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)
Follow THE RIVERHAWK REVIEW as Chiawana makes their way toward another title! Click on the links for the reports
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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Report - Semi-finals vs. the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles

It is a crispy day, with a breeze and a hint of winter in the air. The mighty Chiawana Riverhawks (11-1, 7-0) accept the quarterfinal challenge presented by the persistent Gonzaga Prep Bullpups (10-2, 5-0). GP, as expected, look sharp and strong. Could it be that on this day the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks have finally met their match?

On paper, the statisticians have GP ranked very close to last year's state runner-up, Camas. In a way, this would be like the game that can never happen this year, since Camas is out of the brackets. We all know that paper is good for other things besides predicting football games, so we play the game.

Basically, the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks dominated from start to finish. There were penalties and scores. Individuals stepped up to benefit the team. There were big hits, loud fans, and the energy was infectious. In the end, the score was 38-3, and the Riverhawks advance to lock horns with the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles (12-1, 5-1) at Edgar Brown Stadium on Saturday, November 29th at 1 pm.


Here is a bonus "Turkey Day" report! Two cents from the Hawk Talker, regarding offense, defense, special teams and a score prediction for the upcoming game. 
Ratings are on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being best.

Any time you have an explosive offense, you always have a chance to win a game. With our offense, "explosive" becomes "atomic." The argument can be made that we are one-dimensional, and that if a defense can just find a way to contain the mighty Chiawana Riverhawk run game, they will force the 'Hawks to a passing game, thus providing an opportunity. This isn't to say that the Chiawana passing game is not worthy of the task. This just means that the offense will change in a variety of ways - Pressure of "having" to pass, instead of the luxury of choosing when to pass, having to deal with a defense that is stoked, since they are shutting down the run, and the fact that the team is more used to running, so if the passing game is a poor match-up for some reason, the 'Hawks are in some trouble.
Ball protection has been an issue, and continues to afford the defenses opportunities. If Chiawana expects to win the next two, they will need to win in turnovers. At this level, at this stage, turnovers can make or break a team. It is important that the team focuses on ball handling and control. This means catch easy passes, don't raise the football over the heads of linemen when you cross the line of scrimmage, and make sure you have tight control over the ball at all times.
Our offensive linemen have done a tremendous job of blocking, staying with their blocks and blocking down field. An often unmentioned facet of their job includes not getting senseless penalties. Game after game, this line shows why they are considered to be the "backbone of the team," and every one of the skill position players should give these guys special recognition at the end of the year. For a group to become so precise and effective demonstrates their level of dedication and mature approach to the game.
The play calling is easy when you have the talent at running back that the 'Hawks have. Any time you can know that wherever you are on the field, you can score, it is a level of confidence that is not easily countered. When you have a defense focused on a single player, it makes it easier to spread it around, keeping the defense off balance.
Although the Riverhawks boast the best offense in the state, I believe that they will have to step it up a bit to finish with wins. Ball control must be priority, and we may need to be ready to make the game-time adjustments necessary to stop any effective defensive maneuvers. I believe that we need a couple of "trick" plays to help confuse the defense - maybe a flea-flicker, halfback pass or hook-and-ladder. If our line stays strong, smart and healthy, we will never be too far out of any game.

Overall rating - 8.5

A common adage in sports is "Offense wins games, defense wins championships." I can agree with this philosophy. While it is important to have an offense that can produce, if the game is close, your defense can stop the opponent from scoring more, allowing your offense more opportunities to produce. Not only that, but each time your defense scores it 1) Denies their offense points, 2) Gets the fans, players and coaches pumped up, and 3) Can change momentum.
Our defense is strong, mainly due to the wisdom and ball-finding sense of seasoned players. Our team is quick and alert, and they respond and anticipate well. Unfortunately, this can be used against them, and we have glimpsed this a couple of times. Whenever an opponent has a misdirection play to the outside, we usually "catch up" to it, rather than play to stop it. Any type of reverse or "student body" sweep puts us at a disadvantage.
A couple of the players are hard hitters, and the team swarms well. The weaknesses would be tackling, over pursuit and wrapping up. Against GP, there were a couple of times when once their big backs gained a head of steam, I knew we would have our hands full. If a team runs strong but shifty, they will have a chance to keep the game competitive.
The 'Hawks have a difficult time responding to bubble or WR screens. Even mediocre teams have had some success with this play, and if it happens that the offense notices a corner or LB blitz and makes the audible, that could spell trouble. Also, there seems to not be any weak side or outside contain, which opens up the possibility of getting burned on a reverse.
If our defense if firing on all cylinders, and if speed can manage to beat size going forward, our smart guys will be able to rise to the challenge.

Overall rating - 9


I cannot express enough how often I notice how coaches overlook the potential of dynamic special teams play. In a tight game, this aspect can make every bit of difference.
Our special teams play is pretty solid, as evidenced by opponents' field position, our field position, and overall control. The team has shown that they have the ability to recover onside kicks and use fake punts when necessary. Our field goal kicker is dynamite, and was the second highest scorer on the team recently (and may be currently, I haven't checked the stats).
I think that there is one area where we can improve - forced fumbles. This is a situation that can be created by a disciplined special teams unit, and with the talent of the Riverhawks, it can be taught and enforced at a key or critical moment of the game, if possible. Now we just need to run one back.

Overall rating - 9.5

The Graham-Kapowsin Eagles are possibly the most comparable team, on paper, that we have played yet. Chiawana scores about 39.5 points per game, GK 36.5. If you factor out the biggest blowout for both teams, the difference is almost negligible. It is clear that both teams are used to scoring often. Both teams have shut out opponents, GK once, Chiawana three times. Maybe the most telling stat is the points scored against each team. GK has allowed up to 34 points in a game, while the most an opponent has scored against the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks is only 19 points. While the teams may look similar on paper, the game is played on the field.
On the field, it will be about "Offense = Control, Defense = Chaos, Special Teams = The vast unknown." This game should test all phases of the game more so than any game they have played before. Ball control on offense is key. Protecting the ball on offense is key. Ball control on offense is the key. Protecting the ball on offense is the key. I think that about covers it for the offense.
Defense needs to continue to rely on their field sense and speed. "Stay low, explode through the hips, wrap up" should be their mantra. Linebackers and DBs should make their presence known. If there isn't a play on the ball, make the receiver pay the tax for being on their real estate. A hit counts if you see "Snot or blood. Yours or theirs, it doesn't matter." This example is metaphoric, hyperbolic and for dramatic effect, of course, but the point is that at every second, the defense is making maximum effort to step up and make the play.
I love it when a special teams unit makes a huge play. It immediately provides "instant energy," which is important in a close game, or one in which the momentum needs to come our way.

PREDICTION - Riverhawks 31, GK 10

My thanks to those of you following this blog. If you have any pictures, please feel free to send them my way. I will post them as I need them, but I will give you credit when I do. If you like, go ahead and comment below. Who knows how many people are "thinking it" and just need for you to say it? Just be mature, and we can discuss it. If you need to send a pic, or drop me a line, feel free to do so at

 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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