A spot at second place in the Intermountain Conference was on the line last Friday night as the Hood River Valley Football team traveled to La Salle Prep to face the Falcons.
La Salle Prep headed into this game above the Eagles in the conference standings at 2-0 in league paly and 3-1 overall, but the Eagles were flying right behind at 2-1 in league play and 3-1 overall.
With the Eagles on a two-game winning streak and the Falcons on a three-game winning streak, only one school would come out of the matchup on Sept. 28 in second place in the IMC and continue their hot-stretch of play.
After a historic evening the week before versus Benson, HRV’s impressive stretch of play came to an end at La Salle Prep after losing by a final score of 36-16 to the Falcons.
In the loss, HRV totaled four turnovers as a team to tie a season-high that was set in the league opener versus Pendleton.
For a second time this season, HRV’s starting quarterback Ryan Gray had three of HRV’s four turnovers as he threw three interceptions.
On the other side of the football, La Salle played a clean game and were plus-four in the turnover margin versus HRV.
HRV began this game ahead 3-0 heading into the second quarter after a 36-yard field goal that was put through the uprights by Riggs Bardin, but it’d be all La Salle in the ensuing three quarters.
In the second quarter, La Salle found success in the running game that would continue into the third and fourth.
La Salle scored two rushing touchdowns in the second and defensively held the Eagles scoreless to take a 13-3 lead heading into halftime.
Only a two-possession game at the start of the second half, HRV needed to flip the script in the third quarter before it would become too late to do so in the fourth.
For the first seven minutes of the third quarter, HRV and La Salle were both strong on the defensive side of the ball, keeping the score locked up at 13-3.
But a rushing touchdown by James Menor for La Salle with 4:48 left in the third gave the Falcons a 19-3 lead.
With over three minutes remaining in the third, HRV had the ball 30 yards away from scoring after a 27-yard kickoff return by Brandon Rivera.
However, on the second play of the drive, Gray threw a pass that was intended for Brad Long but was intercepted by Menor, who took it to the opposite end of the field for a 70-yard touchdown interception return.
In the span of two minutes, HRV’s deficit went from 10 to 23, as La Sale took a 26-3 lead with three minutes remaining in the third.
The following offensive possession for HRV turned into the Eagles’ first touchdown scoring drive of the game, as Gray capped a 63-yard drive with a 19-yard passing touchdown to Long.
After the extra point by Bardin, HRV headed into the fourth quarter down 26-10.
La Salle nearly ate up the entire fourth quarter as the Falcons controlled possession of the football for 9:20 of the 12-minute fourth quarter.
During that 9:20 stretch, La Salle scored a passing touchdown and 26-yard field goal to go up 36-10 with only two minutes remaining in the game.
Despite knowing their two-game winning streak was coming to an end, HRV ended the game on a positive note, as Gray found wide receiver Jacob Enriquez for a 44-yard touchdown reception.
The passing touchdown cut the Eagles’ deficit to 20, but with only two minutes remaining, La Salle ran out the remainder of the clock to beat HRV.
In the two losses on the season, the Eagles have had at least four turnovers as a team.
However, unlike their 40-yard and four turnover performance versus Pendleton, HRV managed to put together 322 total net yards versus La Salle.
Rivera was the Eagles’ rushing leader with 147 yards on the ground on 27 rushes.
HRV’s second leading rusher was Rojas Beto with 49 rushes on six attempts.
Gray finished his evening with 121 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions on 9-16 attempts.
Long and Enriquez each had one receiving touchdown versus La Salle. Long caught two passes for 27 yards and Enriquez hauled in two receptions for 51 yards.
Defensively, HRV allowed a total of 358 yards.
La Salle dominated on the ground with 248 total rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Nathaniel Quintanilla led the way defensively for HRV, with one sack and a tackle for loss against La Salle.
Time of possession in this game favored La Salle, but not by a lot. La Salle had the ball for a total of 24:16, while HRV had it for 23:44.
With not even a minute of time of possession separating the two sides, HRV will look back at this game and know that if they can limit turnovers, they’ll be able to keep up with the Falcons.
The loss for HRV snapped a two-game winning streak and moved the Eagles to fourth in conference standings with a 2-2 conference record.
At 3-2 overall and a ranking of 12th in 5A state standings, HRV’s next matchup will be at Henderson Stadium for the first time this season on Friday, Oct. 5 against Rex Putnam.
Rex Putnam is coming off a 17-0 loss to Parkrose and are 0-5 on the season.
This matchup between HRV and Rex Putnam will be both the grand opening of the new turf-field at Henderson Stadium and the Hall of Fame game. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.