Columbia River looks to earn playoff berth in final two weeks of season

Chieftains need a win over Mark Morris in Week 8

Columbia River Chieftains (2-5, 2-2 2A GSHL)

Week 1: Evergreen 26, Columbia River 13
Week 2: Tumwater 55, Columbia River 6
Week 3: Washougal 17, Columbia River 0
Week 4: Columbia River 25, R.A. Long 13
Week 5: Skyview 42, Columbia River 6
Week 6: Columbia River 19, Woodland 13, OT
Week 7: Hockinson 42, Columbia River 14
Next: vs. Mark Morris, 7 p.m. Friday at Columbia River High School

The Chieftains played the league champs tough for most of the first half. Now they are looking to rebound, win the next two and make the playoffs.

Sack:

So fun to watch Koben Jamison play every week. He makes so many plays. The one that stood out in the first half for me was a first-quarter sack.

It actually was not such a difficult play for Jamison. He blitzed and no one picked him up. But it was just how fast he got to the quarterback, how he dropped the quarterback, that made this play stand out.

Columbia River needs victories in the final two weeks of the season to assure itself a spot in the Class 2A playoffs. Photo by Mike Schultz
Columbia River needs victories in the final two weeks of the season to assure itself a spot in the Class 2A playoffs. Photo by Mike Schultz

Another QB:

The Chieftains are used to using two quarterbacks each game. Against Hockinson, a third player was taking snaps behind center.

Nathan Kunz had some good runs taking the direct snap, and perhaps that is how the Chieftains set up a nice play for a touchdown pass.

Kunz took the snap, shuffled to his left a couple of steps, almost looking like he was waiting for a hole to appear in order to run the ball. He immediately pivoted to his right and found a receiver, I believe it was No. 13 Brandon Henegan, wide open for a touchdown pass.

Well done.

Defense to offense:

Kunz, playing defense, had an interception that led to a Columbia River touchdown.

And on River’s drive to that score, there was a some great concentration on a pass play by the River receiver. The ball got to the receiver just as a defender hit the receiver. The ball went up in the air, the receiver dropped to the ground. The receiver kept his eye on the ball, tracked it, and caught it, while he was on the ground.

Now I’m going to guess who that receiver was: I think it was No. 2 Tristan Hoyer. (Again, jersey numbers not always easy to see on the video.)

That put the Chieftains inside the 10-yard line. A couple plays later, they were in the end zone. Hoyer, playing tight end, had one of the key blocks on that TD run.

Week 8 and 9:

On paper, the schedule broke perfectly here for the Chieftains. On paper.

Going into Week 8, Hockinson has already won the league title while four other teams, fighting for the final three playoff spots, each have two league losses.

Well, the Chieftains’ final two league games are against the sixth- and seventh-place teams in the league.

No guarantees of victory here, but the Chieftains have to like their chances of winning out to make the playoffs.

Coach Speak:

What did Christian Swain think of his team’s performance in Week 7? “We did some good things at times but need to be more consistent and eliminate penalties. We are taking positive steps forward in the big picture, but it’s been frustrating working through growing pains this year. Hockinson is a great football team, and they played at a high level Friday, so credit to them.”

MVP on offense: “Tristan Hoyer has been our most consistent player in terms of blocking and catching this season,’’ Swain said. “I believe he will play on Saturdays.”

MVP on defense: “Tough to name one from Friday,’’ Swain said. “I’d say Koben Jamison because he is consistently around the football.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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