Fishermen take care of business at Homecoming

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX photo</I><BR>Teammates celebrate with Alex Martin after his second quarter touchdown.

Fishermen halt Hockinson, 21-7

ILWACO - Eddie Knick raced for two break-away touchdowns and Alex Martin scored a third as Ilwaco grounded the Hockinson Hawks 21-7 in the 2004 Homecoming game at blustery, rain-drenched Pederson Field Friday.

The non-league contest was in doubt until the final four minutes of play, with Ilwaco leading 14-7. An errant fourth-down half-back pass by the Hawks standout, Kyle Schneider, missed a wide-open receiver at about the Fishermen 15-yard line that could have resulted in a tying touchdown.

With less than three minutes remaining Knick, packed the pigskin for 27 and 37 yards gains with his last run putting him in the end zone and giving Ilwaco an insurmountable 21-7 bulge. The speedy freshman began the contest in much the same way, peeling off a 45-yard sprint to the goal line on the second play of the game from scrimmage.

Knick ran for 209 yards on 22 carries - his effort eclipsing the 1000-yard mark for the season - much like the lunar event earlier in the week.

The opening TD was set up when Geoff Hylton skillfully recovered a line-drive kick off and Knick ran for seven yards. His first scoring play was behind the blocking of linemen Hylton and Mike Patterson, and fullback Mooch Smith. His final scoring jaunt followed blocks from Anthony Wirkkala and Nick Wilson-Codega on the right side of the line.

Martin's score came after the Fishermen used most of the first quarter to run off a 14-play, 69-yard drive. He burst through the middle following Bobby Crislip and Wirkkala's blocking. Ubaldo Sebastian booted all three extra points from the hold of quarterback Nick Leonard.

Ilwaco had a scare in the first period when Hockinson recovered a fumbled punt, but could not produce a first down in eight plays. Wilson-Codega and Tony Bartolus forced a two-yard loss on fourth-and-two for the Hawks.

The Fishermen reeled off six first-downs before Hockinson could muster their initial one on a pass-interference penalty in the second quarter. Three plays later they faked a 44-yard field goal and Schneider found Tyler Pearce with a 27-yard scoring pass. Schneider's PAT kick was good and matched Hockinson's highest point total of the season at seven.

The second half began with a bang as David Casper knocked the wind out of Schneider on a smashing tackle on the kick-off return. Ilwaco gained their ninth first down on a Leonard scramble, but turned the ball over on downs, only to have Joe Goelz recover a fumble on the Hawk's next offensive play.

What was a light drizzle during half-time ceremonies quickly deteriorated into a down pour that played a role in dampening both team's offensive output. Neither could garner more than a first down apiece, with those coming on penalties, until Knick's two scampers inside the three-minute mark finally had the linesmen moving the chains.

Goelz successfully sacked the quarterback and Markus Peterson stopped another Hawk possession by turning a sweep inside and reaching back to jostle the ball loose for an instant while the Fishermen pursuit made the stop on the play. Matthew Tarabochia also forced a loss and pressured the quarterback twice to keep the visitors in check while defensive backs Peterson, Jarod Schaak, and Peter Gaynor each tipped passes to the ground.

Goelz said, "I am excited about the win. It will be nicer to go to the Homecoming Dance as a winner instead of like last year (when LaCenter downed the Fishermen)." He expressed satisfaction in catching two passes after having a difficult week of practice due to a bothersome knee.

Wilson-Cordega related, "We had to fight for this win. It was nice to see our young linemen jell with us seniors, especially Anthony Wirkkala." He felt the weather wasn't a problem for the line, but did say, "Our backs were having trouble with the ball in the rain and Bobby Crislip (center) split his hand open, which made snapping the ball tough but he did a good job."

Wirkkala, who has started for the first time in the line the past two victories said, "I made a couple of mistakes but overall we did good. The cold and rain are our kind of weather."

Hockinson, who came into the game averaging just over three points per game while giving up nearly 47 per contest, was held to a paltry 91 yards of total offense while Ilwaco gained 275. The winless Hawks, who have no seniors and only four juniors on their 49-man roster, finished their season at 0-8 while Ilwaco will travel to Onalaska for a final Southwest Washington league fray next Friday.

The Fishermen improve their season record to 4-5 with their second straight victory and Onalaska lost the league title to Napavine 30-6. Wilson-Codego feels Ilwaco may be ripe for an upset, "If we keep playing like we have the past two weeks we could beat them." Ony has clinched the right to host a playoff game with the winner going to state.

Eight seniors played their last home game at Pederson Field and Coach Ned Bittner started them all on defense. They are Ken Marroquin, Peter Gaynor, Ubaldo Sebastian, Matthew Tarabochia, Markus Peterson, Tony Bartolus, Mike Patterson, and Nick Wilson-Codega. Cheering in their final home game were seniors Brittany Greenfield, Carlyn Brewe, Chelsea Gilgore, Kallie Meno, Andrea Becken, Dorothy Frace, Robyn Unruh, and Lindsay Rider.

"Considering all the distractions of Homecoming I felt the kids played good. Even though the offense wasn't clicking as well as it could have I felt we were still able to do some positive things," Bittner concluded.

Hockinson 0 7 0 0 --7

Ilwaco 7 7 0 7 --21

Scoring:

First

Ilwaco-11:05 Knick 45 run (Sebastian kick)

Second

Ilwaco-11:50 Martin 9 run (Sebastian kick)

Hockinson--5:33 Schneider 27 pass to Pearce (Schneider kick)

Fourth

Ilwaco-2:19 Knick 37 run (Sebastian kick)

Hockinson Ilwaco

First downs 5 12

Rushing 23-47 43-261

Passing 4-19, 44 3-8, 14

Total offense 42-91 51-275

Turnovers 1 2

Penalties 2-10 6-53

Punts 3-27 1-18

Rushing: Ilwaco-Knick 22-209, Smith 5-14, Martin 9-29, Peterson 1-6, Leonard 6-3; Hockinson--Johnson 13-27, Schneider 10-20

Passing: Ilwaco-Leonard 3-7, 14, Peterson 0-1; Hockinson--Shears 4-17, 17, Schneider 1-2, 27

Receiving: Ilwaco-Schaak 1-8, Goelz 2-6; Hockinson--Moilinan 2-8, Pearce 1-27, Weddle 1-9

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