Hoquiam’s big-play tendencies this season are such that the Grizzly offensive unit generally doesn’t spend much time on the field.
That was both true and false in Friday’s 54-7 victory over Elma.
The Grizzlies actually put together a couple of extended drives by their standards. They had a pair of nine-play scoring marches, along with a couple of one-play drives and another of two plays.
Even the more extended possessions, however, consumed less than three minutes.
Hoquiam coach Jason Ronquillo had included establishing the run among his team’s pre-game goals. Establish it the Grizzlies did. They amassed 396 yards in the first half alone.
David Cox continued Hoquiam’s fine special teams play by blocking an Elma punt in the first half.
Alex Carillo and Todd Swinhart had productive receiving nights for Elma. Carillo caught eight Layne Sutten passes for 89 yards, while Swinhart had five receptions for 81 yards.
Veteran Elma coach Jim Hill said he couldn’t remember experiencing a worse loss.
“I’ll take the blame for that,” he reflected. “I didn’t have our team prepared. I didn’t think we tried very hard, to be honest, and that’s my fault.”
Elma senior lineman Austin Black was crowned homecoming king, with Kayla Pacheco the queen, during halftime ceremonies.
It was the golden anniversary homecoming for Elma public address announcer Jack Prince, who is celebrating his 50th year as the voice of the Eagles.
It was only a one-week experiment with 8-man football, but Ocosta adapted nicely in its 68-40 win over Jewell, Ore.
The keys to the victory were Ocosta’s team speed and a good night of tackling.
“This is another animal,” Wildcat coach Mike Allton said. “You’re exposed in the open spaces if you can’t tackle.”
Willapa Valley-North Beach
On paper, Friday night’s Pacific League contest at Crogstadt Field looked like a running back’s dream game — two potent rushing offenses that can grind yardage and the clock with equal efficiency.
But like Valley assistant coach John Peterson said before the game, you have to have a contingency plan just in case. The Vikings certainly put one in for the Hyaks on Friday night and the rest of the district’s rivals with an effective passing attack. North Beach also showed some flashes of a passing game as well, enough during the pre-game warmups to send Valley coaches scurrying to their playbooks.
Six of Matt Konigsberger’s eight passes were converted for first downs and Valley rediscovered the joys of the screen pass. Valley head coach Greg Wonhoff noted that it isn’t his favorite play, but it was super effective.
“It came down to save us — the screen pass,” Wonhoff said. “Coming into this season, it is my least favorite play and I told Coach Peterson that. He loves it and I hate it. So, we put some time into it this week and it came through for us.”
Wonhoff cited his offensive line — Don Carlson, Randy Heckard, Zack Friese, Richard Ashley and Stephen Camenzind — for protecting Konigsberger and taking control of the line of scrimmage.
Wind the clock
This is from the 2012-13 WIAA Handbook regarding the 40-point mercy rule, a.k.a. the running clock: “(57.6.0) Beginning in the second half, if the point differential is 40 points or greater, the following game-ending procedures shall be in effect: (18.104.22.168) The game clock shall run continuously for the remainder of the game except for an official’s time-out, a charged team time-out, time between quarters, or a score.”
We’re bringing this up, because the game officials at the Willapa Valley-North Beach contest misinterpreted this rule that was put in beginning this season to speed up lopsided games.
Willapa Valley hit the 40-point threshold with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter against North Beach, 41-0. The Hyaks immediately went down the field and scored their first touchdown of the game, but the game officials forgot that they had to keep the clock going and stopped it after the Hyak kickoff.
The game never hit the 40-point threshold again, but it shouldn’t have mattered. The clock should have been moving to the end. Game officials at earlier mercy rule games this season told The Daily World that the clock runs, even if the score dips below the 40-point line.
That mistake on Friday made for a longer night for all concerned.
Other Western Washington scores
LaCenter 40, Tenino 6 — A battle between two District IV 1A state-ranked teams turned into a blowout early at LaCenter. The Wildcats did all of their damage on the ground, running for 493 yards, led by Jared Huddleston’s 195 yards and two touchdowns. The Beavers got a 20-yard touchdown run from Devante Harris to get onto the scoreboard. … Ridgefield 56, Washougal 3 — Ridgefield’s defense stood up and supported its high-scoring offense, limiting visiting Washougal to just 126 yards of offense. Clayton Farr and Gunnar Long each scored three short-yardage touchdown runs for the Spudders.
Reports from The Columbian in Vancouver were included in this article.