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Undefeated Hockinson to meet Aberdeen in playoffs

Hawks to open postseason Friday at District Stadium in Battle Ground

Hockinson Hawks (9-0, 6-0 2A GSHL)

Week 1: Hockinson 42, La Center 6
Week 2: Hockinson 42, Prairie 6
Week 3: Hockinson 49, Woodland 27
Week 4: Hockinson 42, Ridgefield 15
Week 5: Hockinson 46, Mark Morris 0
Week 6: Hockinson 41, Washougal 7
Week 7: Hockinson 42, Columbia River 14
Week 8: Hockinson 56, Hoquiam 3
Week 9: Hockinson 49, R.A. Long 6
Next: Aberdeen vs. Hockinson, 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium in Battle Ground. District 4, winner-to-state playoff.

The Hawks completed an undefeated season, but it was not a game to be celebrated. A third-quarter fight led to the game being called, with Hockinson getting the win.

Aftermath:

Hockinson had one player disqualified in Week 9 who was involved in the fight and another player was disqualified for a different unsportsmanlike penalty. That last one was not warranted, according to coach Rick Steele. The school appealed but lost.

By rule, those players — two two-way starters — cannot participate in the next game.

Season of excellence:

This is the third undefeated regular season for the Hawks.

If the first two are an indication, look for at least two more wins. In 2014 and 2015, the Hawks went 9-0 in the regular season then won two playoff games before falling in the quarterfinals.

Of course, this year the Hawks have higher expectations than the elite eight. They want to make school history. They want the final four. The want the championship game. They want the ring.

Obviously very pleased to finish 9-0. The real season starts now, and we are 0-0,” Steele said. “We have to win or go home so we can’t dwell on the season for now, but yes it feels good.”

Brotherly love:

Statistically speaking, a couple of Hawks have been crushing it this season.

According to Scorebook Live Northwest, quarterback Canon Racanelli has the second-most passing yards in the state. Wide receiver Sawyer Racanelli is No. 1 in receiving yards.

Hockinson receiver Sawyer Racanelli (11) is leading the state in receiving yards, According to Scorebook Live Northwest. Photo by Mike Schultz

Hockinson receiver Sawyer Racanelli (11) is leading the state in receiving yards, According to Scorebook Live Northwest. Photo by Mike Schultz

On Twitter, Canon celebrated Sawyer by calling him the “best in the state.”

Sawyer responded: “Helps having the best QB in the state throwing me the ball.”

Hmmmm, they did this on Twitter? Hope they still talk to each other the old-fashioned way at home!

MVP on offense in Week 9:

Canon Racanelli. “He has been unstoppable all year, and he put on a show. He is the best player in our league,” Steele said.

MVP on defense in Week 9:

“The defense as a whole. Defense wins championships, and we are so much better on this side of the ball this year.”

Next and beyond:

Hockinson takes on Aberdeen in a District 4 playoff.

I have watched a lot of film of the Evergreen league and Aberdeen has the best running back up there,” Steele said. “This kid is real good. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. We have to shut him down.”

Kylan Touch, Steele said, touched the ball on 40 of Aberdeen’s 56 plays last week.

Hockinson has to be excited about its chances. The Hawks come into this game as the third-ranked team in the state according to The Associated Press’ poll.

(This is where the players should look away. They’re not supposed to look ahead. We media and fans can, though!)

The state playoffs begin in Week 10, and while no ranking system is perfect, the Hawks again have to like their position.

Hockinson is the only team in the AP’s top seven in its part of the bracket. The Hawks would not have to play a top-seven team until the semifinals at the earliest. Tumwater and Archbishop Murphy are on the other side of the bracket and avoid Hockinson until the finals.

As far as the MaxPreps rankings, Selah is No. 7 and is in the same quad as Hockinson. Either way, though, the Hawks have a favorable draw, based on those factors.

Also, Hockinson would get to play in Clark County in Weeks 11 and 12 – again, should the Hawks keep winning.

Hawks in the streak discussion:

Soon after Camas lost a league game for the first time since 2009, I was asked which team has the longest current league win streak in Clark County.

Hockinson has a say in this.
The Hawks went 6-0 this season and won their last five league games of 2016 for a total of 11.

Mountain View has had back-to-back 5-0 seasons in the 3A Greater St. Helens League, plus the Thunder won their last league game in 2014 (in the 4A GSHL) for a total of 11 league wins in a row.

The Hawks and Thunder are tied for the longest league winning streaks in Clark County.

(The Thunder, though, can claim 15 in a row in the 3A GSHL. They went 5-0 as a 3A GSHL member in 2013 before moving to the 4A GSHL for two seasons.)
But because this is Hockinson’s weekly report, not Mountain View’s, we’ll just call it a tie.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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