Two-time defending state Class 2A champions lose on their own field to highly ranked opponent
HOCKINSON — The greatest win streak in Clark County high school football history is now history.
But that’s the thing: It is history.
Hockinson’s 28-game win streak came to an end Friday night as Archbishop Murphy rolled into town, never trailed, and held off a late rally by the Hawks for a 27-21 victory.
“It’s definitely special,” Jeremiah Faulstick said of the streak.
Even in defeat, it is not the end of the world for the Hawks, who fell to 1-1 this season. Hockinson had not lost since the 2016 playoffs, going 14-0 in 2017 and 13-0 last year, claiming two Class 2A state championships.
“This (loss) doesn’t have anything to do with us winning state again. That’s the big picture,” said Faulstick, who caught a touchdown pass in Hockinson’s attempt at a comeback. “Our focus is on winning state. If anything, this loss puts a chip on our shoulder, which we haven’t had in a long time.”
Hockinson quarterback Levi Crum echoed those thoughts.
“Twenty-eight in a row is pretty crazy,” he acknowledged. “It’s football, though. You’re not going to win every single game. There is going to be a time when all the cards don’t line up. A good football team like Archbishop Murphy is going to take advantage of it.”
The Wildcats did just that. Quarterback Victor Gabalis scored two touchdowns, including one on a 74-yard run, and defensive end Josh McCarron had four sacks, leading Archbishop Murphy to victory.
“It’s just incredible,” McCarron said. “We did extra gassers (sprints) preparing just for this game. We wanted to poke the bear.”
The Wildcats enjoyed their moment — this win will make headlines throughout the state — but they also know this is only Week 2.
“Don’t let this be the highlight of the season,” McCarron said. “We’re not coming just to beat Hockinson. We’re coming to win a state championship.”
Which means that both teams have the same goal. Hockinson coach Rick Steele would love another opportunity to play the Wildcats in November or December.
“We shot all our toes off in this game, and we were still in position to win it,” Steele said. “As bad as we played, we were still in position.”
That is what the Hawks will gain from this result. They trailed 14-0 and 21-7 and 27-14. Yet they got it to within six points and had the ball in the final minute with a shot.
“When you shoot yourself in the foot that early, it’s hard to come back, hard to bounce back,” Crum said. “We did a great job of it. That second half showed how much heart we have. At least we made it a football game.”
“We showed a lot of fight,” Faulstick said. “We were close.”
Crum noted that no play in the second half cost the team the win. It was the tough start in the first quarter.
The Hawks got inside the red zone on their first two possessions and started their third possession on Archbishop Murphy’s 23-yard line. Hockinson got nothing out of all three of those first-quarter drives.
Both teams were penalized often and both suffered from the turnover bug. Only the team on the wrong end of the scoreboard, though, says what-if.
“Being inside the 30 three times and didn’t score. You just can’t do that,” Steele said. “Penalties, penalties, penalties. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. They’re a damn good football team. Give them credit. But we didn’t do much to help ourselves. We’re going to learn a lot from this.
“The beauty of it is we schedule non-league opponents to make us a better football team,” he added. “This loss makes us a better football team.”
Peyton Brammer’s 26-yard touchdown pass from Crum made it 27-21 with 5:27 left to play in the game. The Hockinson defense would force a punt, and the Hawks got the ball back with 1:24 to play.
The Hawks would get to their own 48-yard line — a fourth-down conversion with a Crum keeper — but three incompletions and a penalty made it fourth-and-long, and the Hawks were unable to convert.
Gabalis gave the Wildcats the lead with a 74-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. After a Hockinson fumble, Mason Mathis scored on a 5-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
The Hawks responded with an eight-play drive, capped by Cody Wheeler’s 5-yard touchdown.
Cody Wheeler scores for Hockinson. pic.twitter.com/wJAEBYHKsQ— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) September 14, 2019
But the Wildcats needed less than two minutes to go up 21-7 on a 49-yard pass from Gabalis to Joe Ennis.
Hockinson had a vintage 1-minute drive to return the favor, with Faulstick making a great catch in traffic for a 14-yard TD pass from Crum with 23 seconds left in the half.
There was no scoring in the third quarter. Archbishop Murphy went up by two scores early in the fourth quarter on a QB keeper from Gabalis.
The Hawks got the final touchdown — Brammer caught the 26-yard pass from Crum even though there was defensive pass interference on the play.
The Hawks made it a game, made it interesting, but in the end could not extend their historic run.
The goal for the 2019 season remains, though.
And no matter what happens the rest of this campaign, Hockinson’s streak cannot be taken away from this group.
ARCHBISHOP MURPHY 27, HOCKINSON 21
AB Murphy 0 21 0 6—27
Hockinson 0 14 0 7—21
ABM — Victor Gabalis 74 run (Anthony Veneziani kick)
ABM — Mason Mathis 5 run (Veneziani kick)
H — Cody Wheeler 5 run (Troy Visnius kick)
ABM — Joe Ennis 49 pass from Gabalis (Veneziani kick)
H — Jeremiah Faulstick 14 pass from Levi Crum (Visnius kick)
ABM — Gabalis 1 run (kick blocked)
H — Peyton Brammer 26 pass from Crum (Visnius kick)
RUSHING: Archbishop Murphy — Mason Mathis 21-110, Gabalis 9-73, Ennis 14-46, Keivon Coleman 3-8, Team 1-(minus 1). Hockinson — Daniel Thompson 12-64, Wheeler 5-52, Crum 20-73, Makaio Juarez 1-6.
PASSING: Archbishop Murphy — Gabalis 6-8-0-106, Colton Johnson 0-1-0-0. Hockinson — Crum 11-23-2-115.
RECEIVING: Archbishop Murphy — Josiah Santiago 3-26, Ennis 1-49, Josh McCarron 2-31. Hockinson — Brammer 4-60, Faulstick 3-51, Juarez 1-9, Liam Mallory 2-3, Crum 1-(minus 8).
Skyview 52, Columbia River 0
Camas 70, Hazen 7
Heritage 8, Hudson’s Bay 0
Mountain View 47, Juanita 0
Evergreen 62, Centralia 50
Prairie 36, Washougal 6
Winlock 47, Fort Vancouver 6
Archbishop Murphy 27, Hockinson 21
La Center 35, Woodland 6
Ridgefield 42, King’s Way Christian 14
Union 41, Steilacoom 13