HOCKINSON — Hockinson has been down this road before.
A win in the state playoffs is always a good thing, but the Hawks know there are bigger games ahead of them.
“Every game is going to get harder,” senior lineman Kordell Johnson said. “Everyone is going to get bigger, more competition. It’s going to be fun.”
While the Hawks have won state-playoff games before, they never had one end with a running clock.
Canon Racanelli passed for 389 yards and seven touchdowns, Matt Henry had three touchdown catches, Sawyer Racanelli had two TD catches and an interception return for a score and the Hawks defense smothered Pullman on its way to a 53-18 win in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs Friday afternoon at District Stadium.
Hockinson will host Liberty of Issaquah in the 2A quarterfinals at 4 p.m. t Saturday Nov. 18 back at District Stadium.
The Hawks (11-0) wasted no time on Friday, with Canon Racanelli hitting Matt Henry on a 75-yard touchdown pass play on the first play from scrimmage.
Later in the quarter, Canon Racanelli shook loose from the Pullman rush to find Henry wide open for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Peyton Brammer’s 29-yard TD reception gave the Hawks a 20-0 lead to end the first quarter.
A breakdown up front resulted in Canon Racanelli being sacked in the end zone early in the second quarter for a Pullman safety.
Plays like that will help keep the Hawks focused as they advance in the postseason, coach Rick Steele said.
“The nice thing about making it to the quarterfinals three of the past four years is that these kids have seen what it takes to get there and to move on,” Steele said. “When see teams like Tumwater, Lynden or Sedro-Woolley making it year after year, you learn how those teams get there. That’s where we want to be, and that’s what keeps us working to get to that point.”
Sawyer Racanelli’s 11-yard touchdown catch put Hockinson up 26-6, and Sawyer’s 19-yard interception return for a score made it 33-6.
“We preached all week not to get upfield” on defense, Sawyer said. “They sent the back out (in the flat) and I was right there to make the play. I didn’t get too far upfield, so the ball just landed right in my hands.”
It didn’t help Pullman that the Greyhounds lost starting quarterback Jed Byers on the second series of the game after a head-on collision.
But the way the Hawks defense played, it may not have mattered as the Hawks held Pullman to 123 yards of offense. Brammer and Aiden Mallory had intereptions and Kyle Brabec notched a couple of sacks.
“Last week against Aberdeen, their back had good game, rushed for some good yards,” Steele said. “But we had a bend-but-don’t-break defense. This is high school football, and if you make a team go 80 yards over six minutes, eventually they’ll make a mistake. A fumble, interception or punt, and then we get the ball and do our thing.”
And there were plenty of players doing their thing on offense. Henry had six catches for 168 yards, Sawyer Racanelli eight catches for 76 yards and Brammer added seven catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
“Everyone did their job this week,” Sawyer Racanelli said. “The (offensive) line did good, the quarterback threw the ball well, receivers made plays, defense held them to — well, it should have been eight points — but it’s all right.”
Now, the Hawks turn their attention to Liberty.
“Time to get back to work,” Sawyer Racanelli said. “We’re 0-0 again.”
HOCKINSON 53, PULLMAN 18
Pullman 0 2 6 10‑-18
Hockinson 20 19 7 7—53
H – Matt Henry 75 pass from Canon Racanelli (kick blocked)
H – Henry 27 pass from C. Rananelli (Peyton Brammer pass from C. Racanelli)
H – Brammer 29 pass from C. Racanelli (run failed)
P – Safety, Ty Hendrickson sacks C. Racanelli in end zone
H – Sawyer Racanelli 11 pass from C. Racanelli (kick failed)
H – S. Racanelli 19 interception return (Nick Charles kick)
H – Henry 18 pass from C. Racanelli (pass failed)
P – Isaiah Strong 7 pass from TJ Newman (run failed)
H – Brammer 5 pass from C. Racanelli (Charles kick)
H – S. Racanelli 16 pass from C. Racanelli (Charles kick)
P – Kaden Hildenbrand 35 FG
P – Jake Wells 18 interception return (Hildenbrand kick)
RUSHING – Pullman: Dylan Hodge 11-29, Jed Byers 2-14, James Pitzer 6-19, Connor Coutler 2-8, Hildenbrand 3-(-3), Wells 1-(-3), Jared Holstad 1-(-3), Newman 3-(-20). Hockinson: C. Racanelli 9-61, Bailey Jones 7-44, Colton Wheeler 7-34, Jonathon Domingos 1-0, Levi Crum 1-(-5), team 1-(-2).
PASSING – Pullman: Newman 8-21-2-65, Byers 1-1-0-7, Holstad 0-1-0-0, Wells 0-1-1-0. Hockinson: C. Racanelli 27-35-0-389, Crum 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING – Pullman: Wells 3-43, Strong 3-26, Hildenbrand 2-4, Hodge 1-(-1). Hockinson: Henry 6-168, S. Racanelli 8-76, Brammer 7-76, Wheeler 2-27, Jones 1-14, Jake Beslanowitch 1-11, Crum 1-10, Wesley Kainu 1-7.