Hanford's Cowen long-distance threat

Tri-City HeraldSeptember 26, 2013 

Tyler Cowen Hanford receiver

Hanford wide receiver Tyler Cowen has three touchdowna of at least 60 yards this season.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

Hanford’s Tyler Cowen has scored four touchdowns this season, and on three of them he has had time to plan his weekend, what he is going to eat after the game and anything else that might pop into his head.

That’s because three of his TDs have been on plays of at least 63 yards, including a 99-yarder in the opener against Chiawana.

“I’m thinking about the guy catching me,” Cowen said. “I’m so nervous. I look back a couple of times to make sure no one is catching me.”

He isn’t Hanford’s speediest receiver — that honor belongs to Ben Kelly, who is a sprinter on the track and field team — but Cowen is fast enough and is a great route runner.

“If he is open — and he usually is because he runs such a great route — I just huck it up there and hope he gets it,” Hanford quarterback Aaron Enderlin said. “We have been working since spring, so we have pretty good timing on his routes. I know where he is going to be and he is in the right spot all the time.”

Enderlin didn’t play last season and Cowen was on JV, so their connection is a bit surprising.

“I had no idea I would be this good going into the season,” said Cowen, who has 11 receptions for 374 yards on the year. “I thought I might be a role player. Maybe catch some first downs, but no idea that I would be a deep ball threat. So that is pretty cool.”

All four of his touchdowns have been on go routes. He makes sure and sells an inside move to the defender and then cuts up field and Enderlin hits him over the top.

The 99-yard touchdown was a bit of a lucky play, as the two defenders collided trying to tackle him.

“The corner was right on my hip, I went up and jumped higher than him and caught it,” Cowen said. “There was no one even near me. I didn’t realize until after that they both fell down.”

He scored on a 63-yard touchdown against Kamiakin, as well as a 33-yarder which was paltry compared to his first two. He added an 87-yard touchdown reception against Pasco last week for good measure.

“He may not be the fastest, but he is fast enough,” Hanford coach Rob Oram said. “I haven’t seen anybody catch him from behind. I think that his greatest attributes as a receiver are he has great hands, he runs fantastic routes and he understands the concepts that are built within our passing game.”

On the 63-yard score against the Braves, he had two players chasing him. He stopped and let one go by, then beat the other one to the end zone.

“He is just good at thinking on his feet,” said John Cowen, his dad. “I think it is just his competitiveness. He just finds ways to compete. He uses his brain and is a smart kid. He puts himself in the right situations to succeed.”

Tyler comes from an extremely athletic family, which has more than helped him in his athletic pursuits in high school.

His dad played a year of football at the University of Idaho, and three more at Western Washington. His mom, Tracie (Kisro), was a scholarship volleyball player at Arizona State University.

“Tyler is built like his mom, tall and lean,” John said. “She was fast. Tracie and I can probably outrun Tyler ... but he has great hands. I’m not surprised he is catching the ball.”

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