Day After Report: Hockinson, Skyview win against all odds

Hockinson punted on the final play of the third quarter. Black Hills opened the fourth quarter, with the ball, up 21-0.

Of course Hockinson won.

Skyline, one of the the greatest football programs in the Northwest, led Skyview 24-3 and 31-10.

Of course, Skyview won.

We all saw that coming, right?

Maybe not. But that’s why we all love sports. We watch because we never know. We watch because we will never be able to say, “I’ve seen it all.”

Oh, I’ve seen great comebacks before, and more unlikely outcomes, too, even in bigger games.

But I had never seen a team rally from 21-0 down in the fourth quite like Hockinson did.

I wasn’t up north to witness the Skyview game, but my guess is I’ve never seen anything exactly like it, either.

Congrats to both of these teams for never giving up. Congrats to the other teams from Southwest Washington that have advanced to the state playoffs. And a “Well done!” to the other teams from the region who lost, but still made it to a Week 10 playoff.

No way. …. Way.

Defense first, then a little offense: As noted in my game story, a team cannot rally from a 21-0 deficit without some defense. The Hawks shut down Black Hills in the fourth quarter, setting up the offense. (Plus, let’s face it, there were some bizarre mistakes made by Black Hills.)

So let’s take a look back at the amazing, incredible, mind-boggling fourth quarter.

Black Hills ball, up 21-0, start of fourth quarter. The Wolves lose a yard on first down, get called for a 15-yard penalty on the next play, setting up second-and-26. A run for no gain. Then the Wolves pass the ball.

“We knew they wanted to go deep. All they had was the pass,” said Hockinson’s Austen Johnson, who intercepted the pass, returned it to the 2-yard line. With an extra yard added on after a Black Hills penalty, the ball was placed on the 1-yard line.

Next play, touchdown Hockinson. Joe Davis in the end zone. 10:12 left in the game.

Black Hills up 21-7. Something goes wrong for the Wolves on the first play (see a pattern developing?) and they lose eight yards. Two more running plays to try to avoid disaster, but then disaster looms for Black Hills on the punt. A fumbled snap. The punter drops the ball again trying to recover. He is squished by Hockinson defenders. AT THE 2-YARD LINE!

Next play, Joe Davis is in the end zone again. 8:04 left in the game. So if you are scoring at home, that’s two touchdown drives totaling 3 whole yards for Hockinson!

Black Hills up 21-14. A two-yard gain for Black Hills on first down. Incomplete pass. Another two-yard run. Punt. This time, the Wolves get the punt away. Hockinson, though, has all the momentum at this point.

Sure enough, the Hawks need just five plays and less than two minutes to find the end zone again. Kedrick Johnson made an incredible catch to get the ball to the 4-yard line.

“I was zeroing in on the ball,” Johnson said. “I had to make a play.”

He snagged the ball out of the air with one hand, bringing the ball into his body for protection as he hit the ground. Pretty sure everyone in the stadium knew at this moment that Hockinson was going to win this game. It was inevitable.

Two plays later, Austen Johnson scored. The clock read 5:02 left in the game. It took less than seven minutes and a 21-0 game was a 21-21 game.

Black Hills 21, Hockinson 21. All is not lost yet for the Wolves. They still have the ball. The game is tied. The Hockinson defense, though, just won’t budge. Another three-and-out for the Wolves. And a bad punting night was about to get even worse for Black Hills.

This time, the snap was low. So low, in fact, the punter went to his knee to retrieve the ball. The punter was “down” as soon as he possessed the ball.

This was so weird, it appeared the referee hesitated before blowing his whistle. It was almost as if the referee was thinking what most of us were thinking. “Did that really just happen? Did he just take a knee? Yes. Yes, he did. Oh, the play’s over.”

As I noted earlier, I’ve seen crazy stuff happen. But I’ve never seen crazy stuff like this before Friday night.

The Hawks took over with 3:32 left in the game, went eight yards on three plays, then kicked a field goal with 1:52 left to take the lead.

“I can’t believe we did this. I’m just so happy right now,” kicker Quentin Bodenhamer said after he nailed the 23-yarder for the lead.

