2A/1A football notes: Hockinson thrilled with being able to find a game Week 7

Hawks will travel to Kelso; plus tidbits from around the 2A GSHL and Trico League.

Here are the notes from the Class 2A and 1A football programs in Clark County.

HOCKINSON HAWKS (5-1, 4-0 2A GSHL)

Week 6: Hockinson 49, Mark Morris 3

The Hockinson Hawks are playing this week, and they are thrilled with the opportunity.

A year ago, the Hawks did not play in Week 7. A non-league opponent could not be found. 

Hockinson quarterback Levi Crum, shown here earlier this season, and his teammates get to play in Week 7 after all. Previously a bye on the schedule, Hockinson will travel to Kelso on Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Hockinson quarterback Levi Crum, shown here earlier this season, and his teammates get to play in Week 7 after all. Previously a bye on the schedule, Hockinson will travel to Kelso on Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

This year, the plan was once again to not play in Week 7 — that hole in the schedule had not been filled.

Well, a few weeks ago, the Hawks found an opponent. Kelso also had a bye on its schedule. Plus, Kelso lost a game earlier this season. The Hilanders had to do something to get another game. The Hawks were ready for the call.

“Finally. The kids were really excited,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said. 

So a Class 3A team with a strong tradition will host the two-time defending Class 2A state champions at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Picking up Kelso, that’s the kind of opponent we want. We want people who will test us,” Steele said. “Our kids, win, lose, or draw, we just want to compete and get better. It will help us get ready for the playoffs. This will be a good stretch for us: Kelso, Washougal, Ridgefield. That’s three quality opponents.”

The Hawks had some fun last year during the break in action. There was a team bowling event. In the long run, though, Steele said the bye was not good for his team. The Hawks came out sluggish in Week 8.

“You get the momentum, and you just want to keep going,” Steele said. “Not having that Week 7, kind of blah. It’s tough to come to practice when you don’t have an opponent that week.”

This year, the Hawks don’t have to worry about that.

Kelso and Hockinson figured out a way.

LA CENTER WILDCATS (6-0, 2-0 Trico)

SETON CATHOLIC COUGARS (3-2, 0-2 Trico)

Week 6: La Center 49, Stevenson 0; Columbia-White Salmon 42, Seton Catholic 0

Speaking of dealing with a Week 7 bye … the La Center Wildcats do not have an opponent this week.

During the offseason, Seton Catholic opted out of playing La Center. There was a concern over the number of players Seton Catholic would get out for football, and playing a powerhouse such as La Center could turn ugly. While Seton Catholic did get a decent number of players out for football, more than half are first-year players. 

Bottom line: The league game is no more for La Center. Seton Catholic scheduled a non-league game against Morton-White Pass, to be played Saturday. La Center was not able to find an opponent.

The Wildcats are, indeed, cruising. They have scored at least 35 points in all six of their wins. They will return to action with a home game Oct. 25 against Columbia-White Salmon.

WASHOUGAL PANTHERS (3-3, 2-1 2A GSHL)

Week 6: Washougal 47, Columbia River 6

Frustration leads to big win:
The Washougal Panthers will always look back on Week 5 wondering what happened. They had nearly 600 yards of offense. They were in the red zone all night. Yet somehow could not figure out how to score enough points in a loss to Ridgefield.

There were injuries. There were penalties. Things that happen to all teams. But for whatever reason, all the negativity snowballed on the Panthers in the three-point loss. 

It was a shocker around the 2A Greater St. Helens League.

Frustrated for sure, but then the Panthers let out their frustrations against Columbia River in Week 6.

It was a completely dominating performance over a team that beat Ridgefield by 18 points earlier this season.

The Panthers are back.

“I was surprised it turned out as lopsided as it did as early as it did,” Washougal coach Dave Hajek said.

Washougal scored four first-quarter touchdowns.

“I thought we were the better team, but I didn’t think it would go that way.”

He said his players learned a valuable lesson after the Week 5 game. They regained their focus for Columbia River. And now the Panthers are back to where they expected to be all along, still with a chance at a league title.

Yes, yes, we know Hockinson is still the team to beat. But if Washougal can beat Mark Morris this week, the Panthers will play Hockinson in Week 8 with a chance to beat the Hawks.

Remember, going into the season, Washougal was just about everyone’s pick to finish second behind Hockinson. The loss to Ridgefield was a stunner to many — including the Panthers — but the Panthers still believe they can accomplish their goals. 

Next: Washougal travels to Longview to take on Mark Morris at 7 p.m. Friday.

COLUMBIA RIVER CHIEFTAINS (2-4, 2-2 2A GSHL)

Week 6: Washougal 47, Columbia River 6


Move on:
This was a game the Chieftains would like to forget.

But this is a good time to remind readers that this team is super young, learning a new system with a new head coach. 

The Chieftains have two league wins and remain in a position to possibly tie for second in the 2A GSHL.

Progress has been made, even if the Week 6 game got away from the Chieftains.

Next: Columbia River will be in search of league win No. 3 with a home game against R.A. Long, 7 p.m. Friday.

RIDGEFIELD SPUDDERS (4-2, 3-1 2A GSHL)

Week 6: Ridgefield 62, R.A. Long 0

Progress:
OK, so R.A. Long is struggling this season. Not a whole lot to be learned for the Spudders from a game that ended up 62-0.

But let’s take a moment to give a salute to the Spudders and their new coaches. They are 4-2 overall now, with three league wins. It’s been a while. 

A year ago, Ridgefield won one league game and three overall. Two years ago, zero league wins and one non-league victory.

These Spudders are not only improving, they are learning that in order to make the leap, they cannot take any team lightly. The score got out of hand Friday night, but that also shows that Ridgefield was focused on the task at hand.

Next: Ridgefield hosts Woodland at 7 p.m. Friday

Woodland Beavers, Woodland, Class 2A Greater St. Helens League, high school football, Jason Bowman, Michael Karchesky, Isaiah Flanagan, Hunter Smith, Garrett Lutgen

WOODLAND BEAVERS (1-5, 1-2 2A GSHL)

Week 6: Montesano 45, Woodland 6

Injuries have made a tough season worse for Woodland. The Beavers entered the season with an inexperienced group. 

Still, a chance to take down a nearby rival should have them fired up this week. 

Next: Woodland goes on a short road trip to Ridgefield, 7 p.m. Friday.

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN KNIGHTS (2-4, 0-2)

Week 6: Castle Rock 41, King’s Way Christian 33

Going down fighting: No one likes to lose, but the Knights have to feel good about how they played in Week 6 despite the final outcome.

They were getting crushed by Castle Rock. It was 35-6 … in the fourth quarter.

King’s Way, though, scored the next four touchdowns to make it 35-33 before Castle Rock scored the final touchdown of the game.

No such thing as moral victories? Baloney. 

Yes there are in high school football. Maybe not for the elite programs, the teams used to winning playoff games and/or championships. But for a small-school program on the rise, this was a fantastic showing.

Keep playing. Never give up. See what happens.

The Knights put a scare into the Rockets. The Knights got a win, even in a loss.

Next: King’s Way Christian heads to Columbia-White Salmon for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

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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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