Football quarterfinals: Previewing Camas, Washougal, and Hockinson

Undefeated Papermakers are home, Hawks to host in Battle Ground, and Panthers hit the road

Clark County started with 18 football programs in September.

From there, 11 qualified for the Week 10 playoffs.

Then it was eight that advanced to state.

Now, three remain.

Camas (4A) is undefeated.

Hockinson (2A) is hoping for a third consecutive state title.

Washougal (2A) wants to keep this dream season alive.

Here are some notes featuring the three Clark County teams playing Saturday. Camas and Hockinson are in the region, while Washougal hits the road again.

Class 4A

No. 7 Puyallup (10-1) at No. 2 Camas (11-0)

2 p.m. Saturday at Doc Harris Stadium

Last week:
Camas 41, Eastmont 0
Puyallup 40, Eastlake 34

Randy Yaacoub, shown here earlier this season, has been making huge contributions to the Camas rushing attack. Photo by Mike Schultz
Randy Yaacoub, shown here earlier this season, has been making huge contributions to the Camas rushing attack. Photo by Mike Schultz

Camas: The injuries to impact players have not slowed the Papermakers. Yes, it has been said before, but it cannot be overstated. Injuries happen, and the best programs, the programs with depth and coaching, overcome and thrive. That’s the story of the 2019 Camas Papermakers. Coach Jon Eagle told me a few weeks ago that injuries lead to opportunities for others, and those second-string players become starters, and then those guys become the impact players. Just never know until an athlete is put into the position. So far, it has been a perfect position for the Papermakers.

Last week, the defense got a shutout in the first round of the state playoffs. It was an impressive display against a Wing-T offense that averaged 43.5 points per game. (Yes, I know Eastmont did not have the most challenging schedule but 43.5 points a game and then … nothing. Camas was ready.)

Eastmont’s first five drives:

Three-and-out, punt, 3 yards

Five plays, 23 yards, punt

Two plays, lost fumble, -3 yards

Three-and-out, punt (and the punt was blocked), 6 yards

Four plays, 9 yards, loss of downs.

The first and only sustained drive of the first half came after Camas held a 34-0 lead. 

Puyallup: The Vikings’ only loss of the season came against Graham-Kapowsin, an undefeated team seeded No. 4 in the state playoffs. Quarterback Luke Holcomb has thrown 19 touchdown passes and has more than 2,700 yards. Isaiah Dickerson leads the team with 705 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Joseph Dwyer had six touchdown receptions and more than 600 yards receiving. 

History: Camas’ state playoff history did not start until 2003. Since then, though, Camas has pretty much turned into a regular. This is the 13th state appearance, which includes the 2016 Class 4A state championship and three other final four trips. However, the Papermakers did not make it to state last season. Which just means this, too, is all part of that Revenge Tour.

This is Puyallup’s 17th appearance in state. The Vikings won the 1987 state title. This is the third trip in a row to state after a long layoff. The Vikings do not enjoy Clark County. Last year, the Vikings blew a 14-point lead to Union in the regular season and then again in the state semifinals. Puyallup’s “revenge,” if you will, would be to exorcise the demons of losing in Clark County. 

Computers: The ScoreCzar as Camas at No. 3 and Puyallup at No. 8. Evans Rankings has exactly as the state seeding committee. Camas is No. 7 and Puyallup is No. 7. 

Welcome Puyallup: As noted last week, never a bad idea to get to Doc Harris Stadium early. A  week ago, the parking lot was full at 12:15 p.m., one hour and 45 minutes prior to kickoff. There is plenty of street parking around, but Camas fans get there early. It is, after all, a party. … And I will never get tired of noting that the Camas band will welcome all visiting teams by playing the fight song of the visiting team. That is one of the greatest gestures in Washington high school sports. 

