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, December 4, 2014

Eagles are grounded, Riverhawks repeat and go to state!

Last week's match-up between the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks (12-1) and the Graham-Kapowsin Eagles (12-2) was a showdown of two teams at the top of their game. The Eagles brought an all-American lineman to the contest (Six-and-a-half feet tall, over three hundred pounds, and a SOPHOMORE!), and the Riverhawks brought the all-time leading rusher in the state of Washington. Combined with other features, such as the best defense in the state and impressive win streaks by both teams, this game proved to be exciting and worthy of any pre-game hype.
For dramatic effect, the weather provided a heavy downfall of snow to start the first quarter. Combined with the freezing chill, the game started with an atmosphere of intensity.
Chiawana starts at midfield, and rips off five straight run plays for a touchdown. The extra point is good, and the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks lead 7-0, with 9:38 left. The Eagles get the ball around their own thirty. After a couple of run plays, they throw a pick, and Chiawana once again has the ball near midfield. Play goes back and forth with no major instances. The quarter ends with Graham-Kapowsin sputtering near midfield.
For the first half of the second quarter, both teams trade possessions that end in punts. However, when the 'Hawks gained great field position at the G-K 19, they took advantage of it. The very next play was a pass for a touchdown. With 5:47 left in the half, the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks take a 14-0 lead.
G-K takes over at their own 16. The first play from scrimmage is a fumble. Chiawana recovers at the G-K 5 yard line. Facing a strong defense, it takes the 'Hawks a few plays to ply the pylons with the pigskin, but ply the pylons they do. With 4:25 left, the score is 21-0, Chiawana.
G-K starts a drive at their own 29. With a respectable mix of play-calling, the Eagles march down field. Things take a turn for the worse for them, however, as they throw another pick, which puts Chiawana at the G-K 30.
The 'Hawks do not manage to muster much maneuverability, and they are forced to punt. G-K runs out the clock to end the half.
The Eagles start at their own 29. After an ineffective mix of plays, G-K lines up to punt. It is a bad snap, and Chiawana gets the ball back at the G-K 29. A couple of plays later, the Riverhawks fumble, and turn the ball over. The Eagles get the ball at their own 30.
G-K rolls on a drive that is their best of the game, to this point. A smart mix of run and pass plays takes them down to the Chiawana 4, where they run out of steam and turn the ball over on downs.
Chiawana runs the ball a few times, and then punts.
G-K gets the ball at the Chiawana 44. After a couple of plays, the Eagles throw another pick. The ball is taken down to the G-K 20.
Chiawana runs it a few times, then fumbles the ball. The Eagles wind up with a 4th-and-goal at the one-and-a-half yard line as the quarter ends.
G-K punches it in on their first play of the quarter. They go for two, and come up short. With 11:56 to play in the game, the Eagles are on the board, 21-6.
Chiawana starts at their 37. Run after run takes them down to about the 43 of the Eagles, when the drive stalls. A punt starts G-K at their own 17.
Forced to pass, the Eagles go three-and-out, and punt the ball.
With great field position, around midfield, Chiawana begins their attack. A methodical, meaningful, majestic set of runs takes the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks into pay dirt. The extra is good, and with 5:35 left in the game, they go ahead 28-6.
Graham-Kapowsin starts their last drive in good field position at the Chiawana 32. They put together a beautiful blend of blistering plays to march down field and score again. Like last time, their 2-point conversion was not to be. With only 3:54 left, the score is now 28-12.
Chiawana begins at about midfield, and on six consecutive plays, run down the clock to end the game.
What a game! The pre-game murmured with talk of a beast of a guy, an all-American lineman from Graham-Kapowsin, who was coming into town, and would give our guys a handful. Now, I wasn't there in the trenches, mixing it up and plowing turf, but I bet that this guy DID present a challenge for the line on both sides of the ball. As a testament to great coaching and great play, our men met that challenge. Despite the fact that the Eagles brought a load of linemen, in the end experience out-muscled mass, and the battle in the trenches was won by the 'Hawks.
It was exciting to watch our running back dominate this season, and for him to break the state record for total rushing yards was quite a big deal. Remember that he missed a game this season, and he STILL has almost 2,800 yards, with one game left. I can't wait to see where he winds up in college.
