Hudson’s Bay in the thick of 3A playoff picture

Thanks to Nick Campbell’s 38-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining, Hudson’s Bay topped LaSalle (Ore.) 31-28 in Week 1. The Eagles travel to Rochester in Week 2.Eagles can make it easier with a win at Kelso

Hudson’s Bay Eagles (6-2, 2-2 3A GSHL)

Week 1: Hudson’s Bay 31, La Salle (Ore.) 28
Week 2: Hudson’s Bay 34, Rochester 7
Week 3: Evergreen 12, Hudson’s Bay 7
Week 4: Hudson’s Bay 16, Woodland 15
Week 5: Mountain View 38, Hudson’s Bay 25
Week 6: Hudson’s Bay 16, Prairie 13
Week 7: Hudson’s Bay 48, Mark Morris 0
Week 8: Hudson’s Bay 54, Fort Vancouver 0

Next: at Kelso, 7 p.m. Friday

The Eagles picked up their sixth win of the season. If they get to seven, they will assure themselves of at least a tiebreaker for second place. They could make the playoffs even with a loss in Week 9, too. (Scenarios below.)

6-2:

Yet another milestone for the Eagles.

A year ago, they picked up their first winning season since 2002.

Now, they have got to six wins and it is possible they will win seven games in the regular season. The six wins is the most since the Eagles went 8-1 in 2001.

Playoff scenarios:

Mountain View has clinched the top seed from the 3A GSHL.

Kelso has clinched at least a tie for second place and, at the very least, will be in a tiebreaker if three teams tie for second place.

Hudson’s Bay, Evergreen, and Prairie are all alive.

Here are the scenarios:

Mountain View has already clinched the top seed.

Then …

  1. If Hudson’s Bay beats Kelso and Mountain View beats Evergreen, Bay is No. 2 and Kelso is No. 3
  2. If Hudson’s Bay beats Kelso and Evergreen beats Mountain View, there would be a three-way tie for second place with Bay, Evergreen and Kelso.
  3. If Kelso beats Hudson’s Bay and Evergreen beats Mountain View, Kelso is No. 2 and Evergreen is No. 3
  4. If Kelso beats Hudson’s Bay and Mountain View beats Evergreen and Prairie beats Fort Vancouver, Kelso is No. 2, and there is a three-way tie for third place between Bay, Evergreen, and Prairie.

That last scenario is what happened last year. Evergreen, Hudson’s Bay, and Prairie got together for a three-team tiebreaker on the Monday after Week 9. That could happen again this year.

Peaceful Peace Pipe game:

As expected, Hudson’s Bay had no trouble taking down Fort Vancouver in the Peace Pipe game. Not going to go into too much detail in a 54-0 win. Instead, I’d like to highlight a play by Carter Morse for doing the right thing by not doing much at all.

Earlier this year, I wrote a similar note on Union’s Dustin Nettles for doing the right thing. In Week 8, I saw Carter Morse and I wanted to highlight him.

Hudson’s Bay quarterback Brian Perez (8) will try to lead the Eagles to a win at Kelso Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Hudson’s Bay quarterback Brian Perez (8) will try to lead the Eagles to a win at Kelso Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Julio Vara caught a pass from quarterback Brian Perez and was off to the races for an 84-yard touchdown play.

Way downfield, Morse came into the play from his receiver position. There were three Trappers trying to catch Vara. Morse zeroed in on the Trapper who was closest to Vara.

In the old days of football – well, not even that long ago, actually – Morse likely would have been coached to crush the opponent with a huge block. Nowadays, not only is that a penalty, but more importantly, it is dangerous.

Morse could have crushed the defender who would have been in a defenseless position. Instead, Morse simply ran in front of the defender, got in his way, and slowed him down.

Vara scored easily.

And nobody was hurt on this play.

I happened to be on the sideline during this play and saw it right away. Couple days later, when I mentioned it to Hudson’s Bay coach Ray Lions, he knew exactly the play I was talking about because, he, too, saw Morse’s positive move.

I remember saying ‘Great job by Carter’ in my headset to my coach upstairs as it would have been easy to light the player up,” Lions said. “We stressed early in the game to pick up the Fort team, to show respect for your opponent, and we don’t want to be known as a dirty group. Each game I believe we can walk away with the other team knowing we compete at a high level, but respect our opponent in any game.”

Well played Carter.

Coach Speak:

What did Lions think of his team’s performance in Week 8? “A good job by all personnel. We say that because our first group did a great job taking care of business quick, which allowed for an opportunity for our young players to get Friday night experience. We believe the main reason had to do with the level of focus for practice each day prior to the match up. It would have been easy to overlook the importance of our Week 8 game with so much on the line for Week 9. Instead, we got back to the fundamentals and challenged our up-and-coming players to be ready come Friday night.  

“Fortunately their willingness to challenge the varsity group at practice paid off as they continued the success throughout the game. We reminded the players the importance of developing our younger players and what that does for our program. Great job by both our veteran and green crew for following through with the game plan.”

MVPs on offense: The MVP is the offense as a whole,’’ Lions said. “Brian Perez did a great job spreading the love by hitting multiple receivers and once again letting them do what they do best. The offensive line didn’t allow any sacks and worked hard to establish the line of scrimmage. The running backs did a great job picking up blocks for each other and hitting holes hard and quick. We knew that this was a defensive group where we could minimize our play book and focus on key plays to keep the rhythm we have established over the past few weeks. The offense did a great job focusing on the details and executing the little things.”

MVPs on defense: “The young defense,’’ Lions said. “There were times early in the game where we substituted freshmen and sophomores to give them experience in earlier situations. Plus, when we nearly substituted all of our varsity level players the up-and-coming players maintained the zero on the board. That was never the focus, nor did we ever mention it.  The young group entered the field with the mindset of competing.”

Thoughts on Week 9 vs. Kelso: “Another big one, but yet it is just another one,’’ Lions said. “There is going to be a lot of hype for us and the importance of this win. There’s no question, it is true in that a win this week means a lot of great things. To be honest I don’t know the last time Hudson’s Bay has made the playoffs, but that would be the first thing to note. The second, would be a second-place finish and a better matchup for a following week playoff game.  

“Finally, a win would establish our program as one to reckon with. When we first met with this group of players (in May) we discussed the importance of continuing what has been established from last year’s group, but on the same hand not to be satisfied with that. We want to improve it where we can and in some aspects we have done that. It has been 16 years since Hudson’s Bay has won 6 games in the regular season and that is improvement from last year. But, as most of these players will tell you, that is not enough.  Our goal has been to play in November.  Kelso is the next team that stands in our way. The great news is that we are in control of our own destiny.

“Kelso has always been known as a tough, physical, and running team. There are a lot of weapons to defend but the first is to stop the run. Over the game film we have broken down we have noted that Kelso will take what you give them. Nothing is forced, and they will grind you down if you don’t take care of business on each series.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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