Hockinson 24, Black Hills 21. The Wolves would pick up a first down on their last drive of the game. But three incomplete passes in a row set up fourth down, and Hockinson’s Jacob Pearrow intercepted the last pass, securing the win for the Hawks.

Fourth-quarter stats: So, as I total up the numbers for the fourth quarter, not sure what is more impressive: The yardage totals for Black Hills or the fact that Hockinson scored 24 points in the period with very few yards.

In the fourth quarter, Black Hills had 19 traditional offensive snaps for 18 yards. Fourteen of those yards came after they trailed by three points. Add the two punts-turned-disaster, and that’s two more plays for minus-25 yards. So the Wolves, with a 21-0 lead to open the quarter, had 21 snaps for negative-7 yards in the period.

Meanwhile, because the Hawks kept getting the ball in great field position, they did not gain a lot of yards in the quarter. But they did put up 24 points. There was a 1-yard touchdown drive, followed by a 2-yard touchdown drive. The Hawks did have to go 53 yards for the tying touchdown. Then just eight yards to set up the winning field goal.

Add it up, the Hawks went 64 yards on 10 plays and scored 24 fourth-quarter points.


Really? Yes, really.

OK, don’t have much on this game. Hope to get stats from the coaching staff later. If not, I will take the stats off video on Monday. But I did want to say that Skyline has won seven state titles, including one over Skyview a few years back. So, yeah, this was a huge game state-wide, because everyone knows who Skyline is.

Here is an idea how special this was. On Saturday, Skyview quarterback Zac Shomler showed up at Kiggins Bowl to support Columbia River in its playoff game. After the game, he found River’s Nathan Hawthorne to say hello and congratulate Hawthorne on the win.

Now get this: The first words out of Hawthorne’s mouth were, “How did you guys pull that off last night?”

The Chieftains just won their own playoff game, and Hawthorne wanted to talk about Skyview’s improbable comeback. Hawthorne told Shomler that he kept refreshing his device, trying to find updates as the game got closer and closer.

By the way, Skyview won a Week 10 game for the second year in a row as a No. 3 seed from the 4A Greater St. Helens League. With Camas and Union victories, that means the 4A GSHL has three of the final 16 teams left in the state. Again.

Shomler threw four touchdown passes in the comeback. Again, Skyview trailed 24-3 and 31-10 in this game. No worries. The Storm had this all the way!

“It was the most fun I have ever had playing football,” Shomler said via text message. “I love my team so much.”

Shomler also asked to put in one more quote. Shomler, a religious young man, always likes to make sure he gives credit to the Man upstairs. And when a young man quarterbacks a team to a victory over a seven-time state champion after trailing by 21 twice, I’ll give him the floor:

“God is great,” Shomler said.

Chieftains score three second-quarter TDs to take command.

Him again: I did not plan on interviewing Nathan Hawthore after this game because I wrote a feature on him and the other three starting receivers for the Chieftains in Friday’s paper. Of course, things changed when Hawthorne caught three touchdown passes.

He is looking forward to next week because he expects defenses to key on him after this performance.

“It helps knowing we will be able to spread the ball around again,” he said.

That continues a trend for the Chieftains. They seem to have a different leading receiver every week. Pick your poison, they say. Cover one or two, and one or two others are open.

Gets tougher: All the Chieftains I spoke to understand what is at stake, that every team has the same goal.

“With 16 teams left, everybody’s good,” Hawthorne said. “There is no room for error.”

Columbia River will host Roosevelt in the first round of the state playoffs next week.

“We have to stay focused this week in practice,” quarterback Gabe Evenson said.

Papermakers gave up a lot of yards to a great recruit, but not a lot of points. (Paul Danzer came up with these notes):

That guy is good: It probably comes as no surprise to those who watched Amandre Williams throw for 476 yards and two touchdowns against Camas that the Tahoma junior has the attention of Pac-12 recruiters.  Crazy thing is, Friday’s performance was 100 yards shy of his season high.

Crazier still? The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Williams is reportedly being recruited to play defensive end by the Huskies, the Cougars and others.

