It is rare that two cornerbacks could play arguably the biggest role in a state high school championship football game – but that very well could be the case Saturday morning for Colville High School.
Coach Randy Cornwell asks a lot from seniors Jacob Morris and Tyler Ward, his pair of all-1A Northeast League defensive backs. Of course, they have to cover an opponents’ best receivers. They are also asked to aggressively play against the run at the line of scrimmage, too.
“They are both slightly built but strong,” Cornwell said. “And they are fearless. They both have these 155- to 160-pound bodies that … they throw into the fray with no regard for their personal safety. And like good cornerbacks, they have a short memory with a little bit of swag because they are confident in their abilities.”
Morris, who is 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, is one of the most self-critical players on the team. Cornwell said if he misses a tackle in practice, he stays after for extra work. He has 68 tackles and three interceptions this season.
Ward (5-11, 150) is a wrestler who understands how to use leverage to his advantage. He has 51 tackles and two interceptions.
They should certainly be challenge in the Class 1A title game against Cascade Christian. For starters, Cougars quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith can throw a football 60 yards if he wants to. Cornwell said the team has practiced defending deep passing routes this week.
And the Cougars have two outside running threats in tailbacks Riley Ramos and Zach Bartolome, whom Morris and Ward will be expected to try and slow down.
“We do a lot of things with them – leave them on an island in coverage, expect great run support and we do a lot of different zone coverages,” Cornwell said. “No question, I think we’ve been spoiled … becuase they do all of that better than most.”