This week's version of the "game of the year" in the CBBN 4A was just another forgettable matchup to run out the string last fall.
The Davis Pirates are the last team to beat the Chiawana Riverhawks on a football field, that game coming in Week 10 of 2009, a meaningless "crossover" game between a pair of teams that finished a combined 4-15 and were each last in their divisions.
My how life has changed for the Hawks and Pirates.
Chiawana (6-0, 4-0) comes into tonight's matchup at Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima ranked seventh in the state, a win away from clinching one of the top three spots in league that qualify for the postseason. Davis is just a game back at 3-1 in the league and 5-1 overall.
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"Our goal is to get to the playoffs," said Riverhawks coach Steve Graff. "But you can't do that unless you take care of what you do this week."
Chiawana, which didn't have any seniors on the team last year as a new school, was expected to be at or near the top this season. Davis, on the other hand, has been the surprise of the season, snapping a 60-game league losing streak and, along with Richland, moving into prime playoff position.
"It's been unbelievable," said Pirates coach Rick Clark, who had five wins combined in his first five seasons at Davis. "I've been getting letters and e-mails from people who are 70- and 80-years-old."
Throw into the mix that it will be Davis' homecoming, and it's sure to be a wild night.
The Pirates lead the league in passing (232 ypg), with Deion Wright throwing for 13 TDs against just five picks. He's missing one of his dynamic duo of receivers with David Trimble out for the season with a ruptured hernia. But play-maker Cooper Kupp (21-577, 27.5 ypc) can give defensive back coaches headaches on his own.
Graff said he expects Davis to be balanced on offense. But he also knows his secondary, which has given up just 390 yards passing all season, will be tested like never before.
"We have to stop run first, and then go from there," he said. "Our secondary is fairly solid; I guess if they throw the ball around, we'll find out."
Davis also has to stop the run first, but that's a tall order against Jordan Downing, Chiawana's standout junior who leads the league in rushing with 1,089 yards and 15 TDs.
"I think he's the best back in the league," Clark said.
The Hawks have their own balancing act with QB Luc Graff, who is third in the league in passing yards (976) and second in TDs (12 vs. 3 INTs).
Walla Walla (1-4, 0-3) at Richland (5-1, 2-1): The league's worst defense (Wa-Hi gives up 404 ypg) is going up against its best rushing offense (243 ypg) that also found a passing game with 196 yards last week vs. Wenatchee.
The Blue Devils also have scored a league-low 57 points, which means the Bombers' top-ranked defense may be chasing its third shutout of the season.
Eisenhower (4-2, 1-2) at Moses Lake (0-5, 0-3): Ike brings in the league's top offense, the Chiefs the second-worst defense.
Moses Lake may be looking ahead to next week's game at Walla Walla.
Southridge (2-4, 2-2) at Pasco (2-4, 2-2): With just three games left in the regular season, this is a key matchup as the Suns, Bulldogs and Kennewick Lions are all tied for third in the CBBN 3A.
Only four teams qualify for the postseason, and league unbeatens Kamiakin and Eastmont are sure bets for the first two spots.
Pasco's new-found passing game has helped it bounce back from an 0-3 start -- not having to play Richland, Chiawana and Kamiakin also helps.
Southridge has moved the ball almost exclusively through the air. Matt Mendenhall leads the league in passing with 1,453 yards, though he has only five TD throws and four INTs.
Hanford (1-5, 1-3) at Eastmont (4-2, 4-0): The Falcons have had trouble moving the ball (224 ypg) and stopping other teams (348 ypg), which doesn't bode well against an Eastmont team that leads the league in rushing and is No. 2 against the run.
Hanford's Cameron Wagar is second in the league in rushing (593 yards, 3 TDs) but may see more time at quarterback than running back this week as the Falcons search for a passing game.
West Valley (1-5, 0-4) at Kennewick (4-2, 2-2): Lions QB Drew Loftus has been huge the last two weeks, throwing for three scores last week and running for five the previous game.
He could do either/or -- or both -- against the struggling Rams.