Walla Walla’s Jonah Hoe put together a night to remember Friday.
The senior running back rushed for the fourth most yards in one game in state history, gaining 436 yards on 36 carries and scoring five touchdowns in a 45-27 victory over Pasco at Edgar Brown Stadium.
Blue Devils coach Eric Hisaw said the only time he’s seen a game like that is on Nintendo.
“It was quite a deal,” Hisaw said. “I was shocked. I didn’t realize it was that many, just because so many of his runs were bottled up. You look at it at the end, and it was pretty special.”
Steilacoom’s Danny Wilm (2003) and Hazen’s Easton Johnson (2005) hold the single-game state record of 471 yards. Interlake’s Thomas Brooks-Fletcher rushed for 444 in a 2004 game.
“It was just a really good night,” Hoe said. “The line opened up a lot of holes. It was good. We played really well.”
Hoe, the master of the understatement, is playing with an AC joint sprain in his shoulder, but showed no signs of pain while shredding the Pasco defense.
The Bulldogs consistently stacked the box trying to stop Hoe, but a solid performance by the blockers up front and the ability of Hoe to hit creases when they opened up led to the monster night.
“They were cutting guards, cutting tackles and hitting knees,” Hisaw said of the Pasco defense. “They really did a good job. A lot of his runs were for 3, 4 and 2 yards, but with the guys at the line of scrimmage he got about four creases that were 50 yards out.
“It was feast or famine.”
On the second play of the game, Hoe went 88 yards for a touchdown. He added touchdown runs of 17, 70, 18 and 51 yards.
“We had a really good scheme drawn up against their defense,” Hoe said. “We executed well. Sometimes it wasn’t perfect, but we hung in there mentally and chose to do what we had to do.”
While Hoe hit big on four or five plays, it was also a lot of short gains thanks to the blocking up front.
Quinn Piver, Nate Summerlin, Jon Blanc, Logan Reardon, Bryce Spendlove and Nick Fuller all saw time on the line during the game, while Jake Grandstaff was at tight end and Zach Gilvey at fullback.
“This is really, really cool for (Hoe) and that O-line,” Hisaw said. “Mentally, I thought our guys up front handled it well. They never got discouraged, they just kept grinding. At some point, Jonah would get a crease and he would hit it.”
The victory was also the first league win for Walla Walla since 2009, which was an exclamation point on top of the record-setting night.
“I’m really happy for them,” Hisaw said. “There have been a lot of firsts this year — first win in awhile, first road win, first league win. Hopefully that gives them confidence the rest of the season.”