WASHOUGAL — Riding the wave of its second 5-0 start in 22 years, Washougal hosted a packed stadium on Friday night for a pregame of fireworks and buzz surrounding the team’s early success.
The Hawks, who also started the season 5-0, took extra notice.
“I want to give Washougal credit here, they’re having a fantastic year,” Hockinson coach Rick Steele said. “They had a lot of press this week about how they were going to have a bunch of people here, big game for them, big show at halftime and before the game, and we just kind of talked about, hey, they’re having a part out at Washougal and let’s go out there and be the party pooper.”
And that’s what Hockinson called itself when it was all said and done.
Led by the dynamic brother duo of Canon and Sawyer Racanelli, the Hockinson offense jumped out to a fast start and blasted Washougal 41-7 in front of a packed Fishback Stadium on homecoming night.
“We punched them in the mouth right away,” Hockinson receiver Sawyer Racanelli said. “They hosted a good party, and we had to crash it.”
Canon Racanelli, the region’s top passer, threw for 374 yards and four touchdowns. Sawyer Racanelli, the area’s top receiver, caught four balls for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
While the postseason appears to be in the near future for both teams, Hockinson may have punched its ticket on Friday.
Washougal’s offense was stifled all night. Kade Coons, one of the area’s top rushers, had 13 carries for 48 yards.
The Panthers sought to avenge the lopsided loss it took at Hockinson last year, but the Hawks proved to be too much.
“Our coaches have been preaching that all the small mistakes we’ve made this season, we can usually get away with it,” Washougal quarterback Ryan Stevens said. “They told us (Hockinson) was going to capitalize on those, and they did.”
Hockinson was quick to get on the board. Canon Racanelli found Sawyer Racanelli for a 19-yard gain, then ran a hook-and-ladder to Colton Wheeler for 18 yards to get the Hawks inside the Panther 10-yard line. Two plays later, Wheeler put the Hawks on the board with a four-yard touchdown run.
A Washougal three-and-out later, Racanelli hit Peyton Brammer for 36 yards to help set up a one-yard touchdown run by the quarterback to take a two-touchdown lead.
The Panthers had a tough time getting anything going. After Ryan Stevens hit Grant Lewis for a 19-yard gain, Washougal wound up with 4th and one. Stevens’ was stuffed on a quarterback keeper for a turnover on downs.
“They had a good game plan,” Canon Racanelli said. “We just have a lot of dudes who can make plays. When they would adjust, we would take advantage.”
Then, Hockinson strung together a five play, 63-yard drive that ended with a 49-yard strike by Canon Racanelli to his brother Sawyer Racanelli to put the Hawks up three scores.
It’s a connection that the two grown accustomed to.
“I just saw the defender turn his hips, and I knew (Sawyer) was past him,” Canon Racanelli said.
The Panthers were held to just three first half first downs.
The Hawks opened the second half with a seven play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a six-yard touchdown pass from Racanelli to Peyton Brammer on fourth and goal.
Washougal scored its lone touchdown of the night when Jakob Davis caught a pass from Stevens, broke tackle, spun and sprinted in for a 30-yard touchdown.
All in all, Hockinson receivers found the necessary separation throughout the evening.
“We were rolling out a lot, and we knew they manned up underneath,” Steele said. “When Canon rolls out and has got time to throw, that’s a long time for our kids to chase our receivers around.”
After the game Steele stressed to the team that the celebrating be short-lived.
“We’re 6-0. And guess what? To get to a state title game we’ve got to play 13 games,” Steele said. “We’re not even half way into the season. So we’ve got to keep getting better every week — and we have been.”
Canon Racanelli echoed that sentiment.
“We really think we’ve got a special team,” Canon Racanelli said. “I’m really excited about it. I’m excited to play in the next eight games.”
HOCKINSON 41, WASHOUGAL 7
Hockinson 14 20 7 0–41
Washougal 0 0 7 0–7
H — Colton Wheeler 4 run (Nick Charles kick)
H — Canon Racanelli 1 run (Charles kick)
H — Sawyer Racanelli 50 pass from Canon Racanelli (Charles kick)
H — Kyle Brabec 19 pass from Canon Racanelli (Charles kick)
H — S. Racanelli 21 pass from C. Racanelli (conversion failed)
H — Peyton Brammer 6 pass from C. Racanelli (Charles kick)
W — Jakob Davis 30 pass from Ryan Stevens (Stevens kick)
RUSHING — Hockinson: Colton Wheeler 7-28, Canon Racanelli 8-25, Matt Henry 1-3, Jonathan Domingos 3-11. Washougal: Kade Coons 12-45, Nathan Tofell 3-6, Ryan Stevens 1-(-12), Cole Robb 1-0.
PASSING — Hockinson — Canon Racanelli 24-29-0-374; Washougal: Ryan Stevens 9-16-2-111, Kade Coons 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Hockinson: Sawyer Racanelli 4-111, Peyton Brammer 6-85, Jake Beslanowitch 5-46, Matt Henry 3-47, Colton Wheeler 3-31, Wyatt Jones 1-12, Aidan Mallory 1-16, Blake Sparks 1-6; Washougal: Jakob Davis 3-43, Grant Lewis 4-41, Kade Coons 1-18, Max Churchman 1-9.