Chiawana running back Austin Urlacher put on a show so mesmerizing Friday night, he was given credit by the public address announcer at Edgar Brown Stadium for throwing a touchdown pass.
Sorry about that, Logan Ellsworth. You eventually got credit for it, but no one could blame the PA announcer either.
Urlacher carried the football 26 times for 303 yards and three touchdowns to lead the host Riverhawks over Kamiakin 31-14 in a key Mid-Columbia Conference football game.
“He’s a hell of a running back,” Kamiakin coach Scott Biglin said. “He’s just a tough guy, and he’s strong.”
Chiawana coach Steve Graff said the key for Urlacher, a senior, is simple.
“He runs hard,” Graff said. “He has great balance. His forward lean is so good.”
And because of that lean, Kamiakin tacklers had a tough time wrapping him up on first contact. Urlacher was so good at breaking tackles, that at least half of his yards might be attributed to after he breaking those tackles.
“I like my balance and vision,” said Urlacher when asked about his attributes. “And experience.”
Urlacher was part of a 1-2 running punch that last year’s 4A state champions had, as he shared the carries with then-senior Clifton Lozano.
The comparisons between this year’s team and last year’s are starting to come.
“I think in some areas we are stronger than we were last year,” said Urlacher. “But we’re not state champs (this year) and we still have a lot of work to do.”
Urlacher missed last week’s game against Southridge (a 40-0 verdict) because of a bruised shin suffered the week before in a win over Richland. Even by missing a week, Urlacher felt out of shape on Friday.
His first carry went for 29 yards. He had four more carries on that first offensive possession, including two 10-yard runs — the latter scoring the game’s first touchdown.
But on the team’s next series, the referee forced him off the field.
“I was throwing up out there,” Urlacher said. “I thought I’d be OK, but then I did it again. He said to me ‘You gotta go.’ A lot of it had to do with nerves. But missing a week didn’t help.”
He felt out of shape. Hard to believe for a guy who put together enough offensive yards to make most team’s total offensive outputs seem paltry.
After Urlacher scored the 10-yard TD run, he added a 74-yard scoring romp in the second quarter, and then a 53-yarder in the third.
The Riverhawks defense had another strong game, giving up just two scores — one a 38-yard Tyson Patten to Jace Naveras TD pass. But for the most part, the Braves were out of this game by halftime.
“Throughout this week we put in a lot of preparation for them,” said Chiawana defensive lineman Christian Penny, who had six tackles.
For Kamiakin, Biglin says his team better be ready to bounce back next week.
“We’ve got to compete,” said Biglin. “They flat-out came out at us. We have to bounce back. If you don’t come back you’re not much of a team. We just have to look forward and get better.”
Meanwhile, the Riverhawks don’t plan on letting up.
“There are no off days,” said Penny. “Every day is a focus day.”