By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
September 13, 2006
The Hood River Valley Eagles have a team built to run. On Friday, the Forest Grove Vikings didn’t want the Eagles to be able to establish their running game and made life hard for the Eagles. The offense and defense switched roles from last season as an offense that scored over 30 points a game last season was held to six points and a defense that couldn’t stop opponents held the Vikings to 19 points.
“We played defense well enough to win but we couldn’t get our running game going,” Coach Tracy Jackson said.
The Eagles could not get untracked from the outset as Forest Grove held constant field position and time of possession advantages in the first half. However, stingy defense by the Eagles kept them within striking distance as the Forest Grove took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter the Vikings put together a long drive to make the score 13-0 all the while continuing to hold the Hood River running attack in check.
After a power surge knocked out the stadium lights and caused a 20-minute delay in play, the Vikings punched in their final score of the game to build a 19-0 lead.
Joe Johnson led the Eagles on the ground with 61 yards and the team’s lone touchdown. In the absence of a running game the Eagles tried taking to the air, with Ryan Nelson completing five of 11 passes for 52 yards. Nelson also rushed for 31 yards on nine carries. Erik Lujano and Ian Bohince made up the rest of the Hood River Valley attack, combining for 58 yards on 22 carries.
“We have some very good backs but I could not get them the kind of creases to sustain drives,” Jackson said. “We’ll work on getting our running game going.”
The Eagles will get a chance to re-establish themselves on the ground when the take on the The Dalles this Friday at Henderson Community Field at 7 p.m.