RIDGEFIELD — Now the Washougal Panthers can focus on next week.
Only now, now that they took care of business this week.
The Panthers scored three second-quarter touchdowns to take control Friday night and rolled to a 34-14 victory over the Ridgefield Spudders in a Class 2A Greater St. Helens League contest.
Washougal (5-0, 3-0 GSHL) will host Hockinson (5-0, 3-0) in a battle for first place in Week 6.
“I think we want to go in there underestimated. We want to have the chip on our shoulder,” Washougal quarterback Ryan Stevens said. “Last year, they blew us out. We’re going to go in there and fly around and hopefully get an upset.”
If the Panthers can bring another balanced attack …
That is what they pulled off in Ridgefield.
Kade Coons rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns, and Stevens threw for 218 yards and a touchdown, plus he rushed for two scores to pace the Panthers.
It is only the second time in the past 22 seasons Washougal has opened a campaign 5-0.
“I would say it’s just like a dream come true, a dream since playing in the first grade,” Stevens said. “It’s actually surreal that it’s actually happening.”
Ridgefield (1-4, 0-2) scored on the first drive of the game, and Washougal failed to answer on its first series.
Then it was all Washougal.
“We had two new offensive linemen, we had new players in new positions,” Stevens explained. “We just needed to get our feet wet and get some momentum going. After that, we were rolling.”
Nick Oakes, normally a defensive standout for the Panthers, and sophomore Tommy Liston got starts on the offensive line. They, along with the healthy veterans, paved the way for 525 yards of offense.
That would be considered “rolling” as Stevens suggested.
“For the most part, offensively, I was really impressed with our guys,” Washougal coach David Hajek said.
Stevens gave Washougal a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter on a 2-yard run.
Brevan Bea had a 52-yard run that set up Washougal’s second touchdown. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Bea was injured on the play. The leg injury, it was confirmed after the game from a Washougal official, will end his season.
The Panthers, fired up to get the job done for Bea, kept the pressure on the Spudders. Coons scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-6 lead.
A three-and-out from the Ridgefield offense gave the ball back to the Panthers with 2:08 left in the half. They only needed 52 seconds to go 76 yards for another score. Stevens found Max Churchman for a 40-yard play to get the Panthers in position. Two plays later, Stevens scrambled for a 14-yard touchdown run.
Washougal got the ball first to open the second half and went 80 yards on five plays. Coons scored on a 16-yard TD run for a 27-6 lead. He rushed for 91 yards on that drive alone, after penalties pushed the Panthers backward at times.
The Panthers kept one-upping themselves on offense, too. Later, they went 92 yards on four plays, with Stevens throwing a perfect ball to a wide open Jakob Davis for a 56-yard touchdown.
“Last week, I couldn’t get the deep ball dialed in,” Stevens said. “This week, we just repped it over and over and over and over again. I felt confident coming in, the most confident I’ve ever felt with my passing game.
“I threw it up, and he came down with it,” Stevens said.
The Spudders found a bit of life with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. Brock Harrison caught a 10-yard TD pass from Dawson Lieurance. The two-point conversion made it a 20-point game.
Ridgefield would get the ball back less than a minute later. The Spudders, however, committed their third turnover of the second half and any hopes of a miracle comeback ended there.
For Washougal, it was time to celebrate one milestone before quickly turning the focus to the Hawks.
“It’s great for the kids and great for our community,” Hajek said of the 5-0 record. “We know we’re good enough to beat a lot of people. 5-0 is good. 6-0 would be fabulous. We have to be better to be 6-0.”
Can’t get to 6-0, though, without getting to 5-0. Washougal knew the stakes Friday, and took care of business.
Washougal’s Max Churchman makes this catch for 40-yard gain from quarterback Ryan Stevens, setting up a TD. pic.twitter.com/HxPm1G3VeF
— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) September 30, 2017
Washougal QB Ryan Stevens scores on 14-yd TD run to give Panthers 20-6 lead right before the half. pic.twitter.com/Sdc61TwDV9
— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) September 30, 2017
WASHOUGAL 34, RIDGEFIELD 14
Washougal 0 20 14 0 — 34
Ridgefield 6 0 0 8 — 14
Rid – Hunter Abrams 10 run (kick blocked)
Was – Ryan Stevens 2 run (Stevens kick)
Was – Kade Coons 2 run (Stevens kick)
Was – Stevens 14 run (kick failed)
Was – Coons 16 run (Stevens kick)
Was – Jakob Davis 56 pass from Stevens (Stevens kick)
Rid – Brock Harrison 10 pass from Dawson Lieurance (Jeremy Martin run)
RUSHING: Washougal:Coons 23-205, Nathan Tofell 11-28, Stevens 5-22, Brevan Bea 1-52, Team 2-(minus 2). Ridgefield:Abrams 7-34, Martin 9-80, Connor Lewis 3-13, Tucker Roberts 2-(minus 4), Lieurance 10-50.
PASSING: Washougal:Stevens 11-16-0-218. Ridgefield:Lieurance 12-29-1-150
RECEIVING: Washougal:Tofell 3-30, Grant Lewis 3-72, Davis 3-72, Max Churchman 2-44.Ridgefield:Matthew Gama 1-19, Brock Harrison 3-36, Carter Pankow 4-58, Martin 3-18, Abrams 1-19.
This week’s scores
|Mountain View||38||Hudson’s Bay||25|
|La Center||56||King’s Way Christian||14|