KENNEWICK – Trailing 16-0 early in their Class 3A state playoff game on Saturday was no problem for North Thurston’s football team.
The Rams roared back in a big way behind two touchdown runs by Mo Manning to beat Kennewick, 35-23, at Lampson Stadium.
North Thurston (9-2) will face University of Spokane (7-4), which defeated O’Dea, 34-6, next weekend in Spokane in a quarterfinal playoff game.
North Thurston left Lacey at 7:30 a.m. for its 4 p.m. game, and the Lions took advantage of North Thurston’s long bus ride, jumping to 16-0 lead just minutes into the first quarter.
But touchdowns from Manning (6-yard run) and Brandon Belisario (47-yard run), and the ensuing extra points, cut the Lions’ lead to two after the first quarter.
Manning scored on a 16-yard run in the second quarter to give the Rams a lead they would not relinquish. Another TD upped the lead to 28-16 at halftime, but Kennewick was not done.
A 55-yard touchdown pass cut the Rams’ lead to 26-23 midway through the third quarter, but on the Rams’ ensuing possession, Hayden Maliska’s touchdown secured the victory.