Washougal to put undefeated record on the line Friday

Panthers travel to Longview to meet Mark Morris in Week 4

Washougal Panthers (3-0, 1-0 2A GSHL)

Week 1: Washougal 54, West Seattle 0

Week 2: Washougal 41, Castle Rock 14

Week 3: Washougal 17, Columbia River 0

Next: Washougal vs. Mark Morris, 7 p.m. Friday at Longview Memorial Stadium

The Panthers, playing the same teams, were 0-3 a year ago at this time. That’s progress.

Washougal opened this season with the same first three opponents as last year when the Panthers started 0-3. This year, Washougal is 3-0 with two shutouts. Photo by Paul Valencia
Washougal opened this season with the same first three opponents as last year when the Panthers started 0-3. This year, Washougal is 3-0 with two shutouts. Photo by Paul Valencia

Lowering the boom:

The Washougal defense was on its game big-time against Columbia River. The Chieftains never got in the red zone. Columbia River had nine full drives (I’m not counting the two-play drive when time ran out at end of the first half) and never threatened to score.

Here are some of the Washougal performances that helped put an end to each Columbia River possession:

  • Drive 1: Defensive back Kade Coons reads the third-down play perfectly, breaks off his man to head to the intended receiver. He meets the ball and the receiver at the same time, breaks up the pass.
  • Drive 2: Devon Batten, Brevan Bea, and Nick Oakes all apply pressure to the quarterback, forcing an incomplete pass to stall this possession.
  • Drive 3: Columbia River had picked up two first downs to start this drive. Ian Harris blew up the next first-down play with a tackle-for-loss, ending all River momentum.
  • Drive 4: Coons with an interception.
  • Drive 5: Bad snap for River in shotgun formation. Jakob Davis outruns the quarterback to jump on the loose ball for a turnover.
  • Drive 6: Bea with the big hit of this drive for a 1-yard gain. I call this a weight-room tackle. It was one-on-one with the ball carrier. A coin flip. Who had the more strength at this exact moment? On this play, it was Bea.
  • Drive 7: Oakes ended up with a fumble recovery here. The ball just came his way, which might seem like it was just an easy play. Ok, so that part of it kind of was simple. Just fall on the ball. However, the reason he was in position was because he did his job. River was running a misdirection play that was about to come Oakes’ way. Had Oakes bit on the initial movement, he might have been out of position. Instead, he “stayed home” and was rewarded. Even if River had not fumbled the ball, Oakes would have been there for a tackle-for-loss.
  • Drive 8: It appeared this was going to be the first play River would get past the Washougal 20-yard line, even a first down. The ball carrier seemed to have room, running wide to the left. Then Ryan Stevens happened. Stevens sprinted in from his safety position, stuck his hand out, and grabbed just enough jersey to get a good grip and pulled down the Chieftain for no gain. The drive would end when River failed to execute on fourth down.
  • Drive 9: Preston Thornton with an interception

Couple highlights from the offense:

Washougal had 24-yard gain on a reverse on its first touchdown drive. Credit Jakob Davis with a great block downfield to spring the play.

The second touchdown was a 28-yard dream of a pass from Stevens to Bea. The touch on this one was brilliant, and it was needed to get over the leaping Columbia River defensive back. The ball just floated into Bea’s hands for a TD.

Coach Speak:

What did David Hajek learn about his team in Week 3? “I saw our potential and what we need to do to get to our potential. I know Columbia River is better than their record and they will win some games this year and still should be considered a playoff team. Washougal has potential and could have executed better and cut down on penalties.”

MVP on offense: Ryan Stevens. Quarterback made some big plays.

MVP on defense: Max Churchman. All-around solid performance.

Thoughts on Week 4 vs. Mark Morris: “Mark Morris is a big physical team that is getting better and could be dangerous for us,’’ Hajek said. “We play up there so they will have an advantage and so we need to eliminate penalties and execute better if we want to progress as a team.”

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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