Heart of a Lion: Kennewick Football Advances to State Final
(Puyallup, WA) -- With a record of 12-1, and back-to-back wins over provincial powerhouses, the Kennewick Lions will play in the WIAA 3A State Championship game this Saturday. It may seem like an improbable run, but for them, it's unfinished business. Head Coach Randy Affholter and his pride made it to the state Semifinals in 2019. At that time, All-Conference RB/LB Myles Mayovsky and other Seniors were still young Sophomores developing a taste for postseason play. The COVID-19 Pandemic then cut the 2020-21 season short leaving little room for redemption. Now, two years later, that time has come.
The Lions finished the regular season 8-1; their only loss coming at the hands of 4A Semi-finalist Kamiakin. That was good enough to warrant a home contest against Timberline in the Districts round. Kennewick won 28-7 to earn a spot in the state playoff bracket. Spanaway Lake came to town for the first-round matchup. The Sentinels led by a single point entering the 4th quarter, but the Lions would ultimately win 26-21. The team was on the road at O'Dea in the Quarterfinals. There, in the shadow of the Space Needle, Kennewick exacted revenge. The Lions scored first and never lost their lead en route to a 27-21 upset. The win set up another road trip out west in the Semifinals last week where the group took down another strong private school--Eastside Catholic. It was a defensive showcase in which a Simeon Howard pick-six helped secure Kennewick's 17-7 victory. The stage is now set for a Championship showdown with top-ranked Bellevue.
Undefeated on the season, the Bellevue Wolverines are the favorite to win the state title; they have won every game this year far by at least two scores. Most recently, it was a 27-3 win over Marysville-Pilchuck in the Semifinals. The Tomahawks actually led 3-0 early, but Bellevue Senior RB William Wang rushed for three touchdowns. He tallied a season-high five touchdowns one week prior in the program's 56-22 Quarterfinal win over Rainier Beach.
With a title on the line, the Lions and the Wolverines will collide at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup on Saturday. You can catch the action with live coverage beginning at 11:45am on 610 KONA, and streaming online at 610kona.com.