As much as it is nice to win a game like this, we left plenty of room for improvement. For the most part, G-K seemed to be snake-bit from the start. They missed a deep pass that was off of the receiver's chest. There was "touch down" written all over that pass, and it may have been an early game-changer. As it was, however, three picks by the strong Chiawana defense deflated any aspirations along those lines.
Chiawana turned the ball over a couple of times, as well. Against a more seasoned team with a deeper bench, this will certainly be a problem.
Overall, the mighty Chiawana Riverhawks showed why they have all of the tools to repeat their championship run.
Bothell is the coming in as the team to beat, according to odds-makers. Both teams are on tremendous win streaks - Chiawana is riding a twelve game win streak, Bothell thirteen. Both teams bring potent offenses and stingy defenses to the table. Both teams have amassed a sick differential of points scored versus points allowed. Through the playoffs, Bothell has outscored their opponents 119-47, while Chiawana's PF-PA is 113-22. This means that Bothell is putting up 40 points per game, the Riverhawks 38. The Cougars are allowing 16 points per game to Chiawana's 7. All of this, of course, looks great on paper, which is why we play the game.
The three areas Chiawana needs to focus on are the QB and receivers on offense, and the hard hitters on defense. Rumor has it that their 6'3" quarterback may have the goods to go pro. Match that up with a squad of gangly, sure-handed receivers, led by a six-foot-five tight end, and the Cougars bring a potent offense to the table. As far as the defense goes, the line backer squad packs more hits than the Beatles, and will surely pose a challenge for the all-time leading rusher in Washington high school history.
Here are some things that Chiawana can do to remain the state champions. First and foremost, the defense needs to create chaos. The animals on the d-line need to break through and keep the QB hurrying his passes. One imperative aspect of this is that our guys need to wrap up when they tackle. The quarterback is a big boy, and just chasing him around won't be enough. Once we have him moving around, it is KEY that we hit him and wrap up. If we just get to him, only to see him break tackles and inspire his team by turning a potential sack into something positive, it may be a long night for the 'Hawks.
Also, we have to stay ahead of coverage on their giant receivers. If we find ourselves behind them, especially on short timing plays like slants or curls, we will get burned. Hopefully practice this week will place our guys in front of the routes, eagerly anticipating the timing of the play. Our d-backs will need to keep their heads on a swivel as they cover the receivers, and yet they will also have to come flying into run plays with reckless abandon. No guts, no glory.
The Cougar defense will bring a punch. In order for our run game to have a chance to establish, our big guys will have to have control play all the way down field. Not only will they need to clear a path, they will also have to deal with line backers screaming into plays like waves of flying monkeys. Our boys will have to buck up and take care of business when it comes to the Bothell defense and their bad intentions.
As I have mentioned in other posts, if we can gain an edge on special teams, it could prove to be the difference in the game. We have to keep them pinned down deep in their own territory, and we need to set up to break one for a touch down on a kickoff return, if possible. Maybe a designed hook-and-ladder play late in the game could make a difference.
Turnovers will prove to be key, should they occur. More so than ever in the season, Chiawana needs to PROTECT THE BALL on offense, and MAKE A HUGE PLAY on defense during every possession. The question this game - Who is going to step up? We need big hits and big plays. Our d-backs and line backers should have the mentality, "If they catch the ball in my zone, it is my job to make them pay for it." This means either a big hit, strip the ball to cause a fumble, or at the very least keep their YAC stats at zero.
The two best 4A teams are facing off against each other. Only the best will take home the trophy. I know that Chiawana will be the "Killer of Giants" - there is no doubt in my mind that if they play like they know how to, this outcome is inevitable. I can't wait until the excitement of game day is in the air. Be at the Tacoma Dome this Saturday the 6th at 7:30 for the 4A match-up.  
Go 'Hawks!

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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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