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Week 1: Hockinson gets ready for Thursday’s prime time

Hawks put 15-game winning streak on the line in a televised game

The Hockinson Hawks won their 15th consecutive football game, opening the 2018 season with a win in Week 1.

Week 2 is the focus now. As in right now. Tonight. Thursday night football.

Hockinson coach Rick Steele will guide his team into a marquee matchup with Archbishop Murphy Thursday. The game will be televised on Root Sports. Photo by Mike Schultz
Hockinson coach Rick Steele will guide his team into a marquee matchup with Archbishop Murphy Thursday. The game will be televised on Root Sports. Photo by Mike Schultz

Hockinson Hawks (1-0)

Week 1: Hockinson 52, Toppenish 14

Next: Hockinson at Archbishop Murphy, 7 p.m. Thursday (TV: Root Sports Northwest)

The Hawks, ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press’ Class 2A rankings, will travel to take on Archbishop Murphy, No. 3 in the poll, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

If you can’t make it to Everett, no problem. The game will be televised on Root Sports Northwest. (Check your cable or satellite provider for channel.)

“The kids are really excited. They’re excited to be on TV. They’re excited to play Archbishop Murphy,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said. “How good are we? How good are we going to play against what I think is a pretty darn good football team?”

Archbishop Murphy won the 2016 Class 2A state championship. Hockinson won the 2017 Class 2A state championship.

Yes, kind of a big game.

“Archbishop Murphy is going to come out of that locker room loaded for bear,” Steele said. “They have to send us a message. We need to do the same thing.”

Even though Hockinson has won a state championship, this is believed to be the first live television broadcast for a Hawks football game. The lower classification do not normally have their state championship games on live television. And for the regular season, these games are usually reserved for the powerhouse schools.

Hockinson was never considered a power program … until now.

Last year was the first season the Hawks made it past the quarterfinals. Well, they have made a name for themselves. They are big-time now.

Nice debut:

After going 14-0 in 2017, the Hawks are now 1-0 in 2018 with a convincing road win.

“I think Toppenish has tough kids. We just had better athletes on the field at so many different spots. They had a hard time keeping up with us,” Steele said.

The Hawks had 175 yards rushing. They already know how to pass.

“When you’re pretty balanced like that, with our type of athletes, we put people in really bad spots,” Steele said.

He credited the running of Juice Jones and Jon Domingos. Plus he was thrilled with Levi Crum’s first start at quarterback.

More impressive, Steele said, was the offensive line. It was the first start for the two tackles, Ki Haden and Spencer Lindberg.

On defense, Domingos was all over the field from his middle linebacker position.

The coach also loved how Makaio Juarez responded to a tough break early in the game. The defensive back’s feet got tangled with the receiver. Juarez went down, and Toppenish got a touchdown on the play.

“I like how he came back after that,” Steele said. “The rest of the game, his coverage was fantastic. This kid is fast. Every other pass they threw his way, he knocked it down.”

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About The Author

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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