It was a completely different Hazen football team who showed up at Ingersoll Stadium in Olympia Saturday night to play the Capital Cougars (8-3). Nothing went right; it was pouring rain, wind gusting in the over 20 miles per hour in the first half, very little offense and the defense was unable to handle Capital’s Kai Van Sickle who rushed for 252 yards and scored three touchdowns in Hazen’s 47-0 loss, eliminating the Highlanders (7-3) from the 3A playoffs.
Hazen Coach Drew Oliver, who was named Seamount League Coach of the Year, gathered his team on the field before heading home. “It wasn’t their night, it’s a mystery to us all, that we would come out and have that performance,” he said. The Highlanders were held to an unofficial 14 total yards offense and did not move the chains once in the game.
“Each of these steps is a new for us, last year against Franklin was a step and tonight was a step,” Oliver said after thanking Hazen parents and fans for coming to the game. “I don’t want to excuse what happened on the field tonight, but it’s a new experience to us, it just wasn’t our night.”
Oliver hopes the experience this season will turn into something his players will want more of and be hungry come spring and fall. The night wasn’t a total loss as nearly every player who wasn’t injured got to play, including freshman quarterback Nolan Hoover.
Hazen returns junior quarterbacks Kyle Nelson and Tony Nipert; junior tight end Cody Moorhead and a young offensive and defensive line to next year's team.
The Seamount League didn’t fair so great in the first round of the playoffs, as and Kennedy lost to Camas 48-14.