Chieftains head into matchup with 1-3 season record
Columbia River Chieftains (1-3, 1-1 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 15
Next: Skyview at Columbia River, 7 p.m. Friday
That had to feel good for the Chieftains. “We’re taking steps forward,” River coach Christian Swain said. “Feeling good about the rest of our league (play). Helped me sleep a little bit better.”
Defense got it started and offense got it going:
The Columbia River defense forced a turnover on the second play of the game. And on R.A. Long’s second series, forced a punt that led to a short field for the River offense and then a field goal.
Later in the first quarter, it was a perfect combination of all aspects of football for the Chieftains: Defense, special teams, and offense.
Thomas Karcher and Tristan Hoyer pressured the R.A. Long quarterback to step out of bounds for a sack on one play. The next, Monyell Hedgmon pressured the quarterback into a bad pass. That led to a punt.
Kanen Eaton got a long punt return to set up the River offense.
Soon after, quarterback Julian Garcia threw a perfect pass to Jack Armstrong for a 20-yard touchdown. Armstrong beat his man but not by a lot. The pass, though, was indefensible. The ball was high over the defender’s head, then dropped perfectly into the outstretched hands of Armstrong. The 2-point conversion made it 11-0.
In the second half, Garcia scored with his feet, not his arm, scrambling for a long touchdown run. He was met by two defenders around the 1-yard line. He did not get much lift, but he did get spun around like a helicopter rotor blade as he fell into the end zone.
What did Christian Swain learn about his team in Week 4?
“We grew up a little bit. Did some things offensively I was encouraged by. Both quarterbacks (Garcia and Matthew Asplund) played really well. The receivers were better. The offensive line jelled, especially in pass protection. Defensively, we made their lives pretty hard.”
MVP on offense:
Julian Garcia. He had that touchdown pass and touchdown run.
MVP on defense:
Tristan Hoyer. All over the field, pressuring the quarterback. “All night long in the quarterback’s face.”
Thoughts on Week 5 vs. Skyview:
“The neighborhood rivalry is important to both schools,” Swain said, while noting there is now a big difference between the Class 4A and 2A programs. “It’s one of those games, and I hate to use a cliche, that I really don’t feel we have that much to lose. Get better and compete and see where the chips fall against Skyview. We can continue to refine, to do what we do, and get better.”