Archbishop Murphy snaps defending 2A state champion’s 28-game winning streak

Humble pie tastes good with apples.

That was the message a Hockinson High School football coach shared after the Hawks lost for the first time since 2016, a string of 28 victories in a row snapped by Archbishop Murphy of Everett Friday.

Quarterback, running back extraordinaire Victor Gabalis led the Wildcats to a 27-21 victory Friday in Hockinson.

It all started when Gabalis broke free from the tacklers for a 74-yard touchdown run to get Archbishop on the scoreboard first in the second quarter. Mason Mathis added a 5-yard smash across the goal line to give the Wildcats a 14-0 advantage.

Meanwhile, Hockinson quarterback Levi Crum never got comfortable in the pocket. Archbishop defensive end Josh McCarron sacked Crum four times. One of those crushing blows came from Crum’s blind side.

The Hawks were forced to redefine themselves on the fly. Daniel Thompson rushed for 64 yards and Cody Wheeler added 52 yards on the ground and pound. He finally got Hockinson into the end zone on a 5-yard smash midway through the second quarter.

Just when Hockinson started keying in on Archbishop’s running attack, Gabalis flung a beautiful 49-yard touchdown pass to Joe Ennis to give the Wildcats a 21-7 lead.

The Hawks countered just before halftime, as Jeremiah Faulstick came down in the end zone with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Crum.

Both teams went back and forth down the field in the third quarter, but neither could reach the end zone. The Wildcats put together a strong drive as the third came to a close and cashed in on a 1-yard touchdown run by Gabalis to go up by 13 points.

Hockinson had hope after blocking the extra-point kick. Peyton Brammer snagged a sensational 26-yard jump ball thrown by Crum to bring the Hawks back within six. Hockinson got the ball back in the final minutes of the game but turned it over on downs with no timeouts left. Gabalis took a knee and the Wildcats celebrated victory.

Although that slice of humble pie tastes bitter to the Hawks right now, the coaches reminded them this was a non-league game. The players have time to learn from their mistakes and come back stronger.

Hockinson kicks off league play Friday, Sept. 20, against R.A. Long in Longview. The game starts at 7 p.m.

Writer’s notes

Eli Sports Network thanks reporter and photographer Cameron Kast for giving us permission to use his picture. Kast works for The Reflector newspaper in Battle Ground. Read his story here: http://www.thereflector.com/sports/article_32328bdc-d6c6-11e9-8a0b-037c5a29eff9.html

You can always count on Clark County Today sports reporter Paul Valencia for statistics. Read his story and see the photos by Michael Shultz: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/sports/hockinsons-28-game-football-winning-streak-snapped/