Class 2A 

No. 11 Washougal (7-4) vs. No. 3 Lynden (8-2)

2 p.m. Saturday at Civic Stadium in Bellingham

Last week:

Washougal 14, Clarkston 13

Lynden 41, Othello 14

Washougal quarterback Dalton Payne, shown here earlier this season, helped Washougal to its first state playoff win since 1974. Photo by Mike Schultz
Washougal quarterback Dalton Payne, shown here earlier this season, helped Washougal to its first state playoff win since 1974. Photo by Mike Schultz

Washougal: The Panthers were the only double-digit seed to win in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs. They also had to travel 321 miles to the game. This week, the Panthers only have to go 268 miles. Do not expect the Panthers to be intimidated. 

What a crazy finish to last week’s game. The Panthers kept getting in their own way in the first half, but the defense kept the game close. Washougal got a third-quarter touchdown to make it a six-point lead. Then, with a minute to play in the game, Brevan Bea scored on a 2-yard run.

Of course, those who were there, or those of us who “watched” via social media, this was not the usual 2-yard touchdown run.

The referee blew the whistle to allow for a play, to start the play clock after a dead ball. The snap came just as the whistle was ending. Most of the players stopped for a half-second or so, wondering if the whistle was blowing the play dead. Nope. Play on. Bea ended up scoring. 

Clarkston coaches complained. They were likely hoping for an inadvertent whistle, to replay the down. The officials huddled. Then ruled a touchdown.

I talked to two Evergreen Football Officials Association members regarding this play. (No one from the association was working this game.) Both said it was not an inadvertent whistle. One said he might have considered blowing the play dead when everyone stopped. But then when that official saw video of the play, he said, nope, it was the right call to allow the play to continue.

Washougal did not snap too early (which could be a penalty). Instead, the Panthers snapped pretty much as soon as possible within the rules. 

Lynden: The Lions have losses to Sedro-Woolley, which did not make it to the Class 2A state playoffs, and to Mount Baker, a Class 1A state quarterfinalist. They also have wins over Lakewood, Archbishop Murphy, and Steilacoom. All three of those teams are still alive in the 2A bracket. That means that Lynden is tested. 

Steven DiLorenzo rushed for two touchdowns and more than 180 yards in last week’s state opener. He has more than 1,300 yards this season. 

History: Well, I knew Washougal won a state playoff game in 1974, but I did not know until I looked it up to write this report that Washougal actually beat Lynden in 1974. So in the history of Washougal state playoff football, the Panthers have NEVER lost to Lynden. … OK, it is the only state playoff win, that victory in 1974. Washougal made it to state in 1999, too, but did get a win that season.

Lynden has a slightly different playoff history. The Lions have, oh, eight state championships. Yes, eight. Including three this decade. This is the 30th appearance in the state playoffs. Wow. 

Lynden lost in the state championship game last year to Hockinson.

Computers: ScoreCzar has Lynden at No. 5 and Washougal at No. 15. Evans Rankings has Lynden No. 5 and Washougal at No. 13. 

Travel: OK, you already know it is 268 miles from Washougal High School to Civic Stadium. Google Maps says it is a 4-hour, 15-minute drive … at night. But one still must go through Tacoma and Seattle so don’t expect to get there in 4:15 if you leave at 9 a.m. … even on a Saturday.

My suggestion: Wait until 6 or 7 p.m. Friday and start driving north, get a hotel, get a good night’s sleep, then be there with no stress for the 2 p.m. Saturday kickoff. 

Prince: Last week, I advised Prince’s “1999” for your road trip song. After all, it was Washougal’s first state playoff game since 1999.

This week, go with “Baby I’m a Star.” To be true to the soul of Prince, go with “I Would Die 4 U and then “Baby I’m a Star” because those two songs should always go together. Also, be careful. I cannot drive less than 80 mph when those songs are on, but I have faith in you to be within the law. 

Why “Baby I’m a Star”? At the end of Purple Rain, the movie, this is the song that screams victory. He had won over the crowd, including his nemesis. 

