Class 2A/1A football notes: Seton Catholic plays smart to improve to 2-0

Plus tidbits on the rest of the Clark County teams from the Trico and 2A GSHL

Here are the weekly notes from the Clark County teams of the Trico League and the 2A Greater St. Helens League:

SETON CATHOLIC COUGARS (2-0)

Week 2: Seton Catholic 29, Northwest Christian 28

The Cougars got a late touchdown and later were able to run out the clock to preserve the victory.

Elijah Volk, shown here in August, had three touchdowns last week in Seton Catholic’s win. It was the touchdown he did not score, though, that was genius. Photo by Mike Schultz
Elijah Volk, shown here in August, had three touchdowns last week in Seton Catholic’s win. It was the touchdown he did not score, though, that was genius. Photo by Mike Schultz

Smart football:
Elijah Volk rushed for 186 yards and three touchdowns, and he could have added a few more yards and a touchdown, too.

But he and his teammates are too smart for that.

Seton Catholic was trying to run out the clock. They needed one first down to go into Victory Formation.

In the huddle, players were talking about the scenario, coach Dan Chase said. No matter what, do not score a touchdown. 

Sure enough, Volk found enough running room for the first down and, the coach said, probably could have made it to the end zone. Instead, Volk went down to the ground on his own — the winning move.

Had he scored, the Cougars would have gone up by seven and, with an extra point, eight points. But Northwest Christian would have got the ball back with a chance to tie the game.

Instead, the Cougars were able to take a knee and run out the clock.

Two-point defense:

Seton Catholic took a 29-22 lead but after a long kickoff return, Northwest Christian was able to score right away to make it 29-28. Northwest Christian went for two. 

The Seton Catholic defense pressured the quarterback, who had to hurry his pass. The ball fell incomplete. 

The Cougars were then able to run off more than four minutes of clock to seal the victory.

More numbers:
Luke Pitzer threw for 100 yards and a touchdown pass, plus he rushed for more than 60 yards. Lance Stuck had four catches for 68 yards and a score.

Next: Seton Catholic will play at Kiggins Bowl, taking on Fort Vancouver at 8 p.m. Friday.

LA CENTER WILDCATS (2-0)


Week 2:
La Center 35, Woodland 6

No need for a second-half comeback this week for the Wildcats.

Nothing too fancy:
La Center got the job done. Scored early, got the jump on the Beavers, and that was pretty much it.

“We were able to move the ball pretty well and our defense limited what they were able to do,” La Center coach John Lambert said. “Second half was really sloppy. The previous week, we elevated our game in the second half. This week, kind of cruise control. There wasn’t a sense of urgency. But we gave our young guys a chance to play at the end.”

Standout:
Jeremy Humphrey “had a tremendous game,” Lamber said. An undersized linebacker, he just jumps off the film. Tough and football savvy, Lambert said having Humphrey on the field is like having a coach on the field. “He sees things faster than most players do. That’s an advantage. He can react to any given situation.”

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN (0-2)

Week 2: Ridgefield 42, King’s Way Christian 14
The Knights played a bigger school in what could become a friendly rivalry

Coach besties?
As noted last week, this game featured two former Skyview assistants who are now head coaches playing against each other for the first time. 

Scott Rice, in his first year at Ridgefield, picked up his first win.

“I’m now your best friend, right,” King’s Way Christian coach Brian Rodriguez asked him. 

“As a friend, I’m proud of him,” Rodriguez said. “As a coach, I’m proud of him, too.”

Better than the score:
“I saw a lot of growth in our guys,” Rodriguez said. 

The stats and the score do not show it, but he saw a lot of good stretches of football from his Knights. There were long drives of eight plays or more on offense, and there were a couple really solid defensive stops. 

“Just proud of the way our guys play. The never give up,” the coach said. 

Next: The Knights will travel to take on Bellevue Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“Our theme this week is character. Looking forward to building our character when the chips are down,” Rodriguez said. “I’m really liking what we’re seeing the last few days in practice. Guys are hungry, not only to get that first win, but to keep growing.”

RIDGEFIELD SPUDDERS (1-1)

Week 2: Ridgefield 42, King’s Way Christian 14

The Spudders get their first win under new coach Scott Rice

The Ridgefield Spudders got their first win under new coach Scott Rice. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Ridgefield Spudders got their first win under new coach Scott Rice. Photo by Mike Schultz

Oh yeah:
Rice acknowledged that first win is special, but he felt better for the players.

