Class 4A GSHL football notes: A 300-yard rushing game for one is for all

Steven Hancock of Battle Ground got a lot of help from his blockers; plus tidbits from all 4A GSHL teams

Here are the weekly football notes from the 4A Greater St. Helens League

BATTLE GROUND TIGERS (2-4, 1-1 4A GSHL)

Week 6: Battle Ground 41, Heritage 35

One-man show is not a one-man show:

By now you have heard about Steven Hancock’s epic performance. 

More than 50 carries. More than 300 yards rushing. Six touchdowns.

Me, I wanted to do more than hear about it. I had to watch it.

Steven Hancock rushed for six touchdowns and more than 300 yards in a Week 6 victory. He had a lot of help, of course. Photo by Mike Schultz
Steven Hancock rushed for six touchdowns and more than 300 yards in a Week 6 victory. He had a lot of help, of course. Photo by Mike Schultz

So yes, I had the opportunity to watch just about every single one of his carries. I saw 53 of them, by the way, for 347 yards. A person who was there, who I trust, had him for 54 carries for 357 yards. Yes, it’s possible I missed a carry while watching HUDL highlights or perhaps that play was not listed on the video.

Either way, that’s a lot of carries, a lot of yards, and a lot of touchdowns.

Here are the highlights, along with the names of some of the top blocks on the longest runs and the touchdown runs.

His first big play came on his sixth carry, a 27-yard gain. Credit Ashton Levesque and Alex Mayer with a double-team block and Mason Wann with the kick-out block.

The next play was a 10-yard touchdown. Wann and Maksym Bahnyuk with key blocks, as well as Mayer.

Wann got the key block on Hancock’s second touchdown, a 1-yard run.

Later, Hancock gained about five yards before he seemed to be stopped. Four or five defenders were on him. However, he carried that group another six yards for an 11-yard gain.

His 43-yard touchdown run showed off some serious strength. He broke three tackles, including one in the backfield.

He had a 2-yard touchdown run with blocks from Brody Smith and Bahnyuk.

There was a 13-yard run in the third quarter in which he legally hurded a defender. (In high school football, one is not allowed to try to jump over a standing defender. However, if the defender is already on the ground, it is OK.) On that play, center Brody Brown had a mountain of a football player to block. Brown moved a mountain that play, creating the big hole.

There was a 19-yard gain to get to 231 yards with a double-team block from Mayer and Ricardo Lara, and other key blocks from Bahnyuk and Wann. On the same drive, Hancock would score on a 3-yard run, with the same four players getting their blocks.

In the fourth quarter, Wann and Chris Dunne made a 13-yard run happen. Dunne’s reaction is great, as he celebrates Hancock’s run as if it was Dunne scoring a touchdown. 

The final touchdown of the game came on a 1-yarder, with Bahnyuk pulling and Mayer leading the way.

His final big run was a 13-yarder, courtesy of Lara’s key block. 

Statistically, the yards go down as Hancock’s yards. But these were Tiger yards.

Next: Camas at Battle Ground, 7 p.m. Friday

HERITAGE TIMBERWOLVES (2-4, 0-2 4A GSHL)

Week 6: Battle Ground 41, Heritage 35

Take a closer look:
The Heritage Timberwolves likely will finish last in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.

Still, the numbers, as well as the observations of the head coach, say this is an improved team.

Heritage fell to Battle Ground in Week 6, 41-35. The Timberwolves had already lost to undefeated Camas plus they have traditional powers Union and Skyview on the league schedule.

Yep, nobody expects the Timberwolves to win a league game now.

But the Timberwolves are playing better.

A year ago, the Timberwolves scored three points — combined — in their four league games. 

This year, they have 42 points in two games.

This year, they led Battle Ground by 14 points at the half.

“I was proud of our guys,” Heritage coach Dennis Moody said. “We’re always competing. We’re not giving up. We just lack consistency and the killer instinct.”

After all, the Timberwolves are just not accustomed to having a big lead.

Still, this is progress. 

Two weeks ago, Heritage gave up 65 points to Camas. However, Heritage scored the third touchdown of that game, then got the ball back, trailing by six. Sure, it was only for a few minutes, but Moody noted that Heritage was competing against one of the best teams in the state. 

“Our guys are still grinding. They’re still up beat,” Moody said.

The Timberwolves play Union on Friday, then a non-league game against Emerald Ridge, and they finish the season against Skyview.

“The great thing about our guys: They don’t fear it,” Moody said “It’s, ‘Who’s up next?’ They battle. They compete.”

