HOCKINSON — It is hard to put into context what Ridgefield’s 35-0 drubbing of seven-time defending 2A Greater St. Helens League champion Hockinson on Friday means without knowing how the rest of the long season plays out.
But third-year coach Scott Rice wasn’t afraid to remark on the game’s place in Spudder lore.
“I’m a history teacher, so I see those seminal moments where you go ‘That was the turning point,’” Rice said. “Yes, I think it’s a turning point.”
It was Ridgefield’s first win over Hockinson since 2012. During that time, the Hawks have wins of 35-14, 34-0, 17-7, 35-21, 32-15, 54-14 and last spring’s 14-7 nailbiter. The latter another monumental moment in Rice’s eyes.
For a Spudders (3-0, 1-0 2A GSHL) team that desperately wanted to take that next step, falling short three times in the red zone during last year’s league-title decider was heartbreak. It fueled Ridgefield this offseason. It was featured in film all week.
On Friday, the Spudders took the lessons learned and were flawless, at times clinical in their approach. Brayden Malella threw for four touchdowns, the defense hauled in three interceptions and the special teams blocked a punt.
“It feels amazing,” said senior Ryan Jenkins, who had an interception and a blocked punt. “We executed all week how we wanted to and came out and did the same thing.”
Hockinson falls to 0-2 for the first time since 2010.
Get the ball rolling — Hockinson’s first possession was short-lived as Ridgefield’s Ryan Hooghkirk capitalized on a tipped ball with an interception. It set up the Spudders at the Hawks’ 17-yard line, which they turned into a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brayden Malella to Ty Snider to make it 7-0 and set the tone for the night.
Blocked! — In the second quarter, the Hawks lined up to punt from their own 27-yard line after a three-and-out. Ryan Jenkins snuck through the line to block the punt and give the Spudders another generous short field to work with. On the first play after the block, Malella found Jakob Braunstein for a 12-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
Snider Show — If the Hawks had any hopes of a second-half comeback, that went out the door in the third quarter when Ty Snider escaped from Hockinson defenders’ clutches for a 50-yard score. The play started with a short hitch route and pass from Malella, but the elusive Snider turned into much more and a 28-0 Spudder lead.
Ryan Jenkins — Jenkins caught five passes for 46 yards and a 9-yard fourth-quarter touchdown. He also had a miraculous third-quarter interception and the blocked punt.
Brayden Malella — The sophomore was poised running the offense throughout the night. He finished 17 of 32 passing for 252 yards and four touchdowns.
Andre Northrup — One of the few bright spots for Hockinson, Northrup was tasked with a little of everything Friday. He caught four passes for 37 yards before alternating series as quarterback with starter Jarod Oldham. Northrup finished 3 of 8 passing for 18 yards and added 48 yards on the ground on seven carries.
“We expected this one. We expect next week. And we expect the ones in Week 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The goal is to put a league championship on the wall and that’s the first step in doing it.” — Ridgefield coach Scott Rice on how to keep the Spudders focused for the rest of the league title chase.
RIDGEFIELD 35, HOCKINSON 0
Ridgefield 14 7 7 7—35
Hockinson 0 0 0 0—0
R — Ty Snider 15 pass from Brayden Malella (Giuseppe Gagliardi kick)
R — Davis Pankow 10 run (Gagliardi kick)
R — Jakob Braunstein 12 pass from Malella (Gagliardi kick)
R — Snider 50 pass from Malella (Gagliardi kick)
R — Ryan Jenkins 9 pass from Malella (Gagliardi kick)
Rushing — R: Ty Snider 1-8, Brayden Malella 2-(-13), Davis Pankow 8-33, Connor Delamarter 10-1, Isaiah Cowley 1-5, JC Francis 4-8; H: Andre Northrup 7-48, John Charles 1-33, Jarod Oldham 2-8, Cody Wheeler 9-12.
Passing — R: Brayden Malella 17-32-1-252; H: Andre Northrup 3-8-0-18, Jarod Oldham 15-33-3-135.
Receiving — R: Ty Snider 5-84, Carson Knight 2-50, Davis Pankow 1-11, Matt Lewis 2-29, Ryan Jenkins 5-46, Jakob Braunstein 2-32; H: Andre Northrup 4-37, Hale Prior 5-69, Tyler Litle 4-30, Kasen Niemitalo 1-3, Cody Wheeler 2-9, Kenyon Johnson 1-5, Enzo Oliveiro 1-0.