Now, it’s Wa-Hi’s turn.
Walla Walla High School’s football team (3-2 record) will be playing its third straight homecoming game on Friday — only, not as the visitor this time — with the Blue Devils hosting Kamiakin here at Borleske Stadium for a Mid-Columbia Conference matchup starting at 7 p.m.
“I know the boys are excited,” Blue Devils coach Greg Lupfer said. “It’s good for the players, and for the student body at Wa-Hi, but we have to maintain our focus.”
The Blue Devils look to go 3-for-3.
Hermiston had little to celebrate through wind and rain the night of its homecoming game two weeks ago, Wa-Hi leaving with a 14-3 victory.
Same for Richland last week at Fran Rish Stadium, though the host Bombers threatened with possession at midfield and 1:31 left in the fourth quarter, but the drive went nowhere as Wa-Hi held on for a 35-28 win.
The victory lifted Wa-Hi over .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2014, when they were also 3-2 (and later 5-3 before finishing with back-to-back losses).
But the 2019 Blues Devils understand their season is far from over.
“It sure is nice to be above .500,” Lupfer said. “The players were talking about it after the game, when we were lifting on Saturday.
“I heard them talking about how ‘we have more wins than losses,’ and I’m like, ‘Hey, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be when you’ve been working your tails off the way we have this year?’ That’s how it should be.
“But now we have to know that we still have four games left,” Lupfer said. “This season is going to depend on how we play in our next four games.”
The Blue Devils are prepared for a big challenge Friday.
Just ahead of the fifth-place Blue Devils in MCC standings, Kamiakin (3-1 in the league) is coming off a 43-25 victory over Pasco that tied them for second place along with Kennewick.
After five games overall, the Kamiakin offense is averaging 458. 2 yards — nearly 200 more than Wa-Hi — and the totals have been almost evenly split between running (1001) and passing (1290).
Kamiakin quarterback Henry Mercado tops the MCC with 1,238 yards and 15 touchdowns on 78-of-137 (.569) passing against only four interceptions.
The top targets include Kellen Rutz (457 yards and six TDs on 25 catches) and Woolley Downard (24 receptions for 427 yards and four TDs).
Meanwhile, Kamiakin running back Tuna Altahir leads the MCC with 790 yards and 11 TDs on 94 carries.
“They are extremely good,” Lupfer said. “They’ve got a great quarterback and a great tailback. They’ve got lots of height and speed at receiver. They’re just explosive on offense.
“We’ve got to figure out ways to combat that,” Lupfer said. “We’ve got to keep the ball in front of us, and like we’re always talking about, force them to turn the ball over and not turn it over ourselves. We do that, I think we’ll be ok.”