Hey, The Kid is pretty good after all.

Well, that’s Washougal football. No matter what happens in the game, Washougal is in the elite eight. 

Hey, Panthers, you are a star. That hasn’t been said in football in 45 years.

Class 2A 

No. 5 Lakewood (9-1) vs. No. 4 Hockinson (10-1)

4 p.m. Saturday at District Stadium in Battle Ground

Last week:

Lakewood 38, Sequim 12

Hockinson 21, Ellensburg 15

Quarterback Levi Crum has shown off his running skills, too, and that was key in Hockinson’s win in the first round last week. Photo by Mike Schultz
Quarterback Levi Crum has shown off his running skills, too, and that was key in Hockinson’s win in the first round last week. Photo by Mike Schultz

Hockinson: Much like Camas, Hockinson has had to deal with injuries all season. The Hawks keep getting the job done.

What the Hawks did last week was truly special, though.

Remember the state title game from 2018? The usual game plan was not working for the Hawks. They were trailing Lynden 24-7 midway through the third quarter. Sawyer Racanelli would rush for five touchdowns. Yes, rush. One of the greatest wide receivers in Washington state history became a Wildcat formation quarterback and, behind an incredible offensive line, he rushed for five touchdowns in what turned into a 42-37 victory.

Well, Racanelli is one of the huge injuries this season. The Hawks could not turn to him this year.

Instead, they went with quarterback Levi Crum, a passing wizard, and asked him to dominate with his legs.

Hockinson trailed 15-7 at the half. Coach Rick Steele told his guys at halftime that they were going with the heavy package. No need to throw it on most downs. Just get physical and crush the person in front of you and let the running game take over.

Crum was up to the challenge, too, rushing for more than 140 yards. The Hockinson defense shut out Ellensburg in the second half, and the Hawks won yet another state playoff game. 

When Hockinson first came onto the scene, statewide, the program was known for its pass-happy offense. The Hawks can still do that. But they have proven they can adapt. 

In fact, in three of the past four state playoff games, the Hawks have trailed at halftime. Haven’t lost yet.

Lakewood: The Cougars are 9-1. The only loss came to No. 3 Lynden, and it was not close. However, the Cougars do have a win over No. 8 Archbishop Murphy, the team that handed Hockinson its only loss this season.

A year ago, just about everyone figured Hockinson would roll to another state title. It turned out, the Hawks had to rally in the second half of the semifinals and in the championship game.

Well this year, it looks like the close battles just might start a round early. 

There are no gimmes.

Jared Taylor is a dual-threat quarterback. He has rushed for 1,285 yards and 18 touchdowns plus he has 15 TD passes and more than 1,000 passing yards. Carson Chrisman has half of the receiving yards and seven TD receptions. Landen Pruitt is second on the team in rushing with more than 600 yards.

History: Hockinson’s history remains its present. The program has won nine consecutive state playoff games. Undefeated in 2017. Undefeated in 2018. One loss during this regular season. The Hawks have won 37 of their past 38 games. This is the fifth state playoff appearance for the Hawks.

This is Lakewood’s first state appearance since 2012 and last week’s victory was the first state win since 2011. It is the fifth appearance for the program.

Computers: ScoreCzar has Hockinson at No. 2 and Lakewood at No. 6. Evans Rankings has Lakewood at No. 3 and Hockinson at No. 4. Oh, looks like we’ve got ourselves a computer battle, too. Welcome Lakewood: It’s about 200 miles from Lakewood to Battle Ground’s District Stadium. Easy drive once you get south of Tacoma. Battle Ground High School is also easy to find. Exit off I-5 and you are on the highway straight into town. The high school is about 6.5 miles off the freeway. No turns needed until you arrive. District Stadium is way behind the high school. Plenty of parking, although the parking is not easy to see of the main street. You’ll be going right through Battle Ground, though. Plenty of food options, if you get to town early. Or, even if you want a quick bite on your way back home.

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