ARLINGTON — The Tulalip Heritage Hawks dominated the field on Sept. 21 as they competed against Highland Christian in a non-conference away game ending in an 88-22 victory for the Hawks.
Tulalip Heritage scored early in the game, with five touchdowns in the first quarter alone. In the first two minutes of the second quarter, the team scored another two touchdowns, making it tough for the Knights to make any sort of comeback.
“We have 12 returners this year and that makes a big difference,” said Hawks head coach Jim Kavaney. “All of our guys who returned from last year are playing way better than they did last season.”
The Hawks offense held the game for them, with strong running plays and pass completions.
“D.J. Kidd is doing an awesome job and Payton Comenote is a really strong new player,” said Kavaney. “Dontae Jones is doing a much better job as quarterback this year.”
Kidd, Comenote and Jones all scored touchdowns in the Sept. 21 game, but offense isn’t the only area where the Hawks are proving their strength.
“Kyle Jones is relentless on defense. He had three sacks the other night,” said Kavaney. “He really plays hard and he’s been really strong.”
The contest against Highland Christian was seen as a practice game for the team, as a warm-up for more competitive upcoming games.
“The first three games haven’t been league games, so they weren’t as competitive,” said Kavaney. “We’re seeing how people play at first. Everybody’s got to learn two or three positions, so that later in the year, if we get injuries then we are covered. It’s not like the big schools when a quarterback gets hurt, you can just bring in the other quarterback.”
Lummi and Neah Bay are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the league, and they make up Tulalip Heritage’s upcoming opponents.
“It’s a tough league, and the games are definitely going to be tougher starting this week,” said Kavaney. “But we’ve got pretty good skill people and pretty good team speed.”
Going into the upcoming games, the Hawks are focusing their talent and building on what they have.
“We are just trying to do everything right and make it a team effort, not individuals. It’s an ultimate team game,” said Kavaney. “We are also going to be working on tackling. That’s been our weakness, which happens when you have a bunch of new kids.”
Overall, the team has high hopes for the season.
“The attitude’s been really good. They work really hard. I’m hoping it continues. If it does, I think we’ll be very competitive,” said Kavaney.
Tulalip Heritage is set to play Lopez at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.