One of the HRV football team’s last, best chances to grab a win this season failed to materialize Friday night as the Eagles (0-8, 0-6 Special District 1) fell to a motivated Mountain View Cougars (5-3, 3-3) squad that was fighting for a postseason berth. The Cougars used a productive third quarter to pull away from HRV, defeating the Eagles 40-13 in Bend.
HRV has a tough matchup with Summit (7-1, 6-0) this Friday for the team’s final game of the season, which will kick off at 7 p.m. at Henderson Community Stadium. Summit, the 2015 5A state champions, enter Friday’s game as the top-ranked team in both the district and the state. With 297 points scored and 143 allowed, the Storm has the seventh-best offense in 5A and is tied with Dallas for third-best defense. HRV is currently ranked 29th of 31 teams on both offense (106 points scored) and defense (323 points allowed). Summit just came off a 70-0 pasting of league opponent Ridgeview.
Mountain View entered the game with just two league wins, which were achieved in contests against struggling SD1 teams like Ridgeview (1-7, 1-5) and Pendleton (3-5, 2-4). HRV kept it close with Mountain View, initially, responding to the Cougars’ opening score in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Caden Leiblein to receiver Trenton Hough to tie the game at 7-7 with 11:20 remaining in the second quarter. The pass came at the end of a 10-play, 68-yard drive that was the longest possession of the game (over four minutes) for the Eagles.
The Cougars came alive in the middle of the game, however, hammering the Eagles with four-straight rushing touchdowns spread over the second and third quarters. By the end of the third quarter, HRV stared at a 34-7 deficit.
Mountain View relied heavily on its ground game, putting up 280 yards on 45 attempts (6.2 yards per carry) compared to 191 yards on 11-of-18 passing that led to two touchdowns for the Cougars. HRV limited its rushing attempts to just 15, as star running back Michael Jones sat the game with a concussion. Leiblein had most of those, rushing nine times for 28 yards, including a 15-yard carry into the end zone midway through the final quarter. Running back Brandon Rivera had the most yards of any rusher (45 on four attempts), although he put up the majority of those on a 39-yard carry.
HRV’s defense was unable to slow Mountain View, as the Cougars scored on all six of their trips in the red zone. HRV was just as efficient, but had fewer opportunities, only managing to get inside the 20-yard line twice the whole game as the team struggled to convert on both third and fourth downs (2-for-10 and 0-for-3 respectively).
Leiblein had a somewhat understated, yet efficient night helming HRV’s offense, connecting on 17 of 27 passing attempts (63 percent) for a total 130 yards and one touchdown. Rivera led the team in catches and targets (seven catches on nine throws for 30 yards), but Christian Zack led in yardage, with 46 on two catches.