State football: Hockinson puts up fight in season-ending loss

Hawks’ rally comes up short against Enumclaw in Class 2A state playoffs

BATTLE GROUND — The Hockinson Hawks saw their season come to an end Friday night, but not without a fight.

Not without a comeback attempt reminiscent of the 2014 squad, the team that started Hockinson on its run of championship football.

The rally came up short, though, in the opening round of the WIAA Class 2A state football playoffs.

Enumclaw’s Emmit Otero rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-28 win over the Hawks at Battle Ground’s District Stadium.

Enumclaw led 31-14 going into the fourth quarter, but the Hawks scored two touchdowns in a seven-second span to make it a three-point game.

Otero took over — again — and the Hornets went on a game-clinching 15-play, 76-yard touchdown drive. Otero scored on a 4-yard run on a fourth-down play. 

Hockinson’s hopes of another crazy comeback on this field came to an end. The Hawks rallied from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to win their first playoff game in program history in 2014. Since then, the Hawks won back-to-back state titles in 2017 and 2018 and made a trip to the state semifinals in 2019.

The Hawks will have to settle for just making it to state this season, in the return of state playoffs after there was no tournament last year.

“I think it’s a true blessing to play with this close group of guys,” Hockinson senior receiver Kenyon Johnson said. “The coaches are amazing, supporting us all the way through. It was a real milestone in my life.”

Johnson caught two touchdown passes in his final game with the program. His second TD, coming with 9:34 left in the game, made it 31-21.

Hockinson receiver Kenyon Johnson jumps to make a touchdown reception Friday night against Enumclaw. Johnson, a senior, had 10 catches for 121 yards and two scores in his final game with the Hawks. Photo courtesy Tyler Mode
Hockinson receiver Kenyon Johnson jumps to make a touchdown reception Friday night against Enumclaw. Johnson, a senior, had 10 catches for 121 yards and two scores in his final game with the Hawks. Photo courtesy Tyler Mode

The Hawks then recovered a muff on the ensuing kickoff. 

The next play, quarterback Jarod Oldham found Andre Northrup on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 9:27 left in the game. 

Just like that, it was a three-point game.

“It felt amazing,” Johnson said of that adrenaline rush as the Hawks turned it into a close game. “I watched my brother do it when I was just a little kid, running up and down the sideline. It was amazing just to have the opportunity to be on the field.”

Oldham, who threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns, appreciated that the Hawks never got down on themselves.

Hockinson quarterback Jarod Oldham threw four touchdown passes in a loss to Enumclaw on Friday night. He vowed that the Hawks will put in the work and get better for next season. Photo courtesy Tyler Mode
Hockinson quarterback Jarod Oldham threw four touchdown passes in a loss to Enumclaw on Friday night. He vowed that the Hawks will put in the work and get better for next season. Photo courtesy Tyler Mode

“There’s a lot of adversity that comes at you in these kinds of games,” Oldham said. “Doesn’t matter how much you’re down by, you’ve got to give it your all. All your boys are there for you. They’ve got your back. You’ve got to have theirs.”

The Hockinson crowd roared after that second touchdown. And the kickoff team stopped Enumclaw at its own 24-yard line with 9:22 left in the game.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, they would not get the ball back until less than 2 minutes to play, and down 10.

Otero said the Hornets weren’t worried at all after those back-to-back Hockinson touchdowns.

“We knew we were just going to run the ball,” he said. “Again.”

And again and again.

Enumclaw rushed the ball on 12 consecutive snaps to get to the Hockinson 9-yard line. Eventually, the Hornets got to the 4-yard line on fourth-and goal. They went for it. Ortero cashed in on a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 38-28.

This was Enumclaw’s first state playoff victory since 1985. 

Enumclaw linebacker Mason Taylor-Wells, who had an interception earlier in the game, said the Hornets just had to refocus after Hockinson rallied.

“We had to think about what happened, learn from it, and then work on the next play,” Taylor-Wells said. 

In fact, his coach stresses this philosophy: “The next play is the biggest play,” Taylor-Wells said.

In the end, Enumclaw made more of those big plays.

Hockinson opened this game like it was planning on heading to the second round. The Hawks went 81 yards on 16 plays. Johnson scored on a 14-yard pass from Oldham for a quick 7-0 lead.

Enumclaw would score the next 17 points, though. Otero tied it on an 11-yard run. Clive Pond scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Malcolm Harper after Talor-Wells’ interception. And Noah Seabrands was true on a short field goal.

Hockinson bounced back with a 37-yard bomb from Oldham to Northrup with 1:55 to play in the half.

Enumclaw wasn’t done, though. Dylan Watterson caught a pass and jumped into the end zone, just getting the ball by the pylon with 20 seconds left in the half for a 24-14 lead.

Enumclaw’s Dylan Watterson got the ball into the end zone before going out of bounds for a touchdown just before halftime, giving the Hornets a 24-14 lead over Hockinson. Enumclaw would go on to win 38-28. Photo courtesy Tyler Mode
Enumclaw’s Dylan Watterson got the ball into the end zone before going out of bounds for a touchdown just before halftime, giving the Hornets a 24-14 lead over Hockinson. Enumclaw would go on to win 38-28. Photo courtesy Tyler Mode

“We actually never even ran that play before,” Watterson said. “It wasn’t even a designed play in our playbook. It ended up working out in our favor. When I got close to the end zone there was no way I wasn’t getting in the end zone, so I just dove.”

What was he thinking when he was in the air?

“I hope I don’t get hit hard enough (that) I’d have to go out of this game,” he said.

Karson Holt’s leaping catch and toe tap in the back of the end zone gave Enumclaw a 31-14 lead in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth, Hockinson had its big moments.

Enumclaw, though, had enough to hold on to the victory, ending the season for Hockinson.

“I think it’s a true blessing to play with this close group of guys,” Johnson said of his final game with the Hawks. “The coaches are amazing, supporting us all the way through. It was a real milestone in my life.”

Oldham, a junior, will say goodbye to the seniors and then prepare the rest of the Hawks for 2022.

“This group of boys is amazing. I’m so happy we got to run with them this far,” he said. “This is really going to fuel us for next year. We really got a taste, and we kind of know what’s coming. We just have got to put the work in and get better.”

Numbers

Oldham was 21 of 40 for his 289 yards and four touchdowns. Johnson has 12 catches for 121 yards and two scores. Northrup had four catches for 100 yards and two scores. Hockinson was held to 35 yards rushing.

Enumclaw ended up with 266 yards rushing. Harper was 11 for 15 for 163 yards and three touchdowns. 

Note: Bryan Levesque contributed to this report

Advertisement
Advertisement
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x