Next: Heritage vs. Union, 4:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

CAMAS PAPERMAKERS (6-0, 1-0 4A GSHL)

Week 6: Camas 52, Sumner 0

More revenge:

The Camas Papermakers remain undefeated through six weeks. A year ago, they were 3-3 at this time, with losses to Lincoln, Bellevue, and Sumner.

After topping Sumner on Friday, the Papermakers are 3-0 against those squads this season, 3-0 with a combined score of 100-21. 

Specialist:
Teams keep punting to Tyler Forner. 

Teams keep getting scored on by Tyler Forner.

Seems like Forner scores every week on a return.

It happened again. This time, a 93-yard return. 

Of course, it’s not just Forner. 

Tyler Forner returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown Friday night. Or, one could say, he pretty much gets a return for a touchdown every Friday night. Photo by Kris Cavin.
Tyler Forner returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown Friday night. Or, one could say, he pretty much gets a return for a touchdown every Friday night. Photo by Kris Cavin.

Charlie Bump who did a great job blocking his guy all the way downfield as the punt was in the air. Bump was smart enough to let his guy go just before his opponent turned his back on him. (Don’t want a block-in-the-back penalty.) 

As soon as Forner caught the punt, that same player turned back, and Bump was there to re-engage the block. Perfectly done.

Now here’s the Forner part that is amazing. There were five Sumner players closing in on him. Bump blocked one, but the other four were in a position to get to Forner. 

Nope. Forner turned on the jets and ran right in between them.

Another good block came from, I believe, No. 28 Sebastian Harb. 

From there, all Forner. 

Next: Camas at Battle Ground, 7 p.m. Friday

Skyview Storm, High School Football, Vancouver, Clark County, 4A GSHL, Yaro Duvalko, Ahmani Williams, Jalynnee McGee, Mason Wheeler, Jack Nitschke, Cooper Barnum

SKYVIEW STORM (5-1, 2-0 4A GSHL)

Week 6: Skyview 30, Union 3

Defense:
Skyview coach Steve Kizer told me that the Storm had to make sure the Titans didn’t get any big plays.

So it must have been a shock to the system when Union got a big play on the first play from scrimmage. A flea-flicker worked for a 50-yard pass, setting up the Titans at the Skyview 9-yard line.

OK, so maybe allowing one big play in a game of this magnitude was OK.

The Storm defense rallied to the cause, getting a tackle for no gain on first down, allowing a run for a yard on second down, and then getting a tackle-for-loss for a loss of a yard on third down.

The huge boost for Union — that 50-yard gain — only turned into a field goal. 

The Storm had won that first battle of Friday night.

Union would have only one more play the rest of the half that went for more than 10 yards. 

Skyview would be up 27-3 before Union crossed the 50-yard line again. This was still in the third quarter, by the way, and the Titans are a team used to second-half comebacks. Last year. This year. Any year. No lead seems safe against the Titans.

Well, this lead was safe against the Skyview defense.

The Titans had reached the red zone and had a decent run to get inside the 10-yard line. That’s when Xavier Owens attacked the ball, ripped it out of the ball carrier’s hands, and Ahmani Williams recovered for the Storm.

The Titans’ last chance to get back in the game was taken from them.

Simple as that. 

Next: Skyview at Olympia, 6 p.m. Thursday

UNION TITANS (3-3, 0-1 4A GSHL)

Week 6: Skyview 30, Union 3


That schedule:
OK, the score was lopsided. No doubt. It happens. 

That does not mean Union is done.

A few years ago, Skyview got crushed by Camas in the regular season, then had the lead against the Papermakers in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.

One game, in Week 6, does not define a season.

Plus, just look at who Union has lost to this season: Eastlake, Puyallup, and Skyview.

Now take a look at Cascadia Prep’s 4A rankings: Puyallup is No. 5, Eastlake is No. 6, and Skyview is No. 8.

Union also beat Chiawana — its only loss of the season — and Chiawana is ranked No. 7.

Oh, and in Week 9, Union will face No. 1 Camas. 

(There are other rankings, too, that has these teams in various spots, but you get the general idea.)

That is a monster schedule. Five of the team’s nine games will be against teams ranked in the top 10 right now. 

That’s just Class 4A, by the way. Union has also topped Mountain View (3A) and Steilacoom (2A), two teams ranked in their classifications.

My point: If Union takes care of business and still makes the playoffs, which is a likely scenario, the Titans will be battle tested.

Next: Union takes on Heritage at 4:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

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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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