BATTLE GROUND — Hockinson wanted to send a message Friday night, and they didn’t just want Clark County to hear it.
It was addressed to the entire state of Washington.
“We’re one of the top teams in the state for a reason,” said quarterback Canon Racanelli.
The Hawks (10-0, 6-0 2A GSHL) leveled Aberdeen 49-8 with a near-perfect performance in a district playoff game at Batttle Ground Stadium and looked every bit the part of the team that trounced over the 2A Greater St. Helens League this season.
Racanelli completed 17 of 18 passes for 318 yards and six touchdowns and the Hawks puts points on the board on eight out of their nine drives.
Sawyer Racanelli connected on nine catches, three of them touchdowns, for 193 yards receiving. Tight end Jake Beslanowitch had a career night, catching five balls — three of them touchdowns — for 65 yards.
And the Hockinson defense held Aberdeen’s do-it-all running back Kylan Touch to just a touchdown — a feat considering he ran for 193 yards and passed for 48 more.
The hope? That the rest of the state gets the message, loud and clear.
“Everyone was talking crap about us and saying, ‘we’ll see what kind of team they are when they go to the state bracket,’ and I think we proved that we’re a good team,” Beslanowitch said.
Hockinson advances to the state playoff and will play Pullman on either Friday or Saturday.
“I think there were a lot of people watching to see how we were going to do,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said. “We just didn’t want to come here and lay an egg.”
Beslanowitch’s touchdown came on the fifth play of the game when he caught a ball over the middle about 12 yards away from the goal line and dragged multiple defenders with him the remainder of the way. On Hockinson’s next drive, Canon Racanelli found him over the middle for a similar touchdown, this time untouched.
Beslanowitch doled out all credit to the offensive line for his performance, but his teammates were quick to heap praise on him.
“Jake’s a stud,” Canon Racanelli said. “We’ve been waiting for him to have that breakout game. He’s been great all year, but finally came together with all the touchdowns.”
Aberdeen starting quarterback Ben Dublanko left the game early with an injury, but it didn’t matter. Hockinson unleashed a 21-point third quarter and put up 482 total yards of offense — 270 at half.
After taking a 20-0 lead into halftime, the Hawks pounced on a fumble on the Aberdeen 11-yard line in the opening play of the third quarter. On the next play, Canon Racanelli hit Sawyer Racanelli over the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.
“The second half we came out and really took off,” Steele said.
After a long Aberdeen drive ended on a 4th-and-15 interception, Hockinson marched down and made it 32-0 when Beslanowitch caught his third touchdown from 12 yards.
Aberdeen got the ball back, but threw an interception on the next play, and Hockinson responded immediately with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Sawyer Racanelli.
Aberdeen’s lone score came on a 72-yard run from Touch in the fourth quarter.
“We saw that kid on film … he is something. He never stops moving those feet,” Steele said.
Canon Racanelli’s outing pushes him to 2,805 yards 40 touchdowns through the air this season.
But Racanelli said this season’s results don’t mean anything from here on out. He just wants to be playing four more games in the state playoffs.
Steele echoed that message to the team after the game.
“Everybody knows we’re 10-0. That doesn’t mean anything anymore,” Steele said. “We are now going to be playing at a state-caliber football that is way beyond the 2A GSHL. We just have to get 1-0 each week.”
HOCKINSON 49, ABERDEEN 8
Aberdeen 0 0 0 8— 8
Hockinson 14 6 21 7 —49
H — Jake Beslanowitch 25 pass from Canon Racanelli (Nick Charles kick)
H — Beslanowitch 24 pass from Canon Racanelli (Charles kick)
H — Sawyer Racanelli 22 pass from Canon Racanelli (kick failed)
H — Sawyer Racanelli 11 pass from Canon Racanelli (conversion failed)
H — Beslanowitch 12 pass from Canon Racanelli (conversion failed)
H — Sawyer Racanelli 53 pass from Canon Racanelli (Charles kick)
A — Kylan Touch 72 run (conversion good)
H — Levi Crum run 5 (Charles kick)
RUSHING — Aberdeen: Bailey Delahanty 1-10, Zeiah Embry 2-19, Ben Dublanko 4-12, Kylan Touch 20-193, Aiden Neely 5-1 Dillen Espana 2-(-2); Hockinson: Bailey Jones 10-87 Canon Racanelli 2-9, Tony Richardson 4-42, Levi Crum 2-(-3), Kyle Nute 2-10.
PASSING — Aberdeen: Ben Dublanko 4-5-0-32, Kylan Touch 3-5-0-48, (unknown) 3-6-2-18; Hockinson: Canon Racanelli 17-18-0-318.
RECEIVING — Aberdeen: Ethan Murrill 1-8, Zeiah Embry 1-4, Dillen Espana 2-21, Kylan Touch 2-24, Aiden Neely 2-3, Cameron Hochstetler 1-2, Bailey Delahanty 1-36; Hockinson: Sawyer Racanelli 9-193, Peyton Brammer 2-21, Jake Beslanowitch 5-65, Wesley Kainu 1-39, Kyle Brabec 1-10, Mason Bonife 1-9, Jeremiah Faulstick 1-36.