Coming off a string of slow starts, the Hood River Valley Eagles badly needed to get off on the right foot in the Columbia River Conference opener against Pendleton Thursday night.
Not only did the Eagles get off on the right foot at Round Up Stadium, they stomped all over the Buckaroos with both feet in the first half.
HRV (5-2, 1-0 CRC, OSAA No. 16) scored four first-quarter touchdowns on the way to a 40-28 win.
Forrest Broddie opened the scoring with a 48-yard touchdown on an opening drive for HRV which used up just 44 seconds.
Following Broddie’s touchdown the Buckaroos (1-6, 0-1 CRC, OSAA No. 27) stepped up to keep the powerful HRV running game in check and forced the Eagles to turn to some other weapons.
Quarterback Luke Kopecky had one of his better games of the season, passing for 243 yards and completing a pair of touchdowns to Chase Young. Kyle Beam returned an interception for a touchdown, and Alex Jimenez returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the Eagles.
The Eagles scored all 40 points in the first half, but did not need to do much more in the second half after taking a 40-14 lead to the locker room.
Just seconds after Broddie put the Eagles on the board, Beam extended the lead when he intercepted a Connor Johnson pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the first half Jeremy Fischer plunged into the endzone from a yard out to put the Eagles up three touchdowns , and on the final play of the first quarter Kopecky hit Parker Young from five yards out to give the Eagles a 28-0 lead and put them firmly in control.
Pendleton answered with a pair of touchdowns in the scond quarter from Johnson to Isaiah Polhamus to cut the lead in half, but the Eagles would then score a pair of touchdowns in the final two minutes of the half.
Following the second Pendleton touchdown, Jimenez took the kickoff from Pyper McCallum 95 yards for a score.
The Eagles added another touchdown in the final seconds of the half when Kopecky found Young from 35 yards out.
The Buckaroos tried to rally in the second half, but could not catch up to the Eagles.
Hermiston and The Dalles-Wahtonka were scheduled to meet Friday night to determine which team would share the Columbia River Conference lead with HRV.
The Eagles host Hermiston Oct. 19 on senior night for the Eagles and then host TDW the final week to wrap up the regular season.