Great defense trumps great offense is the old saying and for Hoquiam, that was true Friday night. The Grizzly defense out shone the Grizzly offense.
On a night in which their offense ran for nearly 300 yards, scored 49 points (28 coming in the second quarter alone) and moved the ball with relative ease, their defense stole the spotlight. Visiting Stevenson was held to -10 yards rushing, suffered five sacks and threw two interceptions and Hoquiam rolled to a 49-0 state opening round win.
Braeden Smith accounted for two sacks, Peyton Quintanilla and Cameron Bumstead each made interceptions and Hoquiam shut out a state opponent for the first time since 1978.
Offensively, the Grizzlies potent passing game took a back seat to the running attack as Antonio Garcia accounted for 124 yards rushing and two scores and Matt Brown ran for 57 yards and two scores. Brown also caught a 34-yard score from Quntanilla, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for 77 yards.
Hoquiam will host sixth seeded Lynden Christian in the quarterfinals at 5pm on Saturday at Stewart Field. The Lyncs were also first round winners via the shutout, blanking Cascade Christian 20-0.
The 9-2 Lyncs hail from the ultra-competitive Northwest League, a combined 3A/2A/1A conference that may be the toughest in the state. Led by quarterback Trajan Schouten and running back Easton Stremler, Lynden Christian poses the greatest threat yet to Hoquiam’s undefeated season. The Lyncs also boast a tough defensive unit that has pitched four shutouts on the year and held opponents to an average of 11 points per game.