Once Chiawana tasted the sweetness of winning, the Riverhawks football team decided it wanted to do it more and more.
Since opening 0-3, the Riverhawks have won their last four games, including a wild rally to knock off Coeur d’Alene’s Lake City 22-16 on Friday at Edgar Brown Stadium.
“After our first win, we decided we didn’t like to lose anymore,” junior Alex Weber said. “We haven’t really changed anything, just our mindset. Getting our first win made (the youngsters) realize how much better it is than losing.”
It may sound simplistic, but a break here and a break there can decide a football game, and lately things have been going Chiawana’s way.
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Trailing 16-7 with less than 5 minutes to go in the game, the Riverhawks were in trouble, but the defense went to work setting the table for Chiawana quarterback Joey Zamora.
“I told Joey we would get a stop and he needed to score,” Weber said. “We got that first stop, and then he scored and it turned the momentum around.”
Zamora hit Dre Dorton on a 37-yard touchdown pass and Isaac Mitz made the extra point to pull the Riverhawks within 16-14.
Chiawana then forced another three-and-out and got the ball back to its offense with a short field.
“We just told the defense that if we didn’t get the stop, we’d lose,” Weber said. “It brought everybody up, and we finished it up.”
Zamora and the offense then drove down to the goal line and had back-to-back running plays stuffed, as Lake City loaded the box.
The Riverhawks then put Weber at fullback to give the appearance they were going with the power run game. Instead, Zamora used play-action and hit TJ Avery for the game-winner with 13 seconds left. He then connected with Dorton on the two-point conversion to finish the scoring.
“We’re trying to get better every week,” Chiawana coach Steve Graff said. “The kids are getting better, Joey gets better every week, the o-line is getting better, and defensively we are getting enough stops to give them opportunities.”
For Avery, it capped a big night, as he had two touchdown catches and 86 yards overall. He has come on of late, and part of it is he is no longer playing defense.
“We have him on offense and let him do his thing,” Graff said. “He has done a pretty good job of it.”
As have all the Riverhawks in turning the season around.