Hawks have clinched at least a share of the league title, but they are concerned about an injured teammate
HOCKINSON — The Hockinson Hawks got the job done Friday night.
But the celebration was subdued, even after clinching at least a share of the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League title with a 34-16 win over Washougal.
This will be the sixth consecutive league title.
They are so accustomed to league titles, in fact, that they don’t really care.
“At Hockinson, league titles aren’t that special anymore,” quarterback Levi Crum said. “They are just a stepping stone. It’s good to give ourselves an opportunity, but league is just a hurdle for us to get over. For us, it’s all about state.”
The Hawks, after all, have won back-to-back Class 2A state championships.
Making it three in a row was always going to be tougher without last year’s player of the year, the injured Sawyer Racanelli.
Now, the Hawks are dealing with another injury to a Division-I prospect. Peyton Brammer went down with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return. After the game, while sitting in a golf cart, his teammates surrounded him and prayed for him.
Brammer said he is not sure of the extent of the injury.
Hockinson coach Rick Steele said they will know more by Monday, but the Hawks are not optimistic.
While they wait, they can take some comfort in knowing that the next-man-up mentality is strong at Hockinson.
Levi Mallory caught a touchdown pass and had an interception return for a touchdown. Makaio Juarez caught two long touchdown passes. And the Hawks never trailed.
Crum threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns.
“We have good athletes out there. I just have to give them a chance,” Crum said of his receivers. “They stepped up big-time, especially with Peyton going out.”
In all, Crum found six receivers while completing 21 of 33 passes for his 396 yards.
Jeremiah Faulstick caught a 29-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring.
“It just shows how everyone wants to step up. We’re hoping for the best (with Peyton), but we have guys who can step up. We’ve got depth. We’ve got a lot of dudes who will be ready.”
Hockinson improved to 7-1 overall, and 5-0 in league play. The Hawks will take on Ridgefield, 4-1 in league, next week for the top seed from the 2A GSHL.
“For us, it’s never about league,” Faulstick said. “It’s only about winning state. We’re focusing on getting one of the higher seeds in the state.”
For league play, though, Washougal was the toughest opponent to date this season. The Hawks, though, pretty much shut down the Washougal offense.
The Panthers got a defensive touchdown and did not find the end zone on offense until the fourth quarter. Washougal’s first four possessions ended with three punts and an interception with no first downs.
“Our defense played its best game of the year,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said. “I’m really happy about that.”
Carsen Yinger was one of many who stood out on defense for the Hawks. Steele said he appreciated how Yinger sacrificed for the team earlier this year when the coaches asked him to change from linebacker to defensive lineman. He has turned into a team leader.
Juarez caught a 44-yard bomb from Crum with two defenders surrounding him for a touchdown to make it 12-0 late in the first quarter.
The Panthers would get on the board on a Peter Boylan field goal with 4:49 to play in the first half.
Hockinson, though, would get two more touchdowns in the final minute of the first half to deflate the Panthers.
Mallory caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Crum with 59 seconds left.
Washougal went 3-and-out, and punted. The Hawks got the ball at their own 16-yard line with just 25 seconds left, up 20-3.
Many teams would have taken a knee.
These are the Hockinson Hawks. Seen it before, and on Friday, the home crowd got to see it again.
On second down, Crum threw a deep ball to Juarez. The pass was tipped, but right into the Juarez in stride who cruised to an 80-yard score.
“I just ran on a go and I got behind him. Levi threw it, and I just tracked the ball down,” Juarez said.
He added that the tipped ball didn’t change anything. The ball still fell right into his hands.
Washougal got a little energy back early in the third quarter when Tanner Coons scored on a fumble return to make it 27-10.
The Hawks got the next score, though, on Mallory’s 39-yard interception return.
That pretty much sealed the deal for the Hawks.
Boylan capped the scoring with a touchdown run for the Panthers in the fourth quarter, but Hockinson did enough to kill most of the clock.
“A win’s a win,” Steele said. “Kind of an ugly way to win. Give a lot of credit to Washougal. They made us have to win ugly.”
It’s another league title for the Hockinson Hawks. But they are also dealing with another injury to a talented athlete.
No big celebration needed on Friday.
The Hawks just got the job done and will move on to Week 9.
HOCKINSON 34, WASHOUGAL 16
Washougal 0 3 7 6—16
Hockinson 12 15 7 0—34
H — Jeremiah Faulstick 29 pass from Levi Crum (kick failed)
H — Makaio Juarez 44 pass from Crum (pass failed)
W — Peter Boylan 24 FG
H — Liam Mallory 21 pass from Crum (Mallory pass from Crum)
H — Juarez 80 pass from Crum (Troy Visnius kick)
W — Tanner Coons 34 fumble return (Boylan kick)
H — Mallory 39 interception return (Visnius kick)
W — Boylan 8 run (run failed)
RUSHING: Washougal — Boylan 15-63, Jakob Davis 1-2, Gavin Multer 1-0, Dalton Payne 2-10. Hockinson — Daniel Thompson 18-69, Cody Wheeler 7-20, Crum 6-3, Juarez 1-4, Mallory 1-(minus 13), Team 3-(minus 10).
PASSING: Washougal — Payne 16-33-4-142. Hockinson — Crum 21-33-2-392.
RECEIVING: Washougal — Davis 3-10, Boylan 1-1, Judson Mansfield 6-41, Brevan Bea 6-90. Hockinson — Peyton Brammer 3-33, Mallory 9-101, Faulstick 4-74, Juarez 3-134, Andre Northrup 1-4, Chase Roush 1-46.
Union 52, Battle Ground 6
Emerald Ridge 42, Heritage 8
Kelso 29, Mountain View 28
Evergreen 42, Hudson’s Bay 14
Prairie 53, Ridgefield 12
Fort Vancouver 32, Northwest Christian of Lacey 22 (Congrats to Trappers. Snaps a 29-game losing streak.)
Woodland 20, Columbia River 13
King’s Way Christian 49, Stevenson 0
La Center 28, Columbia-White Salmon 14