Richland football duo are big hitters

Tri-City HeraldSeptember 19, 2013 

Bomber defensive backs

Jesse Malone, left, and Hunter Chambers are Richland's top two defensive backs and will be key in stopping Chiawana on Friday.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

It’s not quite the Legion of Boom, but the Richland High secondary still can lay out a vicious hit.

Richland doesn’t have a fancy nickname for its defensive backfield like the Seattle Seahawks do, but led by Jesse Malone and Hunter Chambers, the Bombers dole out their fair share of big hits.

The two seniors will be big keys to the Bombers attempting to shut down Chiawana at 7 p.m. today at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

“I just like making big plays, hitting people,” Malone said. “The reaction from the crowd from a big hit — everyone is going crazy and you want to do it again.”

Malone plays cornerback, while Chambers is a strong safety.

“I just always wanted to hit somebody,” Chambers said of why he started playing football. “I was that mean kid that wanted to hit somebody.”

Malone has been in the secondary since he started playing as a youngster, while Chambers was a linebacker up until his junior year.

He said he stopped growing and was no longer big enough for the position, so they switched him to defensive back.

“I know playing Cover-2 that if someone gets past me, I know (Chambers) is always back there,” Malone said. “He’s swatting balls down or laying the wood to someone, taking their helmet off. He always has my back.”

Both have started the last two seasons and work well together.

Malone was second team all-Mid-Columbia Conference last season, and both are talking to NCAA Division I colleges about playing at the next level.

“He is a hard goer, just never wants to stop,” Chambers said of Malone. “He doesn’t think anyone is better than him. That is his mentality. He’ll wrap somebody up and I’ll come finish them off.”

That kind of play will be needed to slow down the potent Chiawana attack.

The Riverhawks had eight receivers make catches in last week’s victory over Kennewick and feature two of the top receivers in the league in Dre Dorton and Deion Singleton.

Singleton is being recruited by LSU, Miami and TCU, among others, and will provide a stiff test for the Bombers.

“It should be a good challenge,” Malone said. “It’s a once in a lifetime shot. Got to stay on top of my game and see if I can hang with the big kids.”

The two have certainly done that throughout their careers so far.

Chambers is a lifelong Bomber, as his dad, Roger, has a spot on the Wall of Fame inside the gymnasium and coached baseball at the school for many years.

He was pre-ordained to go to the school.

Malone, on the other hand, was born and raised in Maui before moving to Richland in fifth grade.

His father Rudy played running back in high school in California, and his brother Casey played basketball for the Bombers.

He had a choice between Hanford and Richland, but said he heard a lot of good things about Richland, so he stuck with it.

And now the pair is sticking together on the field, providing Richland with a couple of big hitters.

“Jesse and Hunter are certainly two of the leaders of our team, period,” Richland coach Mike Neidhold said. “We count on those kids to make plays and do good things. If those two don’t show up to play ...”

Chances are, though, they will be there every time out.

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