Washougal looks to rebound in matchup at Woodland

Panthers are 5-1 on the season and 3-1 in Class 2A GSHL action

Washougal Panthers (5-1, 3-1 2A GSHL)

Week 1: Washougal 54, West Seattle 0

Week 2: Washougal 41, Castle Rock 14

Week 3: Washougal 17, Columbia River 0

Week 4: Washougal 20, Mark Morris 14
Week 5: Washougal 34, Ridgefield 14
Week 6: Hockinson 41, Washougal 7
Next: at Woodland, 7 p.m. Friday

The Panthers lost in one of the most anticipated games in Washougal in years. Now it will be up to the players and coaches to bounce back.

Special appearance from Mr. Vance:

Most of the notes below come from ClarkCountyToday.com editor Ken Vance, who made his triumphant return to covering high school football last week. (We wanted to be at two huge games, so I went to the Camas-Skyview game and Ken headed east to Washougal for the Hockinson game.)

Washougal’s Nathan Tofell (10) tackles Hockinson’s Colton Wheeler (44) in last week’s action. Panthers’ coach David Hajek tabbed Tofell as his team’s defensive MVP in the loss to the Hawks. Photo by Mike Schultz
Washougal’s Nathan Tofell (10) tackles Hockinson’s Colton Wheeler (44) in last week’s action. Panthers’ coach David Hajek tabbed Tofell as his team’s defensive MVP in the loss to the Hawks. Photo by Mike Schultz

Finding the end zone:

After entering the game averaging 33.2 points in their five victories this season, Washougal found the yards tough to come by against Hockinson’s spirited defense.

The Panthers did get their offense on track during their lone scoring drive, which came in the third quarter.

Washougal went on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a 30-yard scoring strike from quarterback Ryan Stevens to receiver Jakob Davis.

On the drive, Stevens completed all five of his pass attempts for 59 yards. Three of those completions went to Davis and on the other two, Grant Lewis was on the receiving end of Stevens’ passes.

A key play on the drive might have appeared to be a pass to the casual eye. Stevens found running back Kade Coons on a swing pass, which technically traveled backward from the line of scrimmage, which makes it officially scored as a rushing attempt for Coons. The play covered 18 yards and gave the Panthers a first down at the 30-yard line, setting up the touchdown strike to Davis.

A missed opportunity:

Davis finished with three catches for 43 yards and the touchdown. All accounts will show that he played well against a very good opponent. But, I’m sure the sophomore would like an opportunity to re-do one play early in the game.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder broke free on a post pattern and Stevens hit him with a strike right in the hands, but the athletic Davis couldn’t corral the football. If he had completed the catch, which would have occurred near midfield, there was nothing but open field ahead of him.

The missed opportunity came on Washougal’s second offensive possession of the game with the Panthers trailing 7-0. There’s no reason to believe it would have changed the overall outcome of the game, but it might have helped improve the emotional mindset of the Washougal players, allowing them to be more competitive against the high-powered Hawks.

Coach Speak:

Washougal coach Dave Hajek called Grant Lewis the MVP of the team on offense in Week 6 and named Nathan Tofell the MVP of the defense.

Thoughts on Week 7 vs. Woodland: “They are a lot better than their record,’’ Hajek said. “A very good quarterback, and a tough defense, and we are going to Woodland. I hope after the defeat last week we are able to regroup and play a good game.”

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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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