Hood River Valley High School’s football season came to an end Friday in a play-in post-season contest at Hillsboro against the host Spartans, 34-6.
The lone Eagle score was a 20-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Gray to Juanluis Jimenez in the first quarter.
Ultimately the Eagles had no answer for the lightning-quick running back Thomas Johnson, who scored three times for Hillsboro.
In the second half, Gray threw repeatedly to targets including Grayson Losse and Trenton Hughes in the third quarter in an attempt to get into the redzone, if not the end zone, but a tight, hands-on Hillsboro secondary repeatedly broke up passes.
Backup quarterback Zac Wells hoisted several attempts in the fourth quarter, while making solid ground gains along with Tanner Fletcher, who was mostly tied up in the early goings but busted loose for several first-downs in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles threatened three times in the fourth but could not score. Wells, who directed the Eagles to three first-downs as quarterback, also caught several passes in the first half.
The halftime score was 14-6 and the Eagles were in it through the third quarter when Hillsboro pulled away, as HRVHS could not capitalize on six visits to the red zone in the game.
“We have lots to be proud of,” coach Caleb Sperry told the team after the game. “I am proud of you guys. We have been through a lot and while I know this is not the outcome we wanted, I appreciate the way you showed up and put the work in. It doesn’t feel all that great, but in time you’ll look back and know you did something special. I want to congratulate you guys on an awesome season.”