RIDGEFIELD — Fourth down doesn’t faze Ridgefield one bit.
The Spudders converted four times on fourth down Friday night, including twice on the opening drive of the second half to help cement a 42-18 home victory over Hockinson in the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League opener for both teams.
Clayton Farr ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns, the last of which capped the third-quarter drive that gave Ridgefield (4-1) a 30-6 lead midway through the period.
“That’s our style,” said Spudders coach Dan Andersen. “We don’t like giving up on fourth down.”
Both Andersen and Farr had nothing but praise for the Ridgefield offensive line, which handled Hockinson’s blitzes all night and allowed the Spudders to rush for 288 yards.
“They played a perfect game,” Farr said of his blockers. “They picked up all of their blitzes and dominated up front.”
While Ridgefield gambled and won on fourth down, Hockinson (3-2) failed on four tries in Spudders territory to extend a drive in the same situation.
“Last week against River Ridge, it was the same thing,” Hawks coach Rick Steele said. “I don’t know how many times we had them third-and-long, fourth-and-long, and they’d get the first down. That’s been the story for us this year.”
Farr also led Ridgefield’s bend-but-not-break defensive effort with seven tackles at safety, while linebacker Noah Couch added six tackles (two for loss) and a pass breakup.
“This was a big focus game for us,” Farr said. “Coming back up from 1A to 2A, this was a big deal for us to get the win.”
Ridgefield set the tone on its opening possession, with punter Joe Siegel running for 31 yards on a fourth-down fake kick, setting up Farr’s first TD run of 20 yards with 3:24 left in the first quarter.
After the Spudders stopped Hockinson on fourth down at their 16, they went 84 yards in seven plays. They caught the Hawks on a run blitz, and Farr burst through a huge hole between left guard and tackle to sprint 52 yards for a 14-0 lead.
Hockinson cut the deficit to 14-6 late in the first half when Noah Schultz-Rathbun recovered teammate Jess Krahn’s fumble in the end zone.
Ridgefield answered with a nine-play drive, including another fourth-down conversion. Gunnar Long scrambled 9 yards for a touchdown with 13.2 seconds left before halftime for a 22-6 lead.
“They just wanted it more than us tonight,” Steele said.
Krahn finished 21-of-38 passing for 292 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, both to Nick Guinett.
Linebacker Louden Seekins led the Hawks with 11 tackles, while Austen Johnson added nine.
RIDGEFIELD 42, HOCKINSON 18
Hockinson 0 6 0 12–18
Ridgefield 7 15 8 12–42
Rid — Clayton Farr 20 run (Dalton Ries kick)
Rid — Farr 52 run (Ries kick)
Hoc — Noah Schultz-Rathbun fumble recovery in end zone (kick blocked)
Rid — Gunnar Long 9 run (Farr run)
Rid — Farr 2 run (Long run)
Hoc — Nick Guinett 14 pass from Jess Krahn (pass failed)
Rid — Michael Knox 84 kickoff return (kick failed)
Hoc — Guinett 27 pass from Krahn (pass failed)
Rid — Long 2 run (run failed)
RUSHING — Hockinson – Krahn 9-23, Thomas Kirschenbaum 3-5, Austen Johnson 2-7, Guinett 2-3, Nick Barclay 2-(minus 17). Ridgefield – Farr 20-188, Long 8-23, Matt Cushwa 8-14, Ian Williams 4-25, Curren Willliams 2-13, Joe Siegel 1-31, Knox 1-(minus 4), team 2-(minus 2).
PASSING — Hockinson – Krahn 21-38-0-292. Ridgefield – Long 9-14-0-95, Siegel 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Hockinson – Barclay 6-64, Johnson 5-100, Cameron Loos 3-41, Guinett 3-61, Logan Barbour 2-16, Jesse Tonkinson 1-5, Kirschenbaum 1-5. Ridgefield – I.Williams 4-24, John White 2-11, Sam Gillenwater 1-33, Cushwa 1-7, Farr 1-20.