Catch up on archived RIVERHAWK REVIEW reports! Just click on the links below
Introducing the RIVERHAWK REVIEW (9/5) Richland @ CHS (9/19) CHS @ Walla Walla (10/17)
CHS @ Camas (9/5) CHS @ Southridge (9/25) Kennewick @ CHS (10/24)
CHS @ Wenatchee (9/12) October Games (10/1 - 10/17) CHS @ Pasco (10/31)
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11/7 vs LEWIS AND CLARK (Spokane)
Riverhawks 24, Tigers 0

11/15 vs A.C. DAVIS (Yakima)
Riverhawks 47, Pirates 7

11/22 vs GONZAGA PREP (Spokane)
Riverhawks 38, Bullpups 3

11/29 vs GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN (Graham)
Riverhawks 28, Eagles 12

12/6 vs The Bothell Cougars
Tacoma Dome - 7:30 pm

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10/24 - The mighty Riverhawks level the Lions, HOF linebacker delivers pep talk

October 24, 2014 - PASCO, WASH. -  The Chiawana Riverhawks (7-1, 6-0) and the Kennewick Lions (3-5, 2-4) battle for respect on a chilly fall night. Before the game, the team was privileged to have Hall of Fame All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher[INFO] in the locker room for inspiration. It is also Senior Night, and all of the senior football players met with their parents on the field in a respectful and touching display. Fans and players are excited and ready to play.

Kennewick begins play at their own 17. The first snap is a fumble, and the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks now have the ball at the Kennewick 24. Four rigorous run plays later, the pigskin penetrates the pylon plane. At 10:04, the score is 7-0.
After the kick, the Loins have excellent field position near midfield. They go straight to the air, with no avail. Four-and-out, Kennewick turns the ball over. Chiawana has the ball at their own 47.
A useful mix of run and pass forges a nice drive for the 'Hawks. The team pounds and drives, keeping the Lions on their heels. At 4:17 left in the quarter, a short run set up by a nice pass puts another six on the board. The extra point makes the score 14-0.
The kickoff places the Lions at their own 22. Sticking to a strategy based on the passing game, Kennewick moves the ball down the field with interesting inconsistency. A sack, then a couple of passes; a penalty, then a couple of swift strikes to receivers. The Lions make it down to the Chiawana 37.

End of 1st Quarter - Score: Riverhawks 14, Kennewick 0 

Kennewick continues to move the ball with a pass for a first down. A couple of runs takes them further into Riverhawk territory, but an intentional grounding penalty takes the wheels off of their wagon. The drive sputters, and the Lions are forced to turn the ball over at the 30.
After an incomplete pass, the Riverhawks rip off a couple of nice runs for 44 yards. Just inside the Kennewick 30, the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks pass and pound their way into the end zone. After the extra point, the score is 21-0 with 8:05 left in the half.
The kickoff puts the Lions at their own 21. A couple of run plays later and they fumble. The ball is turned over, and Chiawana has the ball at the Kennewick 38. The Riverhawks fumble on their first play from scrimmage, and Kennewick has the ball back again at their own 33. They go three-and-out, and Chiawana has the ball at their own 18.
Chiawana doesn't have much success, and are forced to punt. The Lions begin again with good field position near midfield.
The first couple of plays are passes, with time winding down in the half. After a bit of initial success, the Lions stall, and the drive fizzles. The resulting punt puts Chiawana back at their own 20. Time runs out as Chiawana goes to the ground-and-pound.

End of 2nd Quarter - Score: Riverhawks 21, Kennewick 0 

Chiawana begins play at their own 30. A blistering run for about 37 yards puts them at the Kennewick 33. The mighty Riverhawks continue on by tearing the turf with more run plays. Chiawana makes it down to the Lions 14, where they fumble the ball and turn it over. The Lions begin play at their own 27.
After an incomplete pass, the felines favor fortitude, and run the ball for almost thirty yards on four straight plays. They top off the burst with a pass for 24. The Lions find themselves with a first down at the Chiawana 27. After a short run, Kennewick loses ten with a bad snap. A broken pass forces the punt.
The punt is muffed, and Kennewick begins play at the Riverhawk 7 with a first-and-goal. Kennewick takes full advantage of this gift, and they score a touchdown with 4:12 left in the quarter. An extra point makes the score 21-7.
The Riverhawks start at their own 33. They can't get anything going, and punt the ball. The Lions get good field position again, at their own 42. The crafty Chiawana defense holds down the fort, and Kennewick punts the ball. The 'Hawks begin at their own 15. Again the Lion defense puts the Riverhawks in a fourth-down situation around their own 20.