“We know what it feels like to lose and we know what it feels like to win,” Rice said. “Now we want to chase that feeling of winning even more. Hope it’s not the only one in the near future. Looking forward to a few more of these.”

More on the friendship:
As noted in King’s Way Christian, this was a matchup of friends.

“He was the first to congratulate me,” Rice said of King’s Way Christian coach Brian Rodriguez. “It was a special win for me. For him, he’d say it was a special loss. It was great to play each other.”
Standouts:
Trey Knight “had a great night on defense,” Rice said.

Aidan Hundt had a sweet night on both sides of the ball. He made some “big-time” catches for the Spudders, plus he had a pick-six on defense. 

Next: Ridgefield opens league play on the road for a 7 p.m. game at Columbia River.

COLUMBIA RIVER CHIEFTAINS (0-2)


Week 2: Skyview 52, Columbia River 0

Not only did the Chieftains have to play a 4A program, they had to play a great 4A program.

Learning experience: 

Columbia River coach Brett Smedley is optimistic because his program has such a strong junior class and the seniors on the squad are going to do a lot of good things in the coming weeks.

Still, it was tough to go up against the Storm.

“That 4A league is tough. My goodness. Some really good football up there. A good eye opener and experience for our kids.”

A few mistakes early, and Skyview capitalized on every single one, allowing this game to get out of hand in a hurry.

“That’s why you play on Fridays, so you know what to fix for the next week,” Smedley said.

The good:
Sometimes you just have to credit the other team. Skyview just made the plays.

But after watching the film, Smedley said he was satisfied with the defense. The score made it look a lot worse, but many of those Skyview scoring drives started deep into Columbia River territory.

“Our defense was in the right spot a lot of times,” Smedley said.

Now, it will be about finishing the plays. 

Next: Columbia River hosts Ridgefield at 7 p.m. Friday in a Class 2A GSHL contest. 

HOCKINSON HAWKS (1-1)

Week 2: Archbishop Murphy 27, Hockinson 21

The longest winning streak in Clark County high school football history (playoff era) is over.

Salute:
The goal of winning a third consecutive state title remains, but the 28-game win streak is now finished. 

Hey Hawks: That’s amazing. That can never be taken away from you. Congrats. Clark County football is thrilled for how you represented the region. Well done.

Next: Hockinson travels north to take on R.A. Long at 7 p.m. Friday in a 2A GSHL game.

Mic’d up:
No need for more notes this week. But please, please go take a look at our special video project. We put a microphone on coach Rick Steel for the game against Archbishop Murphy. Hope you enjoy this interesting point of view:

WASHOUGAL PANTHERS (1-1)

Week 2: Prairie 36, Washougal 6

Nothing went right for the Panthers against Prairie, but it could help them in the long run.

Attention grabber:

“We learned you can’t just show up to beat people,” Washougal coach David Hajek said. “We think we’re a quality team. It didn’t show last week. We made a lot of bad mistakes. Just thinking you’re good and playing good are two separate things. 

“Prairie made it look worse because they are that good. They took advantage of what we couldn’t do … and we kind of panicked. I hope we have fixed our problems.”

Next: Washougal travels to Woodland for a 7 p.m. game Friday in the 2A GSHL opener for both teams. 

“We have to regroup,” Hajek said. “Any time you have a bad outing, you have to go back to the basics. Hopefully we can bounce back against Woodland. They are small in numbers, but the Woodland kids always work pretty hard. They have a Flanagan (Isaiah), so they have to be good.”

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

WOODLAND BEAVERS (0-2)

Week 2: La Center 35, Woodland 6

The Beavers are still trying to find a rhythm and some consistency.

Never giving up:
Woodland ended up getting its touchdown in the fourth quarter. The game had been decided, but the Beavers kept battling.

Hard to see the numbers on the game film. But a long punt return set up the Beavers in good position.

Later, a play-action, bootleg pass by quarterback Isaiah Flanagan, who then threw a perfect pass for a 23-yard gain to the 8-yard line. A few plays later Woodland was in the end zone, avoiding the shutout. J.J. Fuerst got the touchdown run for the Beavers.

Next: Woodland hosts Washougal at 7 p.m. Friday in a 2A GSHL matchup.

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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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