The Davis Pirates defense knew what was coming, and it still couldn’t stop the Jonah Hoe train Friday night.
The Walla Walla senior running back had one of the best nights in school history, pounding out 274 yards on 36 carries and scoring four touchdowns in a 28-12 victory in a nonleague game in Yakima despite Davis loading nine players in the box from the outset.
“It was awesome,” Hoe said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team. At Davis is always a tough place to play. I was really proud of my offensive line. They went in and opened some big holes for me.”
Hoe’s big night was even more gratifying because it ended a nearly two-year winless drought on the road for Walla Walla.
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The Blue Devils didn’t win a game last season, and had lost a combined 11 consecutive games dating to the 2010 season.
“It is a great way to start the year off for us,” Walla Walla coach Eric Hisaw said. “Our kids have risen to the challenge as needed when they had to. They are starting to believe, and you can’t replace that. Especially because we have had some tough times the last couple of years.”
Hoe’s hard running has been one of the big reasons the Blue Devils are believing they can do more than win a few early season games, in part because of his ability to finish drives this season.
“Last year, we only scored 11 touchdowns total,” Hisaw said. “He was able to finish it off (Friday) and do things the way he wanted to. I was happy he was able to get that done. It was a pretty neat night in general for him.”
The game was even more remarkable considering Hoe start on both sides of the ball, and rarely got a breather Friday.
“I’m probably in the best football shape of my life,” he said. “I’ve been really working on pacing myself and working on my cardiovascular conditioning throughout the season.”
All that hard work is paying off after a dismal start to his high school career.
“I think we just were always close (in the past),” he said. “Now we are tired of being close. We get to actually say we won the game.
“The bottom line is Davis athletic. They had us on the ropes a couple of times, but the bottom line is we won. And that is all that matters.”
The great escape: The Kamiakin football team pulled out an epic comeback Friday to win 25-19 at Sunnyside, scoring on a Hail Mary with 5 seconds left.
Quarterback Kylle Robertson threw a 42-yard touchdown pass that was caught by receiver Javan Williams at the 2-yard line, and Williams danced into the end zone for the winning score.
“We went back and forth all game,” linebacker Johnny Jansen said. “We pulled it out at the last second on a deep ball. We got a bit lucky, but we got the big one.”
It marked the second consecutive week Sunnyside has dropped a heartbreaker, the Grizzlies lost 25-21 to Southridge in Week 2. This time, the Grizzlies went ahead early thanks to a school-record 95-yard touchdown run by quarterback Eduardo Salmeron.
It wasn’t enough, though, to hold off Kamiakin.
“It felt good,” Jansen said of the victory. “It gives us confidence going into next week. It shows that even when the chips are down, we can go out and get the win.”