“That makes me feel a little better about myself,” Camas lineman Alex Walker said upon hearing that Williams is being recruited by major college defenses. “I got worked by him a couple of times. I’m not going to lie.”

It’s also no lie that Williams is one of the better quarterbacks around. His yardage was no fluke. Sure, he threw it 60 times with 35 completions, but many of his passes were down field, often under pressure from the Camas pass rush and at times into tight coverage. It wasn’t as if his receivers were running wide open all night.

“We worked hard on pass defense in practice, but I guess we didn’t work hard enough,” Camas senior James Price said. “We still have a lot of little things we can improve as we move on to week two of the playoffs.”

Camas tough: One thing Camas did well was compete. The Papermakers, who have seldom been pushed deep into a game, came up big when challenged. A 54-yard catch and run on a third-down pass to Tyson Cronin put the Bears at the Camas 1-yard line a minute before halftime. Here is what followed:

Fumbled snap, 4-yard loss; Jerome Woods run for no gain; roughing the passer penalty, first down at the 3;  Woods loses a yard; Williams throws incomplete to the end zone; pass interference penalty gives a second chance on third down; Williams is sacked for a loss of 13; Williams spikes the ball to stop the clock, but it’s fourth down so Camas takes over and runs out the first-half clock.

Then the second half started and the Camas offense took over. Three of the first four plays in the third quarter were gains of 11, 20 and 22 yards. That sparked an 84-yard touchdown drive. On fourth and 1 from the 14, Liam Fitzgerald faked a handoff to Cole Zarcone and ran untouched into the end zone.

This and that: Each team had 23 first downs. Total yardage: Tahoma 482, Camas 466 … There were 82 passes attempted, none were intercepted … Tahoma fumbled six times but Camas recovered only one of those (the Papermakers needed three plays to go 42 yards for their final TD after that takeaway).

One rematch with an SPSL team down. Another one looms this week with Federal Way in a first-round 4A state playoff game. (These notes courtesy Rene Ferran):

Titans know the way to Federal Way: They traveled up I-5 once this season to take on the Eagles in their season opener.

Like many Union games this season, its 34-27 victory over FW was a tale of two halves – the first belonging to the hosts, and the second half all Union, which held the Eagles to 10 yards of total offense after halftime.

“When we faced them the first time, we needed to come back to beat them,” said senior running back Caleb Browning. “We need to let them know that was a fluke.”

Of course, the Eagles are thinking the same way after giving up a 21-7 halftime lead. They suffered several key injuries in opening loss, and after falling to Camas in Week 2, had their top six linebackers sidelined by various ailments.

Watch out for senior running back Chico McClatcher, who scored five touchdowns in the Eagles’ 46-14 rout of Mariner in their state preliminary round game. McClatcher scored three TDs in the teams’ first matchup, including a 99-yard return of a blocked field goal.

Berfanger times two: Fullback Alex Berfanger returned last week after missing four games with an injury, giving the Titans’ running game an added boost.

“Having Alex back just makes us a lot better team,” said Titans coach Gary McGarvie of the 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior, who won the state 170-pound title in wrestling last year.

Berfanger usually is the lead blocker for Browning or Jack Bauer, following behind younger brother Zach Berfanger at left guard and Tate Nelson at left tackle.

“That’s a pretty good group of guys to get to run behind,” McGarvie said.

Worth the wait: Speaking of Nelson, the 6-2, 250-pound lineman said he has been talking to Central Washington about playing – that is, after he goes on his 2-year Mormon mission.

“They said they’d wait for me,” he said, smiling.

Nolan Henry set to return: McGarvie said starting quarterback Nolan Henry, who has missed the past three games after suffering a concussion in the Camas game, is on track to return for next week’s playoff game.

“It’s not official, but it sounds that way,” McGarvie said. “He should be back on Monday.”

In his absence, junior Jordan Lawson has stepped in and led the Titans to victories over Battle Ground, Skyview and Curtis.

“We play a lot of kids, and we really preach the concept of ‘next guy up. It’s not just Jordan, but we’ve had a lot of kids step in because of injuries this year,” McGarvie said.




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