick fumbled again, their fifth turnover of the night, and that led to another stop by the Lions defense, an interception, setting up Kennewick's offense at the Bethel 46-yard line.
Nathan Moses made a great catch for Kennewick on the next series with 1:37 to play at the two-yard line. Then on 2nd-and-goal from inside the 1,with 1:09 to play, QB Elijah Tanner punched it in and the Lions punched their ticket for a showdown with the top ranked O'Dea Fighting Irish next weekend.
But then Bethel scored, and then they had the extra point blocked, so there's that.
Oh, and then Bethel bagged the ensuing onside kick too. The Lions D bent, but did not break, again, at the very end, and fittingly put the contest away on an incomplete pass on the final play of the game. Whew.
Earlier in the day, in the Class 2A playoffs, the Prosser Mustangs were routed 48-15 by the Steilacoom Sentinels, Tri-Cities Prep Jaguars were blown out by the top-seeded Onalaska Loggers 50-0 in the Class 2B playoffs and even home cooking could not help Yakima's LaSalle Lightning as they were schooled by Lynden Lyncs 31-7 in Yakivegas.
In Class 1A action, Royal continues to make impressive statements with lopsided wins, no matter the stakes, as the Knights blasted the Omak Pioneers 62-6. Connell has exactly one week to figure out how to keep Royal in check as the Eagles will play the top-seeded Knights next as Connell held off Mt. Baker and upset the Mountaineers 14-9.