Photo by RJ Chavez
Football season has come to an end for Hood River Valley as the Eagles lost to Forest Grove Oct. 26 in a play-in game by a final score of 13-0. The win for Forest Grove puts the Vikings into the 16-team 5A State Football Playoffs, where they will matchup with Thurston on Friday.The Eagles ended the game versus Forest Grove with 166 yards of total offense. Ryan Gray (pictured) went 17-33 on passing attempts with 88 total passing yards and a quarterback rating of 73.92 against the Vikings.
As of Tuesday, October 30, 2018
For the first time since the 2015-16 season, the Hood River Valley football team had a chance to advance to the 16-team 5A State Football Playoffs, but first, the Eagles needed to get past the Forest Grove Vikings in the Special District 1 crossover play-in game.
Forest Grove travelled to Hood River on Friday, Oct. 26 for the play-in matchup between the 4-4 Eagles and 5-3 Vikings.
A couple weeks prior to the play-in contest, both of these schools matched up in Hood River and despite HRV being up by two possessions heading into the fourth quarter, Forest Grove outscored the Eagles 22-7 in the final quarter to come away with the 22-21 victory on the Eagles’ homecoming night.
Two weeks later, both teams were back in Hood River, but this time with a chance at securing a spot in the playoffs.
HRV was unable to advance to the state tournament as Forest Grove beat the Eagles by a final score of 13-0.
Forest Grove plays seventh-ranked Thurston in the first round of the playoffs this Friday, while HRV’s football season has come to an end.
In the play-in game, HRV was held scoreless for only the second time this season and it was in large part due to the sub-100-yard efforts in both the running and passing games.
The Eagles totaled 166 yards of offense against the Vikings, 78 yards rushing and 88 yards passing.
In the last matchup between these schools, it was the 145-yard effort on the ground by Forest Grove that helped the Vikings come away with the 22-21 victory, but last Friday night, it was the Vikings’ air threat that troubled the Eagles’ defense.
Forest Grove’s first touchdown came in the second on a four-yard slant route in the middle of the end zone from quarterback Jarod Miller to receiver Dominic Willareal.
Defensively, the Eagles allowed a total of 227 yards, 156 passing yards and 71 rushing yards.
After the touchdown, this game remained locked up at 7-0 for 25 straight minutes of game time, and it wasn’t until the four-minute mark in the fourth quarter that Forest Grove put the game away: They went up by two possessions after a three-yard rushing touchdown by Vikings tailback Isaiah Ahmad.
Forest Grove won by a final score of 13-0.
Issues offensively for HRV included execution, as the Eagles went 4-13 on third down and 0-4 on fourth down conversations.
“It was a lot of things that played into how we performed against Forest Grove,” said head coach Caleb Sperry. “The main issue for some reason was we just had troubles executing that night.”
Forest Grove was 2-4 in the red zone with two touchdowns and had eight penalties for 59 yards, while HRV was scoreless in its one red zone chance and racked up 97 yards on eight penalties.
HRV’s quarterback Ryan Gray followed up his best performance of the season versus Milwaukie on Oct. 19 with a tough outing against Forest Grove. Gray ended the night 17-33 for 88 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 73.92.
The leading rusher for HRV was Brandon Rivera with 11 rushes for 41 yards.
Christian Zack led the Eagles in receiving with 38 yards on three receptions.
Defensively, HRV forced three fumbles and had five tackles for loss against the Vikings.
Nathanial Quintanilla, Chris McElwee and Tanner Fletcher each forced a fumble versus Forest Grove.
Leaders in tackles for loss for HRV: Beto Rojas (1.5), Andy Foster (1), Wyatt Miles (1), Fletcher (1) and Juanluis Jimenez (.5).
HRV ends the 2018-19 football season with a 5-4 overall record, 4-2 league record and a third-place finish in Intermountain Conference play.
“I am excited for the future,” said Sperry. “We return much of our offensive line and It’ll be a new year which means chances for new kids to step up, that’s what high school football is all about.”