Blackhawks shut out Hawks

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The Cheney High football team kept up their momentum as they picked up a 49-0 non-league win over the Idaho 3A Lakeland Hawks, Sept. 18.

“We did everything we wanted to do, we executed the way we wanted to,” Cheney head coach Bobby Byrd said. “We worked on the little things and took advantage of opportunities.”

The Blackhawks offense gave their most impressive showing so far this season. Ty Graham got things going early in the first quarter after he scored on a 15-yard rushing touchdown. Later in the quarter, Cheney recovered a fumble, which led to quarterback Josh Martin throwing his first passing touchdown of the season, a 22-yard scoring play to Trey Martin. A successful 2-point conversion made the score 14-0. Graham ended Cheney’s first-quarter scoring with a 1-yard touchdown.

Cheney’s offensive onslaught continued early in the second quarter as Martin threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Henry Moore. Martin had his best performance of the season, going 12 for 21 with 185 passing yards, including a 68-yard pass to Chance Gleave, and no interceptions.

“Martin did good that night,” Byrd said. “He’s continuing to improve. Week by week he’s getting better.”

Graham also picked up some points on special teams after scoring a 46-yard touchdown on a fake punt.

“Graham had the green light and he took it, who knew it would have worked for a touchdown,” Byrd said.

Graham wasn’t the only running back who had big moments. Brayden Butikofer had a 6-yard rushing touchdown and C.J. Johnson finished Cheney’s scoring with a 4-yard running touchdown.

Graham had 13 carries for 107 yards of Cheney’s total of 47 carries for 197 yards. While Graham has been outstanding in the run, Byrd said he wanted to give Johnson and Butikofer some live snaps.

“Butikofer is slippery and makes good cuts while Johnson is fast,” Byrd said. “He’s already in fourth gear before everyone else. It’s nice to have backs with different speeds. It makes our running game that much better.”

Cheney’s defense also shined, allowing Lakeland to have only three first downs in the game. Byrd credits defensive coach Jason Williams’ work with the defense, saying the shut out is a “testament to what they are doing.”

The Blackhawks (3-0 overall) take on the Sunnyside Grizzlies, Sept. 25, in Cheney’s homecoming game. Sunnyside comes in with a 3-0 record. The Grizzlies are coming off a 21-12 win over Greater Spokane League’s North Central.

This year Sunnyside has a new head coach, John Lobbestael. Lobbestael’s leadership, as well as a strong offensive attack, led Sunnyside to a 26-6 win over Grandview in the season opener, which snapped the Grizzlies’ 22-game losing streak.

Byrd said his team is going to take the same approach they did leading up to Lakeland and continue to “focus on the little things.”

“Even with that great performance, there are things we can focus on, getting sharper and better,” Byrd said. “Hopefully by the time we get to league play we are peaking and performing the way we want to.”

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