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Auburn Riverside Ravens At A Glance | Prep football

Blockers lead the way for Raven running back Cole Huckaby, with ball. - Rachel Ciampi/Reporter
Blockers lead the way for Raven running back Cole Huckaby, with ball.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Reporter

AUBURN RIVERSIDE RAVENS

Coach: Bryant Thomas, second year

Last year: First in the South Puget Sound League 4A with a 7-1 record, 7-3 overall with a loss in the district playoffs.

Type of offense: Pistol Option

Top returners: Gavin Hettinger, senior, WR, 5-11/185; Cole Huckaby, senior, RB, 5-11/190; John Coon, senior, OL, 6-2/250; Kyle Sutrick, junior, QB, 6-2/170; Dennis Beard, junior, WR, 6-2/170; and James Baldwin, junior, RB, 5-10/210.

Type of defense: 3-3 stack.

Top returners: Hettinger, senior, DB, 5-11/185; Vinny Le, senior, LB, 5-10/205; Baldwin, senior, LB, 5-10/210; and Gerardo Cisneros, senior, LB, 5-10/200.

Outlook: Last year head coach Bryant Thomas inspired a talented Raven team to overcome any of its previous notions about underachieving, with the team knocking off rival Auburn and taking home a piece of the SPSL North 4A title (with Kentwood). Many of last year's leaders on offense are gone, including quarterback Kevin Thomson, standout receiver Drew Wallen and the bulk of the team's offensive line. This year the team looks to junior Kyle Sutrick to drive its fluid pistol option. He'll be aided by Gavin Hettinger who had 15 catches for 257 yards and two TDs last year, despite playing in only five games because of an injury. The Ravens plan to use Hettinger on the ground. Last season he had seven rushes for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The bulk of the team's running load should rest on the shoulders of Cole Huckaby, who won second team all-SPSL North 4A honors with 859 yards and six TDs on the ground. The real key to the team's offensive success is on the O-line, where the team looks to its sole returner, John Coon, to set the tone.

Defensively, the Ravens are engineered to stop the spread offense run by the bulk of the teams in the new SPSL 3A. Hettinger, despite his time sidelined last year, still had three interceptions. Linebacker Vinny Le had 32 tackles, with five sacks and three interceptions last year. James Baldwin will slide into a linebacker slot from corner back. Again, the key will be finding the beef to stop the run and pressure the QB on the defensive line.

Key game: The Auburn Riverside versus Auburn game takes place early this season, with the Ravens hosting the Trojans on Sept. 26. The Ravens and the Lions meet for the first time on Oct. 3.

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