BATTLE GROUND — After the fifth-seeded Lakewood Cougars forced three turnovers by No. 4 Hockinson in the first half, turning them into 14 points, the Hawks flipped the script in the second half, and their bid for a third consecutive 2A state football championship is still alive after edging Lakewood 29-28 in a quarterfinal Saturday at Battle Ground District Stadium.
Hockinson created three takeaways in the second half, converted the first two into touchdowns and used the third to seal the win to advance to next Saturday’s semifinal game against top-seeded Tumwater.
Lakewood took a 28-14 lead on Malik Dotson’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter and Hockinson punted on its ensuing drive. With a chance to go up three scores, Lakewood fumbled at the end of the quarter, and the Hawks recovered. Hockinson (11-1) cut the lead to 28-21 on Cody Wheeler’s second touchdown of the game, a 1-yard plunge.
The Cougars (9-2) fumbled again on their next possession, and Hockinson quarterback Levi Crum converted two fourth-down plays on a drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Wheeler. A 2-point conversion pass from Crum to Liam Mallory gave the Hawks a 29-28 lead with 2:42 on the clock.
“Clearly, Hockinson had the attitude that they never felt like they were out of it,” Lakewood coach Dan Teeter said. “They were down 24-7 to Lynden last year in the state championship game, and they came back last week (to beat Ellensburg 21-15). We put the ball on the ground, and it wasn’t really forced, we just mishandled a couple of snaps. Maybe it was poise, or the moment, or maybe it was just mishandling the ball.”
Hockinson’s Andre Northrup intercepted Lakewood quarterback Jared Taylor’s pass with 1:22 remaining to seal the win for the Hawks.
“It was a painful way to lose,” Teeter said. “We felt like we were the better team for most of the night.”
Carson Chrisman returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown on Hockinson’s first offensive play. A 20-yard touchdown pass from Taylor to Morgan Stacey and a 3-yard TD run by Landen Pruitt gave Lakewood a 21-7 halftime lead.