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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Sept. 27, 2023

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We now know Hawks are good enough to reach title game

Commentary: Tim Martinez

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

Hey, Clark County. What did I miss?

I spent the Thanksgiving break down in Southern California visiting family. It was 94 degrees on Thanksgiving. It’s really hard to get into the holiday spirit when it’s 94 degrees.

So what’s going on? Hockinson Hawks is in the state title football game? Cool! Congratulations Hawks.

A couple of weeks ago, I said that we didn’t know if the Hawks were good enough to reach the title game.

Well, now we know.

The Hawks have answered every challenge in the postseason. They still haven’t played a nail-biter all season long. They’ve hardly trailed. They’ve gone up against foes that are bigger than they are. They’ve shown they can travel away from home and play well.

Now comes one more challenge — the Tumwater Thunderbirds.

I remember thinking that I’d like to see a Hockinson-Tumwater matchup, but then realized the only time I’d get to see that matchup would be in the title game.

Well, here it is.

The Hawks and Thunderbirds are about as opposite as you can get.

Tumwater has a long and rich history of football success. This is the Thunderbirds’ fourth trip to the title game since 2012. Tumwater won the 2010 2A state title.

With the Hawks, it’s throw, throw and throw some more. With the T-birds, it’s run, run, and run some more.

Tumwater is big and fast, kind of like West Valley.

The Thunderbirds pride themselves on their defense. They held a potent Archbishop Murphy team to six points.

But then the Hawks hung 53 points on a West Valley defense that hadn’t allow opponents to score 50 points in the past five weeks combined.

And if the Hawks want to learn more about Tumwater, there are plenty of local teams to ask.

Union handed Tumwater one of two losses, 33-29 in Week 4. Tumwater’s other loss came to Bellevue (30-13). Bellevue and Union are the only two teams that have scored more than 21 points off Tumwater this season.

Hockinson’s league rivals in the 2A Greater St. Helens League are familiar with the T-birds.

Washougal lost 55-0 to Tumwater in the Week 10 playoffs. Hockinson beat Washougal 41-7 in Week 6.

Columbia River has played Tumwater each of the past four seasons and none of the meetings has worked out well for the Chieftains.

River lost 56-6 to Tumwater in Week 2. Hockinson beat River 42-14 in Week 7.

Comparing scores can be misleading, but they at least give you an idea that the Hawks are in for a challenge on Saturday when they face Tumwater in the 2A title game. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. at the Tacoma Dome.

It’s the second consecutive season the high school football season in Clark County has extended into December.

It’s the sixth time in my 17 years covering preps in Clark County that a local team will play for the state football title game, following Evergreen (4A) in 2004, Union (3A) in 2008, Skyview (4A) in 2011, and Camas (4A) in 2013 and 2016.

It makes for an exciting final week of the football season.

Looks like I got back just in time.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep editor for The Columbian. He can be reached 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart