Friday night's home football game typified what the HRV Eagles have gone through all season.
They moved the football and battled toe-to-toe with their opponent, but came up short on scoreboard -- this time losing 30-29 to the Reynolds Raiders.
"Every game was tough this year," coach Mitch Sanders said after his team's record dropped to a disappointing 3-6 on the season.
"Like most of our other losses, this one could’ve have easily gone the other way. The kids played their tails off, but the bottom line is, we made too many mistakes.
"We've just had trouble getting the little things done to win football games. Maybe (this year) just wasn't our time.” he said.
On Friday, the Eagles looked strong early, reeling off three unanswered touchdowns -- two by James Maher, one by Wes Martens -- in the first half to take a commanding 21-6 lead.
They had a chance to back Reynolds into a corner mid-way through the second quarter, but a key holding call -- one that Sanders believed to be a phantom call after viewing the game film -- pushed the Eagles out of scoring range.
That drive resulted in a punt, and seemingly turned the tides for the Raiders, who promptly drove down the field on their next drive to narrow the score to 21-14.
The Eagles still had momentum, but made a costly turnover at midfield on the ensuing drive, which Reynolds turned into a 54-yard screen for a touchdown. The two-point conversion capped two scores for the Raiders in less than four minutes, and gave them a 22-21 lead at halftime.
But HRV bounced back on the first drive of the third to reclaim the lead. Jacobe Krizman led the long offensive series that culminated with a David Fox TD run.
Up 29-22, the Eagles 'D' needed to come up with a stop, but Reynolds busted through on the very next drive to go up 30-29.
Sanders wasn't worried yet because the Eagles had moved the ball so well all game, amassing 338 total yards on the night.
HRV marched down the field to the Raiders' 6 yardline, but Martens and Jarrod Fogle couldn’t complete the handoff and turned the ball over.
"We had too many self-inflicted setbacks this game," Sanders said. "Without the turnovers, this game wouldn't have even been close."
HRV got its final chance to win late in the fourth, but couldn’t break through the goal-line defense and turned the ball over on downs.