The Eagles were just not the better team last Friday night.
An undefeated Mountain View team, currently ranked first in the 5A state standings, traveled to Hood River on Oct. 20 and spoiled the Eagles’ senior night.
The Eagles would lose their fifth straight game and move to 2-5 on the season and 1-5 in league play after their 29-7 home loss to Mountain View.
The final chance the Eagles have at snapping their five-game skid is on the road this week against Summit.
Summit currently sits one spot in front of the Eagles in league standings at fifth place, with a 3-3 league record.
However, the Eagles, even with a win, will be unable to jump the Storm for that fifth-place spot, but a loss and a Redmond win could move the Eagles from sixth in the league to seventh.
Against Mountain View, the Eagles had no answer for the run. HRV’s defense allowed 334 total rushing yards, the most this season.
And it all started with a first quarter dominated by the Cougars.
A four-minute drive set up by the running game ended with a play action one-yard passing touchdown by the Cougars, and with under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Eagles found themselves down 6-0.
Unable to respond to the early touchdown, the Eagles were forced to give the ball back to the Cougars.
And unfortunately for HRV’s defense, Mountain View’s drive to end the first quarter would be the start of a long night on the ground.
Jonas Larson, starting halfback for Mountain View, broke away from the Eagles defense and scored a 40-yard rushing touchdown, one of three on the night for him.
In the second quarter, the Eagle came out and showed some signs of hope.
Up until the four-minute mark of the second, both teams were battling with one another and not allowing either to gain much momentum, with the score still in reach for the Eagles at 13-0.
But a nine-yard touchdown run by Larson with a minute remaining before halftime capped off a near five-minute drive by the Cougars, sucking the little bit of hope the Eagles had of only being down two scores at the start of the third quarter.
With the score 20-0 heading into halftime and the Eagles offense not showing any signs of finding the end-zone, HRV couldn’t rally a comeback.
It also didn’t help that the third quarter started with a 62-yard drive down the field by the Cougars ending in a three-yard rushing touchdown by Larson.
Then a safety in the fourth quarter, off a blocked punt by Mountain View’s defense, put this game well out of reach at 29-0.
But the difference between a bad team and one on the rise is one thing, and that’s finding ways to end on a good note.
And the Eagles did just that with under nine minutes left to play.
Caden Leiblein completed a pass to wide receiver Greyson Losee, who broke it up field for a 79-yard score.
For the Eagles, this is a positive that will go a long way, as just putting up some points on the board is a huge step in the right direction.
But at the end of the day, the Eagles troubles continue, losing to Mountain View 29-7 and dropping their fifth game in a row.
Offensively for a second week in a row, the Eagles were unable to find the running game, something they relied heavily on in the first five games of the season.
Mountain View held the Eagles to a total of 41 rushing yards on 20 attempts.
The Eagles and Leiblein were able to pick up some more confidence as HRV tallied in 146 yards through the air.
But the completion percentage is far from where it needs to be as Leiblein ended the night on 11 of 26 attempts with 146 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the Eagles had 21 solo tackles with Adam Harter and Patrick Estes leading the way with five each. Harter also had one tackle for loss and was only behind Trenton Hough, who had two.
“Our kids played tough,” said Head Coach Caleb Sperry. “I thought our defense did a good job of making them earn what they got. Our offense could not put together any consistent drives to put points on the board. Like all year, our kids have competed hard. We just have come up short during inopportune times.”
The Eagle’s last chance to end their five-game losing streak is on the road at Summit this Friday, what Sperry calls their “playoff game.”
“The last message to my team is finish!” said Sperry. “We have worked hard all season. This is our playoff game! Let’s go out and compete in our last game.”