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Championship games: Hockinson and Union looking to make county history

Hawks and Titans want to bring Clark County two state football titles Saturday

It is the eve of what could turn into the most historic day for Clark County high school football.

On Saturday, for the first time, the county could be celebrating two state championship teams.

Hockinson is playing in the Class 2A finals at 1 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome. Later, it will be Union in the 4A finals, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Here are some preview notes, courtesy both coaches. For extra coverage, we will link to our friends at Cascadia Preps who have predictions and game previews.

Hockinson coach Rick Steele notes the Hawks have one more game to win after Hockinson won in the semifinals last week. There will be no fog in the Tacoma Dome on Saturday. Hockinson is looking for its second consecutive Class 2A state title. Photo by Mike Schultz
Hockinson coach Rick Steele notes the Hawks have one more game to win after Hockinson won in the semifinals last week. There will be no fog in the Tacoma Dome on Saturday. Hockinson is looking for its second consecutive Class 2A state title. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

Class 2A

No. 1 Hockinson (12-0) vs. No. 3 Lynden (13-0)

1 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome

“They are a machine,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said of Lynden. “They do what they do. They are a run-first, pass-second football team. They got kids that just don’t make mistakes.”

Steele is most impressed with the offensive linemen.

“They’re very good up front. Their offensive line looks really good. Big, big, up front. They’re going to cause us problems,” Steele said. “If you stand up against them, they’ll drive you out to the parking lot.”

Steele said Lynden is a spread team but a spread team that runs and is not in a hurry. The Lions will get right back to the line of scrimmage, but they usually do not snap the ball right away.

“It looks like to me they want to get five or six yards, take their time, get five or six yards again,” Steele said. “They’ll do that all the way down the field.”

The Lynden defense will give Hockinson a new look,too. Won’t get too technical here, but the Hawks have been practicing to stay in position for their blocking schemes. The Lions like to slant, more than most teams, and the Hawks have to be disciplined, stay home, and make the block when the opponent shows up.

Then again, Hockinson does a lot of things Lynden probably has not seen much this season.

“Their league is a run-heavy league,” Steele said. “I’m pretty excited about our opportunities to throw the ball.”

The Hawks have won 26 consecutive games dating back to last year’s championship season. If they get to 27, they will be the first team from Clark County to win back-to-back state football titles.

For more on this game, here is a preview from Cascadia Preps:

https://247sports.com/high-school/washington/LongFormArticle/2A-Championship-Preview-Hockinson-Hawks-vs-Lynden-Lions-125548081/#125548081_2

The Union Titans hope to have another celebration this week, only this time at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday night. Union takes on Lake Stevens in the Class 4A state championship game at 7:30 p.m. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Union Titans hope to have another celebration this week, only this time at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday night. Union takes on Lake Stevens in the Class 4A state championship game at 7:30 p.m. Photo by Mike Schultz

Class 4A

No. 1 Union (13-0) vs. No. 3 Lake Stevens (13-0)

7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome

“They do some really cool stuff on offense,” Union coach Rory Rosenbach said of Lake Stevens. “They spread the ball around to a bunch of different guys.”

And, oh yeah, this is the state championship game. So Lake Stevens must be pretty darn good, too.

“They deserve to be here,” Rosenbach said.

“The battle you need to watch is our defensive front versus their offensive line,” Rosenbach said. “That’s the challenge. That’s the ball game. If we can limit their ability to spread us out and run, we have a chance to win.”

Notice he said limit. Rosenbach said Lake Stevens is likely too strong to shut down completely.

That means Union will have to be on its game on offense. That is not necessarily a concern lately. The Titans have scored 55, 50, 49, and 35 points this postseason.

The Titans also are tested. They trailed early in the quarterfinals and it was tied going into the fourth quarter. Plus they trailed by 14 in the second half of the semifinals. Oh, and they had their share of close games in the regular season, as well.

“We’re battle-tested,” Rosenbach said. “We know what it’s like to play with a lead and hold on. We know what it’s like to come back. It can only help us when we get to the dome.”

For more on this game, here is a preview from Cascadia Preps:

https://247sports.com/high-school/washington/LongFormArticle/4A-Championship-Preview-Union-Titans-vs-Lake-Stevens-Vikings-125486784/

Oh, and for predictions from Cascadia Preps, click here:

https://247sports.com/high-school/washington/Article/2018-Predictions-State-Championships-125608933/

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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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