HOCKINSON — The two-time defending state champion Hawks showed they’ve still got plenty of firepower as they defeated Centralia 59-7 in their District IV 2A crossover football game here Saturday.
Blaine Wass was the only Tiger to find the end zone on the day as offensive miscues and special teams letdowns allowed the Hawks to dominate possession.
Wass’ score came just a few plays out of halftime, when Tiger defensive back Chris Kirner laid a lick on a Hockinson receiver and forced a fumble. Wass then scooped up the loose ball and returned it 30-yards for the score.
By that time, though, the outcome was already painfully obvious to the Tiger faithful as Hockinson led by six scores. The Hawks wound up adding another touchdown late in the third quarter and outpaced Centralia 429 to 165 in total offensive yards in the game.
Centralia coach Jeremy Thibault noted that Hockinson’s roster is loaded with talented playmakers who have a knack for turning the game into a pseudo track and field contest.
“When they were walking out of their locker room you could tell they had some guys,” said Thibault.
Daniel Thompson led the Hockinson offense with 114 yards on six carries, and their offense averaged a whopping 17.3 yards per carry. However, the Tigers’ defense was able to mute the Hawks’ typically formidable air attack, holding quarterback Levi Crum to just 49 yards on a 4 of 10 passing effort.
“For whatever reason we just played one of our worst offensive games and our best defensive game for what we’ve had,” said Thibault. He noted that the Tigers’ were missing their starting middle linebacker all game long and had to fill his position with a player who had no previous linebacker experience.
“That just goes back to missing a middle linebacker and throwing a kid to the wolves,” said Thibault.
Meanwhile, the Tigers offense was led by quarterback Cameron Erickson, who threw 21 times for 109 yards. His favorite target was Benito Valencia, who hauled in four catches for 29 yards while Chase Sobolesky-Reynolds caught a pass for 49 yards. Sobolesky-Reynolds also rushed eight times for 42 yards.
“This game we were able to get things going but they just tackled really well,” said Thibault. “We were in the red zone multiple times we just didn’t get it in. There were a couple of tough catches we didn’t make.”
With their season over Thibault was in a mood to look back and appreciate the upperclassmen who have helped turn the program around.
“The seniors have played a big part in this making it go from always losing to competing,” said Thibault. “Guys like Beairsto, and Kuyk(endall), especially. They were there every step as three-year starters.”
Hockinson hosts Ellensburg in the first round of the State 2A football tournament on Friday or Saturday.