Cheney football falls short at East Valley, 22-7

 

Last updated 10/5/2017 at 11:06am

Grace Pohl

Senior linebacker Logan Kendall (32) and junior defensive line Jacob McGourin (71) shared a sack in the game against East Valley High School.

By GRACE POHL

Staff Intern

The Cheney High School football team was close to finding a rhythm against their Greater Northern League foe, the East Valley High School Knights, but could not come out on top as the Blackhawks fell 22-7 last Friday (Sept. 29). The Blackhawks are now 0-4 overall with a 0-1 league record. East Valley improves to 2-3 and sits at 1-0 in the GNL.

"Defensively, if we take out two big plays from wide receiver Rodrick Fisher, we played well," head coach Bobby Byrd said. "We strung together a couple of good series on offense, but we couldn't punch it in."

It was the battle of the defenses in the first quarter, as it ended at 0-0 after 12 minutes of play. But the Knights found their groove in the second quarter as they scored 16 points. The first touchdown came from a 65-yard pass from quarterback Christian Johnston to Fisher. The Knights converted for two points after the score, putting EVHS in an 8-0 lead with 10:53 left in the second quarter.


East Valley scored again in similar fashion as Johnston threw another touchdown pass to Fisher, along with another two point conversion also scored by Fisher, helping the Knights extend their lead to 16-0 with 3:34 left in the first half.

The Blackhawks had their chance towards the end of the period as Colton Horst picked off a pass from Johnston, giving CHS good field position at East Valley's 33-yard line. But could not find the end zone, as and they went into the locker room at halftime scoreless.

"We had enough turnovers to win the game," Byrd said. "We just needed to capitalize on those opportunities."

In the third quarter, Johnston threw a screen pass to Isaiah Ervin that resulted in a 20 yard touchdown. The Knights were unsuccessful with a two-point conversion, but still increased their lead to 22-0.

The Blackhawks eventually found the end zone when Charles Johnson ran a punt back 80 yards for the score, marking his second touchdown return of the year. With the successful PAT, CHS was trailing EVHS 22-7 with 7:43 left in the game.

"Special teams put us in good field positions and created the scoring opportunity for Charles Johnson," Byrd said.

Cheney was able to create one last scoring chance when Jalen Phillips forced another turnover by picked off Johnston with 10 seconds left in the game, but the Knights held the Blackhawks to the lone seven points.

"At the end of the day, I have to get the kids prepared," Byrd added. "They have a great opportunity here and I believe in this group. They are 100 percent ready. We are so close as a unit, we just have to get over this hump and this upcoming week is a perfect time to do that."


Next up for CHS is the Homecoming game against Clarkston (3-2). The Bantams will be coming off a 21-16 loss against Pullman. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Tom Oswald Field.

"We are going to try and limit the distractions, but at the end of the day it is high school and you gotta have fun," Byrd said. "When it is time to work, we have a job and that is to win."

Grace Pohl can be reached at grace@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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