November 16, 2008

CMU Commits Lead River Hill Past Gwynn Park

The Central Michigan Football program is continually trying to build on a championship culture. While winning MAC titles and going to bowl games helps that quite a bit, it also helps to recruit kids who play for championship high school programs.

Malek Redd and Leron Eaddy fit that bill and continued to prove it this past Friday night as their River Hill Hawks team beat Gwynn Park (Md.) 20-6 in the first round of the state playoffs.

Redd had himself a big game. In spite of having a 53-yard touchdown run called back due to an illegal motion penalty, he still came away with 110 yards on the night.

"Their safety kept coming up on our jet motion," Redd said. "We had our receiver crack on the safety and that opened some big holes for me."

"It was a big win for the whole program," Redd said. "We lost to them my freshman year in the state semifinals. They are a good team."

Not to be outdone, Eaddy caught a 17-yard touchdown pass to score the first points of the game for River Hill.

"On our jet motion, their strong safety kept rolling up real hard," Eaddy said. "Our quarterback hit me with a pop pass and I was open for it."

Eaddy and Redd also were part of a defense that held Gwynn Park to just 6 points on the night.

"Our coach put in a great defensive game plan," Eaddy said. "They are a spread team with a real shifty quarterback and shifty slots. We had our outside linebackers follow the quarterback and the other safety and I manned up on the slots and shut it down."

Previously, the knock on River Hill had been that it couldn't beat teams from Prince George County, where Gwynn Park is located. However, the Hawks were able to Friday night and have another chance to this upcoming Friday against Douglass High, which is also from Prince George County.

"That is going to be a real big game," Eaddy said. "People knock us for not being able to beat Prince George County teams. Our team is ready and focused. We know every game is going to be a good one. There won't be any blowouts like we had in the county schedule."

For a team that has won as much as River Hill has, it could be very easy to get complacent. However, Leron and Malek are refusing to let that happen.

"We're still hungry," Redd said. "We know that this upcoming game is going to be tough too. We need to keep practicing hard and studying film hard."

"We don't let ourselves play down to other teams' level," Eaddy said. "We just need to keep working hard. Douglass is a good team. They beat Gwynn Park too so we know we need to come prepared."

Recently, both Malek and Leron made their way to Mount Pleasant for their official visits with Central Michigan. Both were in attendance to see CMU beat Western Michigan 38-28. Both came away very impressed by the school and the game day atmosphere.

"The student section was just ridiculous," Eaddy said. "It was a great game day atmosphere and a great game to watch. I just can't wait to get up there and start playing."

"It was a great atmosphere," Redd said. "The student section was just crazy. I wanted to be out there on the field so bad."

Both came away feeling like they could contribute to the program as well.

"I feel like I can bring some more explosion and quickness to the offense," Redd said. "Those holes were opening up so big. He players all said that there are no starters and that it is all about how you practice. I like that a lot because I know I have the chance to come in and compete."

"The defense is good," Eaddy said. "I feel like I can bring some more aggression and some hard hitting to the table when I get there."

Stick with Chippewacountry as we will continue to keep you updated as Malek and Leron continue their quest for their second state championship in a row.

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