End of 3rd Quarter - Score: Riverhawks 21, Kennewick 7

The fourth quarter starts with a punt that gives Kennewick great field position at the 50. The Lions start in the air, albeit haltingly. An incomplete pass and a delay of game keeps them from advancing at a steady clip. One bomb to the air ends in an interception, and results in a razzle-dazzle run complete with nice blocks and nifty moves. It is all for naught, however, as offsetting penalties put a replay on the prior down. In the end, Kennewick was forced to punt, and the Riverhawks regain possession at their own 44.
A pass play sets up a first down in Kennewick territory. The next four plays chew up some clock and gridiron as the 'Hawks run the ball. Just inside the 30 of the Lions, the Riverhawks give up the ball on an interception. Kennewick has the ball at their own 24.
The Lions go straight to the air. On eight consecutive pass plays, Kennewick only manages to advance 18 yards, when they turn the ball over on downs. Chiawana has the ball at the Kennewick 43.
The Riverhawks eat up the time by running on all downs. The mighty Chiawana Riverhawks grind away at the defense, and take the ball down to the Kennewick 15, with a first down. The Lion defense will have none of it, as they force Chiawana to turn the ball over on downs deep in Lion territory. Trapped at their own 6 yard-line, the Lions attempt a pass, which is intercepted. The 'Hawks then run out the clock , and finish the game at the Kennewick one-yard line.

Final Score: Riverhawks 21, Kennewick 7
Next Week's Game - vs. Pasco (2-5, 3-6) @ Pasco (Edgar Brown Stadium)

The Hawk Talker's Two Cents

"You can never get complacent because a loss is always around the corner." - Venus Williams

This week, the play of the Riverhawks exposed a virus. This virus will destroy the success of the team, if it is not controlled. The name of the virus is "complacency." Here are the signs of complacency as they applied to the game versus the Kennewick Lions:

- Lack of ball protection, i.e.- interceptions, sloppy carries, fumbles, allowing great field position and muffed punts
- Wrapping up on tackles - completing the play
- Linemen not playing to the whistle
- Receivers not pressing the corners on every play, even run plays

It is hard for starters of a great team to be on their "A" game every play of every contest. There are ways to work on this, however, it takes a coaching staff willing to wander way outside the normal coaching comfort zone. Also, this disease can have an effect on the skippers as well as the players. Complacency can infiltrate a coaching staff in the form of a phrase such as, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," meaning that since they are a great team, they must be doing everything correctly. The next great teams are counting on this, as they formulate plans and work hard to exploit weaknesses. As long as the weaknesses remain, there will be an opportunity for a persistent opposing team to take advantage of this. As long as the starters are complacent, there will be a weakness that can be exploited by alert and competent teams, possibly in the playoffs.
How do you keep a team of starters fired up for a game? How do you "keep them hungry?" One way is to make them earn their position every week. Challenge them individually with certain components of their game to work on that week, and place them side-by-side against another player with those same strengths. For example, if a receiver looks like they have lost a step speed-wise, challenge them to run the best of three 40-yard dashes after every practice with the fastest player on the team. Or, if a player is carrying the ball like a loaf of bread in a game, have them run through a fumble drill every practice until they start protecting the ball. In the case of our mighty Riverhawks, I have a specific solution. Start the second-string team this Friday against Pasco.
I know that it seems radical, but this is exactly the type of coaching decision that will accomplish many things the team needs, going into the playoffs. It instantly creates within the starter a desire to play. The starters will have an opportunity to view their position being played by someone else, and they can evaluate the needs of the position for at least one series, anyway. Also, the second-string players will feel some obligation to step up their game, given the new importance placed on them. Moreover, can you imagine the bit of confusion that will occur if Pasco notices that the starters are not starting? If nothing else, it will provide a distraction that can set the tone of bewilderment for the Bulldog game plan.
This strategy will work if the players practice with this swap in mind all week. The starters will know that they aren't going to start, and they can put a little heat on the backup guys to do a great job. They can work together, and communicate the position details with one another. The idea is not that the starters are going to be benched. The idea is that the starters will have a new, stronger perspective, and their job as a starter will be valued a bit more. It is also important to note that this change doesn't need to be permanent or even long lasting. If we start our second string offense and defense for the first drive of the game, respectively, then the starters can take over for the rest of the game. Even if the result is catastrophic, and the Bulldogs (gasp!) score, I believe that our starters will come back in the game with a sense of purpose, and this will help them to focus in order to win the game decisively. With the playoffs looming, this group of champions can benefit from a bit of outside-the-box thinking that will stimulate their interest and energize their play.
I know that my master plan probably won't be in the cards for this week's game. I am curious to find out what the coaching staff brings to the table to shake things up a bit, and instill some energy into the players. Even if this strategy is used at a few key, visible positions, it will throw off Pasco's game. I am a firm believer in the element of surprise as a tactic, and it would be nice to see some surprises, going forward.
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 Hawk Talker is an enthusiastic fan of the Chiawana Riverhawks football team. His goal is to provide an accurate and honest review of each game in an effort to summarize the play of the team for others who may be interested. Please visit the links at the right of this page and participate in the poll when you have time. Thanks!

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