“Our model this year is ‘Ethos’ and this is what we’ve lived our life by now for the last 10 years and we’re not going to change it,” Howren said. “We feel like this is why we do what we do and what’s helped make us a successful program. It was not easy. It’s never easy losing two ball games in a row, but I’m proud of the kids. The kids, they’re in a good spot right now. It’s frustrating and we’ve taken a hit to our ego as a program, but at the same time we’re better for it and we’re going to be just fine down the road.”
While Howren and the Raiders are certainly disappointed to still be winless heading into the third week of the gridiron season, the signs the Reed coaching staff has seen on the Raiders’ game tape has them optimistic moving into Nevada Northern D-I league play.
“The thing we do see on film is we’re closer than we think. The scores definitely don’t indicate it and that’s what happens when you play teams of James Logan and Foothill’s caliber,” Howren said. If you make mistakes or you don’t capitalize on their mistakes, then suddenly you’re in a 50-33 game. When you go back and watch the film, the little things that we’re making mistakes on are things that are correctable.
“Against Foothill, we missed some tackles here and there and a couple fits within our defensive scheme. If we correct those mistakes, they’re not having the big gains that they had. Offensively, we’re just a couple blocks away and a couple catches away from sustaining a lot of drives. We dropped two touchdown passes. We don’t drop those two touchdown passes, we’re talking about suddenly a 50-40 ball game or maybe even closer. That’s what we’ve seen for two weeks now.”
With the first two games in the books and the losses behind them, Reed is now turning its attention to improving itself and defending its crown.
“For us, we just need to keep focusing on getting better every week,” Howren said. “We can’t let a couple losses dictate or define who we are at this point in the season. It’s still early, they were non-league games, so we’re okay. That’s the biggest thing. I keep hearing ‘Oh, this is just not our year,’ and all that stuff and we can’t listen to that. I’m not listening to any of that and the kids shouldn’t listen to it either.”