LA CENTER — On the opening night of the High School football season in La Center, both the Hockinson Hawks and host Wildcats traded body blows in the middle of the field.
But behind stout defense and big plays on offense, the Hockinson Hawks, ranked No. 4 in Class 2A, defeated the Class 1A
No. 10 Wildcats 28-0.
The only player who rose above the slugfest in midfield was Hockinson’s senior receiver Kedrick Johnson.
Johnson ripped away a slightly under-thrown ball from a La Center defender for the Hawks’ first touchdown from 24 yards out.
On the following defensive possession he had an acrobatic interception, leaping backwards in the middle of the field to pick off Jeremy Scott’s pass.
A few possessions later, he reeled in a deep 34-yard pass — out-jumping his defender again — before lining up in the backfield to cap off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.
“He’s a fantastic football player,” said Hockinson head coach Rick Steele. “He’s just a kid that makes things happen.”
Throughout the night, Johnson made things happen more than anybody else on either side.
“I just kept pushing through,” Johnson said. “Our team works hard, and it paid off.”
Johnson had 137 total yards, receiving and rushing, as well as accounting for Hockinson’s lone turnover. That is, until an interception late in the fourth quarter when the game was no longer in doubt.
Although the Wildcats had plenty of pluck and forced a few first half turnovers, Hockinson’s stout defense did not allow
La Center’s offense to sniff the red zone.
The defense that returns eight seniors is Hockinson’s foundation and it was on display, drive after drive.
Sophomore Canon Racanelli got the start at quarterback for the Hawks after battling for the position in camp.
“He did really good for his first start,” said Johnson of his quarterback.
Racanelli threw the ball 15 times in the first half, giving balance to the Hawks’ run-heavy attack, targeting Johnson with deep passes.
“He was winging the ball out there tonight, he looked good” said Steele. “Our running game was good. If we can put both together and just go one direction down the field, we’ll be a lot better football team.”
La Center heads to Woodland next week to take on the 2A Beavers. The Hawks will play host to Class 3A Prairie.
HOCKINSON 28, LA CENTER 0
HOCKINSON 7 7 7 7 28
LA CENTER 0 0 0 0 0
Hock – Kedrick Johnson 24 pass from Canon Racanelli (Tommy Brennan kick)
Hock – Johnson 4 run (Brennan kick)
Hock – Ganon Kytola 14 run (Brennan kick)
Steven Carlisle 10 run (Brennan kick)
RUSHING – Hockinson, Jared Oja 12-80, Carlisle 11-90, Racanelli 2-4, Matt Henry 6-33, James Baker 1-5, Kytola 4-31, Johnson 3-45, Kyle Nute 3-9, Colton Wheeler 3-21. La Center, Jacob O’Donnell 6-12, Brett Judd 3-9, Thomas Dryer 1-0, Jeffery Mayolo 2-3, Zach Galster 1-(-1), Jeremy Scott 9-(-19).
PASSING – Hockinson, Racanelli 15-24-2-187. La Center, Scott 10-17-2-71
RECEIVING – Hockinson, Johnson 6-92, Cameron Loos 4-47, Bailey Jones 1-12, Henry 1-15, Gage Seekins 1-12, Cole Walker 1-4, Mitch Lines 1-5. La Center, Dalton Morgan 4-26. Thomas Dreyer 2-24, Mayolo 1-2, Jake Wise 2-9, Galster 1-11.