Wednesday, September 28, 2011/lk
The Redmond Panthers had a simple game plan for beating Hood River Valley Friday night: Just keep running.
The bigger 6A Redmond (2-1) team ran the ball 32 total times for 244 yards and got some timely defensive plays to beat the Eagles 35-14 in Redmond.
HRV (1-2) quarterback Cody Walker threw for 329 yards, but the Eagles had to abandon their own running attack after trailing 28-7 at halftime.
"They did a good job getting to the edge and we didn't tackle," said HRV coach Caleb Sperry. "We're just not getting people off the field."
The Eagle passing attack exceeded expectations and the Eagles won the time of possession battle by 10 minutes against Redmond; however most of the passing yards and possessions came in the second half, as the Eagles tried to rally from a three-touchdown deficit.
Before the Eagles could even get going they found themselves in a 14-0 hole. After a short punt on the first HRV possession, Redmond needed only four plays before Jonathan Harding found the end zone on a two-yard run for the first of his two touchdowns in the game.
Later in the quarter Austin Alvarez picked off a Walker pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.
The Eagles got on the board early in the second quarter when Walker connected with Cole Hunter for a 57-yard touchdown strike. It would prove to be one of the few highlights for the Eagles.
Redmond would then reel off three straight touchdowns between the second and third quarters.
Harding answered HRV's touchdown with a one-yard dive and Boomer Fleming scored on a 28-yard run - part of a 153-yard game - to give Redmond a commanding lead at the half.
Early in the third Redmond quarterback Daulton Hanks netted 63 of his 67 passing yards on one play when he found Jesse Nicholson for a touchdown.
The Eagles scored in the opening minutes of the fourth on a one-yard run by Jeremy Fischer but the Eagles would get no closer.
The Eagles could find some improvements to hang their hat on as they prepare for their final two non-league games.
Gabi Nuno had a good all-around game for the Eagles, gaining 60 yards rushing on eight carries and 57 yards receiving.
Hunter caught 12 passes for 160 yards for the Eagles.
Sperry has seen that teams respect the Eagles' offensive attack enough to want to keep it off the field, but he said his team needs to execute better when it has the ball on offense, and needs to focus on getting teams off the field on defense.
"It comes down to execution and tackling," he said.
Frosh fall: The HRV freshmen fell to a strong Redmond team 39-2. HRV got on the scoreboard with a safety by John Grey.
Up next: HRV travels to North Salem Friday to take on its second-straight 6A road opponent. The Vikings are 1-2 and coming off a 51-14 drubbing at the hands of the Lakeridge Pacers Friday. The Eagles beat the Central Valley league team 17-15 last season in Hood River.