Hermiston Turns Back Hanford, 48-13

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The Hermiston Bulldogs got off to a fast start and never looked back Friday night, defeating the Hanford Falcons, 48-13, to open the 2014 football season.

Hayden Simon blocked a punt after Hanford failed to make a first down on their opening drive and Austin White picked it up and took it in for a quick 7-0 lead for the Bulldogs. Hermiston, the defending Columbia River Conference champions, got away with fumbling a pair of fumbled punt returns, thanks to a stingy defense that gave up just six Hanford first downs in the entire first half.

The Bulldogs also survived 13 first-half penalties for a total of 110 yards. The sloppy execution, however, couldn’t hold Hermiston back as senior quarterback Chase Knutz hit Carson Morter on a 26-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.

Hanford turned the ball over on their next possession when Ethan Snow intercepted quarterback Desmond Samples’ pass and returned it 27 yards to put Hermiston up 21-0. Following a Luis Medina field goal, the Bulldogs got right back on the board on a 1-yard touchdown run by Cory Adams to make it 31-0. Another Medina field goal gave Hermiston a 34-0 halftime lead.

Adams found the end zone again early in the third quarter when he scampered 14 yards to make it 41-0. Under Washington state prep football rules, the clock begins to run continuously once a team goes up by 40, so the game went by in a flash following Adams’ second score of the game.

The Falcons finally got on the board with about 4 minutes left in the third quarter, thanks to a 2-yard rushing touchdown, but Hermiston answered right back with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Knutz to Morter for their second hook-up of the game.

Hanford scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game when Samples threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jarod Cable. The extra point was blocked.

The 48-13 final score mirrors the Bulldogs’ winning score from last year’s opening game victory over Rex Putnam.

The Bulldogs will host Kamiakin next Friday at Kennison Field with kick off set for 7 p.m.