Day After Report: Hockinson 17, Ridgefield 7

The Hawks get defensive in what might be the biggest game of the 2A GSHL schedule this season. (These notes courtesy of Micah Rice of The Columbian.)HockRid

The Hawks and Spudders were undefeated coming into this one. Now the Hawks stand alone atop the 2A GSHL standings.

Ridgefield entered Friday’s 2A Greater St. Helen’s League showdown with Hockinson averaging nearly 270 rushing yards per game.
The Spudders finished with just 70 rushing yards.
So how did Hockinson shut down one of the area’s best running offenses? The key was in the Hawks unique defensive scheme that involves five linebackers and three down linemen.
Hockinson consistently blitzed linebackers either off the edge on in the gaps of the interior line. There were simply too many bodies for Ridgefield’s linemen to handle.
Hockinson’s gameplan didn’t surprise Ridgefield coach Dan Andersen.
“It was just what we thought,” he said. “Their linebackers are really athletic kids. They blitz a lot. They did exactly what we thought they were going to do, and they shut down the run for a good part of the game.”
Andersen said his offense needs to execute better in the passing game when an opponent keys on the run. Ridgefield was 11 for 22 for 108 yards passing.
“We’re going to work to get our passing game better,” Andersen said. “We execute a few more things on that tonight and the score would be different.”

The biggest hit of Friday’s game came courtesy of Kedrick Johnson, who leveled a Ridgefield receiver, who was dazed for several minutes afterward. It was one of several big hits by Hockinson’s defense.
How does it feel to deliver a hit like that?|
“You don’t even feel it. It feels great. You can’t feel anything. It’s like baseball. Once you find that sweet spot, you don’t feel anything. It’s just gone,” Johnson said.
Hockinson senior Jared Oja was among Johnson’s teammates who were wowed by the 6-foot-3, 190-pound linebacker/receiver.
“He’s crazy, he’s a freak,” Oja said. “That’s what we call him, The Freak. He makes crazy plays and that gets our offense and defense going.”

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