Washougal to meet Hockinson in clash of unbeatens

Panthers head into matchup with Hawks with perfect 5-0 record

Washougal Panthers (5-0, 3-0 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

Next: vs. Hockinson, 7 p.m. Friday at Washougal

The Panthers took care of business in Ridgefield to set up one of the biggest games in decades for the program. Washougal will host undefeated Hockinson this week.

Three TDs in a row:

Washougal running back Kade Coons (5) rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ win at Ridgefield last week. Photo by Mike Schultz
Washougal running back Kade Coons (5) rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ win at Ridgefield last week. Photo by Mike Schultz

Washougal did not score on its first possession of the game, but the Panthers had to figure it was only a matter of time. Washougal had the ball for 11 plays and nearly six minutes before missing a field goal.

So yes, for a time, Ridgefield had a 6-0 lead. (The Spudders got the ball first in this game and scored on that drive.)

Once the Washougal offense was given a second chance, it was go-time.

The Panthers used another 11 plays, and scored a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter.

A long Ridgefield drive did not record any points, and Washougal got the ball back and ended up scoring with 3:48 to go in the half for a 14-6 lead.

Still, that’s a close game. Anything could happen at that point.

The Washougal defense forced a 3-and-out, and Washougal needed just 43 seconds to go 76 yards for a third touchdown of the second quarter and a 20-6 lead at the half.

Big numbers:

We all know Kade Coons is fast. In a football game, he is tough to catch. Well, it turns out, after a game, he is tough to catch, as well. Tried to find him for a post-game interview, but his teammates said he had already left the field. I can only hope he wanted to get home fast so he could read our coverage of the game. If you missed it, click here.

Anyway, Coons rushed for 205 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Stevens threw for 218 yards with one TD pass, plus he rushed for two TDs.  

Defensively speaking:

Washougal ended up stopping Ridgefield with three three-and-outs in the first half and one more in the second half. Plus, the Panthers recovered two fumbles and had an interception.

Big game in context:

It has not been too long since Washougal started with such a strong record. In 2011, the Panthers were 6-0 before falling to Woodland in a double-overtime thriller in Week 7. The Panthers ended up losing their last three and missed the playoffs.

So yes, I would opine this week’s game is much bigger. For one, when Washougal played Woodland in 2011, the Panthers were not hosting the third-ranked team in Class 2A football. They are this week. Yes, Hockinson is No. 3 in the most recent AP poll.

Coach Speak:

What did Dave Hajek learn about his team in Week 5? “I was happy that they were able to overcome the injuries we had, they were able to keep playing after giving up the initial Ridgefield score, and they kept playing after Brevan Bea’s injury.” (ClarkCountyToday.com will have more on Brevan’s injury this week.)

MVP on offense: Ryan Stevens for his passing and rushing combo.

MVP on defense: Dalton Payne “played great in limited time and even had an interception,” the coach said.

Thoughts on Week 6 vs. Hockinson: “Biggest game in Washougal in a long time,’’ Hajek said. “They are for real. They have a great defense, passing game is scary, plus they are well coached and have plenty of athletes. They are ranked in state as one of the top teams and so we are hoping that we have gotten better over the last year to give them a better game.

“I hope this will be a great measuring stick for us and how good we really are.”

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