HOOD RIVER — When desperation comes knocking, certain teams rise to the challenge, while others are unable to put up much of a fight.
Down to their last playoff breath, the Horizon Christian Hawks last Friday proved that they should be classified as the former, beating league rival Grant Union, 2-0, to move to 1-2-1 in District 5.
“I thought our defense played awesome,” said junior Brian Stenberg, who has moved to center midfield to give the Hawks an added spark on offense. “We needed to prove to ourselves that we could win in this league, and this was a great game all around.”
Stenberg scored the Hawks’ second goal on a penalty kick midway through the first half — just minutes after midfielder Paul Rovianek hooked up with striker Cheyne Swick on a stunning through ball for the first goal of the game.
Horizon’s 2-0 lead was never threatened as the Prospectors failed to get off more than two shots the entire second half.
Defenders Stephen Stenberg, Josh Dunagan, Samuel Seal and David Rovianek shut down the Grant attack, and helped goalkeeper Aaron Griffin earn his first shutout of the season.
“I’m still getting used to it back there,” the younger Stenberg said about his new role at sweeper. “But I think it went pretty well. We definitely improved over last week.”
The Hawks had lost to Grant 4-2 on Oct. 3, and desperately needed a win last Friday to remain in playoff contention.
At 1-2-1, Horizon has equaled both Grant and Umatilla in the win column with two league games left. First up is a trip to John Day on Saturday, followed by an Oct. 21 venture to Umatilla. Playoffs would start Oct. 25.