HOOD RIVER — For the second straight week, the HRV football team’s performance was downright offensive. Not that the Eagles have been offensive to watch; just that they’ve been offensive to opposing defenses.
Behind star running back Jacobe Krizman and a sturdy offensive line, HRV racked up 300-plus rushing yards and tallied a hefty point total for the second time in two games on Friday, beating the Benson Techmen 42-26 at Henderson Stadium.
Krizman further proved why he could be the class among Intermountain Conference running backs, totaling 190 yards on 32 carries to give him 326 yards in the early season. He also scored three more touchdowns (one receiving), giving him seven thus far.
“That’s just our offense,” said senior quarterback Jarrod Fogle. “We’ll just keep running the ball at you and wear you down. Look for more of the same when we get into conference play.”
Krizman and fellow seniors Ryan Flory and Chris Searles shouldered most of the offensive load, along with junior fullback Nigel Bond and sophomore fullback Luke McCarthy, who ran three times for 23 yards and scored his first varsity touchdown.
Flory ran for 58 yards on seven carries and scored once, while Searles carried three times for 27 yards, and Bond ran six times for 25 yards. Senior Sam Murillo ran the ball two times for 12 yards and also scored his first TD of the young season.
Because the running game was so effective, Fogle wasn’t asked to pass very often. But he was on when it counted, notching his fourth touchdown strike of the season to Krizman late in the third quarter after orchestrating a pivotal 18-play drive that put the Eagles up 42-12.
“It was important for us to come out and sustain a long drive to start the second half,” Fogle said of the 80-yard charge that took 9:40 to complete. “We were sort of disappointed in ourselves after the second quarter, and that drive really got our heads back in it.”
Fogle and the running backs also credited the tireless work ethic of the offensive line of Danny Phelps, Tommy Owyen, Matt Cody, Nate Dethman, Zach Royall and Jorge Lujano.
“We just outmanned them all night,” said junior wing back/strong safety Rocky Level, who carried the ball three times for eight yards and made numerous big sticks on the defensive side of the ball. “We had more muscle than them all over the field.”
Coach Mitch Sanders was pleased with the overall effort, but said that to be successful in the IMC, the team must limit its defensive lapses and turnovers.
“We had a few too many mental mistakes tonight,” Sanders told his team, which begins IMC play Friday in Bend against the 1-1 Summit Storm. “We increased the gap of where we need to go this game, and we need to start narrowing that gap in practice. Football games are won Monday through Thursday,” he said.
Level agreed that the Eagles still have plenty of work to be done.
“We just had too many mistakes by everyone,” he said. “We left 40 points out on the field with turnovers and various mental mistakes. We may be 2-0, but we’re not satisfied. There’s still a lot of football left to be played.”
HRV will begin to see some larger, more seasoned competition as it settles into its first season in the Intermountain Conference. After Friday’s game at Summit, the Eagles travel to Hermiston on Sept. 27 and come home to host Bend on Oct. 4.