CLOSER LOOK: Poly RB Devontre Hale

Devontre Hale was the single most impressive player on the field on Friday night vs. Arlington. / Photo by FRANK BELLINO for The P-E

Take a closer look at Riverside Poly’s Devontre Hale and you’ll see the best running back the Bears have had in recent memory.

Hale, just a sophomore, has the rare gift of break-away speed and has the toughness to finish off runs by lowering his head and taking on the last defender in a game of see-who-hits-the-ground-first.

He ran for 11 yards on the first play of the game and followed it up with runs of 8, 5, 9, 7, 4 (for a first down), and 7 yards. That’s the kind of production any team would like to have, and it came against an above-average Arlington defense.

His play over the first 24 minutes was inspired, and he finished with 109 yards in the first half. The single most impressive player on the field, Hale finished with just 131 after Arlington’s defense finally keyed upon Poly’s offensive tendencies.

As these tremendous pictures by photographer Frank Bellino of The Press-Enterprise attest, Hale was taking advantage of his opportunities, and finishing runs with a flourish.

POST SCRIPT:
I caught up with Hale following Poly’s 42-14 victory over Riverside Ramona on Sept. 6, 2013. The following in a transcript of he said in response to my first question.

Was this a game to get hyped about?

“We build it up real good. We came in expecting to win and we played Poly football; did our job. The game plan was to come in here and execute. Execute at all costs and play Poly football. We played all four quarters and got the ‘W’. We’re just gonna take it one game at a time. We’re gonna put this game behind us and look forward to Rubidoux next week.”

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