Hudson’s Bay back to its winning ways
Hudson’s Bay Eagles (1-3)
Week 4: Hudson’s Bay 27, Franklin (Portland) 7
Next: vs. Mountain View, 8 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl
The Hudson’s Bay Eagles are now used to winning. Back-to-back winnings seasons will do that. So it was kind of a shock to the system for the Eagles to open this season at 0-3.
In week 4, the Eagles got the breakthrough they needed to earn a victory.
“No question, it allowed for everyone to take a sigh of relief,” Bay coach Ray Lions said. “There were a lot more smiles and belief in ourselves after the victory.”
At the same time, the Eagles also understand that one win is not the end goal. Plus, they have the Mountain View Thunder coming to Kiggins Bowl this week.
Still, a team has to get a first win before it can think of more wins.
“We knew going into it that we could perform at a high level and if we did the win would be there,” Lions said. “But we also learned that nothing is given to us.”
The Eagles had another slow start, something the team is trying to fix. Still, there was no panic, the coach said. The Eagles remained disciplined and executed the game plan.
“The defense should be recognized via a group effort,” Lions said. “Wing-T offenses can be explosive and difficult if players do not take care of their responsibilities. That was not the case on Friday.”
Bay held Franklin to 44 yards of offense.
Derek Barnes had a fine performance, causing mayhem for the Franklin offense, Lions said. Barnes had multiple tackles-for-loss.
On offense, Treyce Teague showed off more skills.
“It was the first time we saw his field vision open up, as well as his speed,” Lions said of his running back/wide receiver. “He was able to add another attack, which eventually led to points on the board.”
Thunder ready to transition into league play
Mountain View (3-1)
Week 4: Mountain View 49, Heritage 7
Next: vs. Hudson’s Bay, 8 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl
A new week, a new challenge for the Mountain View Thunder. And games with even more meaning.
“You go into league play, it’s another transition,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said.
There are several transitions for a football team. Weight lifting in the winter, spring ball, summer camp, then non-league football game. Starting now, league play.
“You can be 4-0 or 0-4, win the next five, though, that’s all that matters,” Mathieson said. “We’re excited to get into that. It means you’re in the heart of the routine. We’re excited to get to practice. We have a lot to clean up.”
Outsiders might wonder what the Thunder have to clean up, especially after winning the last three weeks by a combined score of 157-21. In the win over Heritage, the team amassed 610 yards of offense.
The coach sees 14 penalties for 150 yards and three turnovers.
“That sounds awful,” Mathieson said.
And those things must be corrected if Mountain View is to go on a long November run.
Before November, though, gotta get through October. (Or, in this case, we start league play at the end of September.)
Next up for the Thunder is Hudson’s Bay.
“They’re always physical. I have a lot of respect for the coaching staff there. Ray (Lions) does a great job,” Mathieson said. “Their kids always play hard. They always play us really physical.”
Mathieson had a reminder for his team and Mountain View’s fans, too.
“They’re zero and zero this week, and so are we,” he said.
As far as last week’s game, those 600-plus yards, those points, and Jack Mertens earning a 100-yard rushing game, all impressive.
Mathieson also pointed out the defense of Michael Bolds.
“He had two picks and three pass break-ups. Really did a good job,” the coach said.
And, of course, quarterback Garrett Moen is still having an incredible season. Mathieson was told Moen is third in the state in passing among 3A quarterbacks. Against Heritage, he threw for 273 and ran for 79 yards.
Now, the Thunder are looking to keep putting up the big numbers, but in games with more meaning. It’s time for Mountain View to start defending its league title.
Evergreen bounces back again
Evergreen Plainsmen (2-2)
Week 4: Evergreen 41, Rochester 12
Next: vs. Fort Vancouver, 5 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl
The Evergreen Plainsmen overcame an injury to a key player when another key player stepped up into an old, new role last week in the win over Rochester.
Rayn Preston, a senior who played quarterback as a freshman and sophomore, returned to the signal caller spot after an injury to starter Ryan Blaize. Preston then completed 11 of 13 passes for roughly 160 yards and two touchdowns.
“We needed to dust off those quarterback skills,” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said. “He came in and did an outstanding job. Just managed the game really well.”
And for the second time this season, the Plainsmen had a bounce-back game.
“Just a resilient group of kids,” Hyde said. “They take what’s happened, and they learn from it. They really stay focused and work toward the next challenge.”
Evergreen lost a heartbreaker in Week 1, then won in Week 2. Evergreen traveled a long way to lose in Week 3, but had one of the best performances in Week 4.
“Always good when the kids come out and play like they’re capable right from the start,” Hyde said.
Now it is on to league play. Evergreen will head to Kiggins Bowl on Saturday to face Fort Vancouver. While it is true that Fort has been struggling, Hyde said his players will not overlook the Trappers.
As far as the rest of the league, Hyde says it is Mountain View, and then everybody else.
“Mountain View might be the best team in the county. I don’t care about what happened in the Union game. I think Mountain View might be the best team in the county,” Hyde said.
After the Thunder, though, Hyde said the league could play out much like it did the past two seasons when teams were tied for playoff spots and had to have a tiebreaker. Kelso, Prairie, Hudson’s Bay, and, yes, his squad, should be competitive.
Prairie looks to get more physical
Prairie Falcons (2-2)
Week 4: Battle Ground 35, Prairie 14
Next: at Kelso, 7 p.m. Friday
The game was tough, the result even tougher to handle for the Prairie Falcons.
Their rivals got the best of them in Week 4. It was all Battle Ground, from start to finish.
It also was an eye opener for the Falcons, who will open league play this week against a very similar team.
“Battle Ground was physical and punched us in the face a little bit,” Prairie coach Mike Peck said. “We had a tough time responding to that. We have done a great job of responding to adversity this year but we struggled with that on Friday.”
This week, the focus at practice is being physical and disciplined.
On Friday, the 3A Greater St. Helens League part of the schedule starts, and the Falcons must travel to take on Kelso, another physical team known for its rushing attack.
“I am excited to get up there and see our kids compete and be that physical football team that I know we are capable of being,” Peck said.
The move from non-league to league gives every team a chance at a reset.
“We are excited for league play. Everybody is back to 0-0. We learned a lot about us during non-league games,” Peck said. “Now it’s time to take the next step and be successful in league play.”
Fort Vancouver gets on the board
Fort Vancouver Trappers (0-4)
Week 4: Centralia 48, Fort Vancouver 14
Next: vs. Evergreen, 5 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl
It is the little things that can go a long way.
The Fort Vancouver Trappers are not yet in position to win, but they are showing improvement, and they are showing up, going to battle, every week.
In Week 4, they were rewarded with some points for the first time this season.
Isaac Martinez returned an interception to the house for the first Fort Vancouver touchdown of the year.
“Those are little victories. Getting first downs. Getting long drives. Getting a turnover,” Fort coach Neil Lomax said. Then getting a pick-six. For the kids, it meant the world to them. They were hopping up and down like they just won the game.”
Now, the Trappers begin league play. They know that no one expects them to get a win in the 3A GSHL. But they will be there every week, trying to get better.
“We are working hard,” Lomax said, adding that there are two things the players can control. “Attitude and effort. And that’s what they do.”
The coach noted the strong leadership of Nick Laurenza, Jonavin Salavea, Jonathen Heather, and Myron Lawrence.
The Trappers have impressed their opponents.
“The Fort kids, you really got to appreciate those kids,” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said. “It always feels like everything’s against them, and they just come out and keep battling and battling. They will be tougher than people think.”
Evergreen takes on Fort this week at Kiggins Bowl.
“You don’t look past that team,” Hyde said.