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September 17, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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Section 2 September 17, 2015 Cheney Free Press Photo by A1 Stover Quarterback Josh Martin scrambles to avoid Deer Park's defense. Martin scored a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. By AL STOVER StaffReporter Defense was key in the Cheney High football team's 13-7 non-league win over the Northeast A League's Deer Park Stags, Sept. 11. After a scoreless first hall fhat included a failed field goal attempt from. the Black- hawks, Ty Graham picked up a fumble early in the third quarter, taking it to Deer Park territory. Graham followed it up with a rushing touchdown to give the Blackhawks the lead, 7-0. Deer Park answered with a rushing touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. In the fourth quarter, Har- rison King intercepted a pass from Stags' quarterback Con- ner Odea and brought the ball to the 2-yard-line. Cheney quarterback Josh Martin ran it in for the touchdown. In the final seconds of the game, Odea threw a pass to the end zone, only for Graham to intercept it. "Deer Park is a good team and head coach Keith Stamps does a great job," Cheney head coach Bobby Byrd said. "Offensively; we didn't get a lot of momentum going or take advantage of scoring opportunities, but we were able to rely on our defense a little." King had two interceptions in the game. Byrd also compli- mented the Performances of Graham and the linebacker corps of Chris Fuentes and Cade VanWormer. Individual statistics were not available at press time. "We had picks left and right, it kept us going in the game," Byrd said. The Blackhawks are 2-0 overall, along with fellow Great Northern League rivals East Valley, Clarkston and Pullman. Cheney hosts Inland Em- pire League 4A's Lakeland, out of Rathdrum, Idaho, Sept. 18. Lakeland is currently 0-3 this season with losses against Lewiston, West Val- ley and East Valley. Last year, the Blackhawks defeated Lakeland 21-10. Despite Lakeland's losing record, Byrd is not underesti- mating the Hawks. This week the Blackhawks will focus on cleaning up mistakes on offensive and special teams, work on scenarios where they can "take advantage of opportunities" and con- tinue to "focus on the little things." "Teams who play with heart, like Lakeland, can over- come the odds and we'll prepare the best we can and hopefully win another great game," Byrd said. The stands on Cheney's side were full for the Deer Park game and the Sept. 4 sea- son opener against Colville. Byrd said the atmosphere and school spirit gets the team excited. "When you're away, it's usually just the family and your girlfriend, but at home, it's an entire crowd there to support you," Byrd said. "Hopefully the crowd will once again pack the stands," Byrd said. Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com. ons By AL STOVER StaffReporter Dear Seattle Seahawks fans, It's not the end of the world. I understand that many fans were up in arms this last Sun- day after the Seahawks lost to the St. Louis Rams, 34-31, in overtime. For some, it was a contin- uation of the heartache of Seattle's 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots in last year's Super Bowl. Some folks are probably upset because it should have been an easy win for Seattle. Many experts predict the Rams won't make the postseason and called the Seattle win an upset, even though some experts label St. Louis's defense as the best in the league. It was only the first game of the season and while Seattle was the only team in the NFC West not to win a season open- er, it's still a long season. That said, there are several questions and unknowns surrounding the Seahawks this season. The first one is the shape of beloved running back Mar- shawn..Lynch. There were ru- mors that "Beast Mode" was considering retirement after last season. Lynch, 29, has nine seasons under his belt. Against the Rams, he had only 18 carries for 73 yards. He has had off-days before. In the 2013 season opener, the Carolina Panthers held him to only 43 rushing yards. He turned it around in the 2014 home opener against the Green Bay Packers where he had 110 yards with two TDs. Rams defensive linemen Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald made headlines after stuffing Lynch on fourth-and- See Crunch Time page 4 Photo by John McCallum Drake Johnson hits the finish line running to finish fifth in the Highlander Invitational junior boys race. By JOHN McCALLUM Editor For a first meet, they performed well. That was the assess- ment of Cheney High School cross country coaches Camille Mose- ley and Derek Slaugh- ter of the Blackhawks performances at last Saturday's 35-team Highlander Invitation- al, run on the 2.5-mile course at Shadle Park High School. There were of course some stand- outs. The first for both coaches was the Black- hawks junior boys, who finished third as a team in what would prove to be the day's fastest race. Leading Cheney was Drake Johnson, who was competing in his first cross country meet. Johnson ran third for most of the race before falling back to finish fifth in 13 minutes, 40.80 seconds. Matt Christianson was not far behind in 11th at 13:59.20, with Kaleb Lerch completing Cheney's top-20 tri- recta by finishing 19th in 14:18.20. Mount Spo- kane's Hayden Dressel was first in 12:40.50, the day's fastest time by 28 seconds. With a true varsity complement of seven runners in the race, and the top five scor- ing, Cheney racked up 47 points to finish three points back of 4A Walla Walla and 39 points ahead of last year's Great Northern League/District 7 run- ner up Pullman. In the senior boys race, Luke Huguenin was 50th in 15:34.60 while RyanAxtell placed See Chancy CC page 4 Medical Lake excels with Hiq hlander Invite finish Photo by John McCallum Sophomore Mason Wil- liams led the Cardinals. By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter After seeing most of his two-time defending champion state 1A cross country team largely decimated by gradua- tion, Medical Lake head coach Gene Blankenship was going to be happy with more simple goals, such as simply qualify- ing for this year's event Nov. 7 in Pasco. Following the Car- dinals' overall finish by the boy's team at last Saturday's Highland- er Invitational, Blan- kenship is rethinking things. "If you merge all the times on the boy's, we finished sixth overall," Blankenship said. "We were only beaten by 4A schools." Pullman, a 2A school was two points back. The Cardinals were third in the Sophomore Division with four run- ners scoring. "If we score five we finish sec- ond," Blankenship add- ed. Boys run by their class in school while girls compete in large school and small school divisions. "I don't know exact- ly what it means; I think we're stronger than I thought we were," Blan- kenship said. The top Medical Lake finisher was soph- omore, Mason Williams, who was second overall. Williams clocked a time of 13 minutes, 33.10 seconds, six seconds back of Central Val- ley's Gabe Romney at 13:27.10 on the 2.5-mile course. Normally races are run on a 5-kilometer course, just a shade over three miles. Jacob Dingfield was seventh in the senior race and was the second fastest Medical Lake runner at 13:41. On the girl's side, Jenavieve Cogswell, just a freshman, finished seventh overall in a time of 17:38. Top finishers in the Highlander are See Cardinal CC page 4 Eastern is back home to face Bobcats By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Eastern Washington limps back home, winless after two games, to face the 11th-ranked and Big Sky Conference title co-favorite, Montana State (1- 0) in a I p.m. kickoff Saturday at Roos Field. While the two are confer- ence rivals, because of some scheduling quirks, this game does not count in league stand- ings. But it's critical for Eastern who tries to rebound after losses at Pac-12 Oregon (61- 42) in week one and 38-35 to Northern Iowa, a Football Championship Subdivision team from the Missouri Valley Conference last Saturday. The No. 14 ranked Eagles will face a Bobcat team that employs an offense that is quite familiar to them, with quarterback Dakota Prukop, having faced mobile QBs in former Eagle, Vernon Adams at Oregon and Aaron Bailey at NIU. EWU head coach Beau Bald- See EWU - MSU page 3