Know Thy Opponent: Hoquiam

Good morning, Trohahn fans. It is good to be entering the real playoffs as a top-seed and home team. Much respect to the Hoqqies making the 200 mile drive.

And for such a distance, Meridian and Hoquiam have played a few times. We split home/home non-league games with them in 2014 and 2015. In playoffs, we beat them in 2003 and they us in 2015.

The Grizz are 6-4 overall and 3-1 in 1A Evergreen, aka “Monte’s League.” Last week they beat Castle Rock 21-12 in the Trico/Evergreen crossovers.

Hoquiam offense (red, left)

Offensively, The Grizz remain a shotgun-spread base offense. Frankly, there’s not a ton of stats available for Hoquiam this year. Last week against Castle Rock, they won by throwing the ball.

With their running game missing in action (they rushed for only 49 yards, 38 on Rayyon Dayton’s double reverse late in the first half), the Grizzlies relied primarily on the all-purpose talents of senior quarterback Payton Quintanilla. Using his scrambling skills to extend plays under heavy pressure, Quintanilla threw for two touchdowns and also contributed a blocked punt that set up a touchdown.

The Daily World has a brief preview from their angle.

Hoquiam (6-4), however, must journey to Bellingham to take on Meridian (10-0) in another state 1A opener. That contest is planned for 7 p.m. Saturday at Bellingham’s Civic Stadium.

Montesano and Hoquiam, incidentally, are in the same quarter of the bracket. With wins this weekend, the Harbor rivals would face each other in the state quarterfinals on Nov. 17 or 18.

The Herald previews the game thusly:

Class 1A State Football Playoffs first round Hoquiam at Meridian

Time: 7 p.m. Saturday

Site: Civic Stadium, Bellingham

What’s at stake: Winner moves on to the 1A state quarterfinals and will host Charles Wright or Montesano Nov. 17 or 18. Loser is elminated.

Previous state playoff meetings: Hoquiam won a 2015 first-round meeting 25-20; Meridian won a 2003 first-round game 66-0.

SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES

Coach: Jeremy McMillan (second season)

Seed: Southwest District No. 3

State appearances (last): 13 (2016)

State playoff record: 5-13

State titles: None

Hoquiam, which finished second in the Evergreen 1A League, beat Castle Rock 21-12 in the Southwest District playoffs Friday. The Grizzlies were held to 49 yards rushing by the Rockets, but senior quarterback Payton Quintanilla threw for two touchdowns and blocked a punt to set up one. Jackson Folkers and 6-foot-5 Rayyon Dayton caught Quintanilla’s TD throws, while Matt Brown, a 260-pound tackle who frequently shifts to the backfield, scored the third on the ground. Brady Cummings and Chewy Muro are two players to keep an eye on for a Grizzlies defense that did not allow a completed pass last week.

Key to the game: With Burkett and all his weapons, the Trojans defense often gets overlooked, but it held CPC to 57 yards of total offense last week. With the numbers Meridian is capable of putting up offensively, if the defense can get a couple of big stops per game, it could take them far.

Kickoff is 7PM tonight (Saturday) at Civic. KPUG will be carrying the game as well.

Go Trojans.

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