Washougal will attempt to remain unbeaten with battle at Ridgefield

A Panthers’ win could set up a battle of unbeatens with Hockinson in Week 6

Washougal Panthers (4-0)

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

Next: Washougal at Ridgefield, 7 p.m. Friday

The Panthers fell on a fumble late in the game, then scored on the next play to escape Mark Morris with a 2A GSHL victory.

Fourth-down stops:

Washougal coach David Hajek has the Panthers 4-0 heading into this week’s game at Ridgefield. Looming on the schedule the following week is a matchup with Hockinson, which is also undefeated. Photo by Paul Valencia
Washougal coach David Hajek has the Panthers 4-0 heading into this week’s game at Ridgefield. Looming on the schedule the following week is a matchup with Hockinson, which is also undefeated. Photo by Paul Valencia

By my count, the Washougal defense had three fourth-down stops in the first half.

Blake Webb got the initial push on the first fourth-down play, with Ryan Stevens cleaning up for the tackle-for-loss to give the ball to Washougal’s offense.

On the Monarchs’ next fourth-down play, it was Brevan Bea who shed off his block, met the ball carrier and took him straight down, short of the line to gain.

The Monarchs kept trying, and the Panthers kept getting the ball back. Yes, a third time. And this time, it was the hit of the night. Ian Harris got past the offensive line and smothered the Mark Morris running back.

Every bit helps:

It was still scoreless into the second quarter. Washougal was looking for anything to help its cause. Kade Coons did just that on special teams.

A short punt by Mark Morris bounced around a bit, and Coons realized no one from Mark Morris was around to down the punt. He simply picked up the ball and returned it 10 yards. Thank you very much, right?

That happened to be start the first scoring drive of the night.

Nice blocks:

Kade Coons had a 61-yard touchdown run. He took a pitch to go to his right, then cut back and found daylight.

He can thank linemen Aiden Bristol and Jackson Lindell for having all that room once he made the cut. They both can be seen on the play driving their opponents to the ground.

For Coons, that meant two less defenders he had to worry about. For the Panthers, that meant a touchdown.

More defense:

Mark Morris was driving, in a tie game, and had a third-and-4. That’s when Brenden Brock and Jakob Davis met the ball carrier for a loss of three yards. The Monarchs were penalized before the next play and went for it on fourth-and-12. The Washougal defense easily contained the scrambling quarterback for another fourth-down stop.

The defense also pretty much “won” the game for Washougal later in the fourth quarter.

The Monarchs fumbled, and I believe it was Nathan Tofell who outraced the Monarchs to the ball, recovering it on the Mark Morris 3-yard line.

The next play, Coons scored to give the Panthers the lead, and the win.

Coach Speak:

What did Dave Hajek learn about his team in Week 4? “We are not good enough to not play our best and expect to win. In this league, if you have an off night, you can expect to lose.”

MVP on offense: Kade Coons. “He was our offense,” Hajek said, rushing for two touchdowns and better than 160 yards

MVP on defense: Brevan Bea for his consistent play.

Thoughts on Week 5 vs. Ridgefield: “A tough team,’’ Hajek said. “Some very good athletes, great coaching staff and so we will need to play a lot better to even have a chance to win.”

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.

Related posts