Hazen earns first state playoff berth since 1993

December 1, 2011

By Christina Lords

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Highlanders beat Franklin, 36-15, before falling to Capital, 47-0

Eric Jacobs, Hazen High School senior running back, shakes off Trevon Harris, of Franklin, during the fourth quarter on a 30-yard touchdown run, his third of the game. By Greg Farrar

1993. That was the last time the Hazen High School Highlanders earned a spot in the state football playoff run.

That was the number players echoed after their 36-15 win over the Franklin Quakers on Nov. 15 on the cold turf of Seattle’s Memorial Field, placing them in the state championship hunt for the first time in 18 years.

That was the Highlanders’ motivation to defeat the Quakers, after Franklin had sent Hazen home in the same do-or-die situation last year.

And although Hazen went on to lose Nov. 12 to Capital in a 47-0 shutout that put the team out of the playoffs, coach Drew Oliver said the progress made during the season will leave a lasting impression on the program.

“These players believed in themselves,” he said. “If we’re playing our own game, they know they can go out there and compete against any team.”

The Highlanders boasted 392 rushing yards and three interceptions against the Quakers.

Hazen senior running back Eric Jacobs had 115 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while sophomore wide receiver J.D. Peterson and senior running back Daymontray Brown added a touchdown of their own, respectively, in the contest.

Brown, who racked up 195 rushing yards in the Franklin game, said the team was full of renewed passion throughout the season and during the game against the Quakers. He said he hopes the team’s momentum can carry forward in upcoming seasons.

“Even though I won’t be here, and some of our other players won’t be here next year, we feel this is the start of something new at Hazen,” he said. “We’ve been putting so much hard work into this, that we think this is something the next players that come along can take and use in the future.”

Last year’s season-ending game against Franklin ousted the Highlanders from the state playoffs. Hazen’s season abruptly ended in the first round of the playoffs during Oliver’s inaugural year as coach in 2009 as well.

“I love that we’re back here at the same place and that we got to exercise some demons,” Oliver said. “These guys have guts, and they played with such heart. I’m proud of what they’ve been able to do here.”

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