In the world of flashy, high-tech offenses and highlight-reel big plays, they do still play old-fashioned, smash-mouth football in places like Cheney on a Friday night.
Cheney used a hard-hitting defense and a pound-it-between-the-tackles offense to grind down Lakeland, 27-9 in the Blackhawks home opener.
“We really wanted to finally beat those guys,” senior defensive end Keenan Williams said. “They beat us last year and the year before that. In fact, they beat us pretty significantly last year.
Quarterback Andrew Graham snuck over from the 1 twice and found Logan Clayden on a 16-yard touchdown pass to key the Blackhawks offense.
“Our guys didn’t really need all that much motivation,” Cheney coach Jason Williams said. “Lakeland has a good team and they run kind of a Wing T offense that we don’t see very much, so it’s difficult to prepare for them.”
Well, maybe last year.
Cheney stifled the Hawks in the first half, allowing nine yards of offense before halftime.
Lakeland’s lone score in the first half came after Cheney fumbled on its second series to give the Hawks a first down at the Blackhawks’ 19.
Meanwhile, the Cheney defense did much of the heavy lifting.
Lakeland’s first series started and ended at its own 15. Punter Cade Coffey had to avoid a pair of Cheney defenders to get off a badly shanked punt that was recovered at the Lakeland 16.
Five plays later, Graham burrowed his way into the end zone from the 1 to make it 6-0.
Lakeland was again pinned deep in its own territory late in the first quarter and was forced to punt from its own end zone once again.
Cheney took over at the Hawks 44 and pounded its way back to the end zone on Graham’s touchdown pass. A two-point conversion pass from Graham to tight end Brett Wyborney made it 14-3.