Brian Hawkins ran for 220 yards and two touchdowns to lead Connell to a 24-7 victory Saturday over La Center in the Class 1A state semifinals at McKenzie Stadium.
The Eagles (12-1) will play SCAC East rival Royal for the state title at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. The Knights beat the Eagles 28-16 in the 2007 championship game.
Hawkins, whose 105 yards passing included a 9-yard touchdown to Steven Kroontje, said the Wildcats gave him open space to run.
“When I looked down field for my receivers, I saw their linebackers dropping back,” Hawkins told The (Vancouver) Columbian. “I just took off and trusted my legs.”
Hawkins ran for scores of 43 and 1 yards. The Eagles also got a 24-yard field goal from Luis Ramos to finish the scoring.
With travel in the SCAC East relatively short trips, the jaunt across the state did not seem to faze the Eagles.
“It was definitely a challenge, but we’ve traveled the last couple of weeks as well,” Hawkins said. “We’ve gotten used to it. We got here a little early so we could get off the bus, move around and wake ourselves up.”
Connell’s Jaxs Whitby was held to 18 yards rushing, but caught two passes for 30 yards.
C — Brian Hawkins 43 run (Luis Ramos kick)
C — Steven Kroontje 9 pass from Hawkins (Ramos kick)
LC — Jeremy Scott 1 run (Sean Fox kick)
C — Hawkins 1 run (Ramos kick)
C — FG Ramos 24
RUSHING — C, Brian Hawkins 20-220, Jaxs Whitby 11-18, Jarrod Tuttle 1-4. LC, Jeffrey Mayolo 14-81, Thomas Dreyer 8-21, Evan Honore 6-32, Colton Dolezal 5-27; Jeremy Scott 8-7.
PASSING — C, Brian Hawkins 10-16-105. LC, Jeremy Scott 4-9-34.
RECEIVING — C, Tristan Garland 2-16, Steven Kroontje 3-28, Jaxs Whitby 2-30, Caleb Price 3-31. LC, Clint Smith 1-14, Colton Dolezal 1-8, Jake Wise 2-12.
ROYAL 56, DEER PARK 0: The Knights will defend their Class 1A title next week after shutting out the Stags in the semifinals at Gonzaga Prep High School in Spokane.
Knights quarterback Kaden Jenks, the SCAC East Offensive Player of the Year, completed 12 of 14 passes for 214 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 60 yards and a touchdown.
“On a nice 50-degree day, we thought we could turn it loose a little bit,” Royal coach Wiley Allred told the Spokesman Review.
Danny Cuevas and Sawyer Jenks also ran for touchdowns for Royal (12-0), while Corbin Christensen was on the receiving end of three of Kaden Jenks’ touchdown passes.
Royal held the Stags (10-2) to 83 yards of offense. Christensen had an interception, Alonso Hernendez had five tackles, and CJ Quintero and Ramses Gonzalez each had a quarterback sack.
Next up for the Knights is Connell in the title game.
“We played Connell and it’s an absolute dog fight,” said Allred, referring to the Knights’ 28-21 win over the Eagles on Oct. 14. “It’ll be a battle. It always is.”
Roy—Kaden Jenks 10 run (Alonso Hernandez kick)
Roy—Isaac Ellis 43 pass from Jenks (Hernandez kick)
Roy—Corbin Christensen 29 pass from Jenks (Hernandez kick)
Roy—Christensen 35 pass from Jenks (Hernandez kick)
Roy—Christensen 18 pass from Jenks (Hernandez kick)
Roy—Danny Cuevas 30 run (Hernandez kick)
Roy—Juan Niebla 13 pass from Jenks (Hernandez kick)
Roy—Sawyer Jenks 33 run (Hernandez kick)
RUSHING — R, Cuevas 11-80, K.Jenks 7-60, S.Jenks 2-33, Yovani Cruz 3-20, Adrian Trinidad 2-14, Jack Diaz 1-0, Hernandez 1-(minus-1). DP, Dean Lockwood 5-41, Tyson Lim 11-36, Everett Pierce 3-0, Carter Countryman 1-(minus-10), O’Dea 7-(minus-45).
PASSING — R, K.Jenks 12-14-0-214. DP, Connor O’Dea 5-17-1-61.
RECEIVING — R, Christensen 4-87, Trinidad 3-49, Isaac Ellis 1-43, Niebla 2-21, CJ Quintero 1-8, Juan Ojeda 1-6. DP, Lockwood 2-17, Lim 1-13, Mikal Palmer 1-18, Joel Overton 1-13.
REGIS 53, STANFIELD 14: Regis raced out to a 27-0 lead, and then poured some more offense on Stanfield in a rout to win the Oregon Class 2A football championship at Kennison Field in Hermiston.
Stanfield scored on a 36-yard run by Dylan Grogan near the end of the first half to cut the deficit to 27-7, but the Tigers were stymied the rest of the way. Grogan scored again on a 21-yard run with 3:09 left in the game.
Regis forced five turnovers and was 4-for-4 scoring in the red zone. The Rams got the game to a running clock with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the score 53-7.
Grogan finished with 107 passing yards on 7 of 19 passing, and Thyler Monkus led Stanfield with 52 rushing yards on nine carries. Brody Woods caught four passes for 55 yards. Stanfield finished the season 11-2.