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Cowboys fall to Eagles - Central Oregonian
November 1, 2011Crook County High School
For the first half it looked like anybody’s game.
With both teams fighting for their post-season lives, the Hood River Valley Eagles and the Crook County Cowboys played a low-scoring defensive battle for most of the 24 minutes.
“We played a great ballgame in the first half,” said Crook County head coach Ryan Cochran. “We played great defense, put a lot of pressure on them and were really flying around.”
However, the Eagles opened up their offense in the second half, exploding for 35 second points, and a 43-15 victory.
The Cowboys drew blood first, scoring on a 36-yard Daryel Lopez field goal in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead over the host Eagles.
Crook County had several scoring opportunities. However, three first-half turnovers proved costly as the Cowboys were unable to put the ball in the end zone.
Nonetheless, the Cowboy defense was able to neutralize the Eagle’s passing attack and prevent Hood River Valley from moving the ball.
“We did real well in the first half,” said Crook County head coach Ryan Cochran. “Our defense was solid. We had a good pass rush and put a lot of pressure on their quarterback.”
Macus Greaves had four first-half quarterback sacks for Crook County before leaving the game with an injury. Greaves, who has had shoulder problems off and on all season, dislocated his shoulder early in the second quarter.
After Greaves’ injury, the Cowboys had difficulty putting pressure on the Eagles quarterback, and Hood River Valley began to move the ball.
Hood River Valley was finally able to get on the board late in the second quarter, and the Eagles took a 7-3 lead into the locker room at the half.
Hood River Valley received the opening kickoff of the second half. With the Cowboys no longer able to put consistent pressure on their quarterback, the Eagles were able to move the ball quickly down the field. Utilizing pin-point passing, the Eagles quickly scored to take a 14-3 lead.
Hunter Bourland answered for the Cowboys with a 93-yard touchdown run on the ensuing kickoff to make the score 14-9.
That was as close as Crook County would get as Hood River Valley exploded for 22 third-quarter points.
Crook County tried to respond, with Cody Pfau scoring on a five-yard run late in the third quarter to make the score 29-15.
However, that was as close as the Cowboys could get.
The Eagles added 14 more points in the fourth quarter, while the Cowboys struggled to hold on to the football and were unable to sustain any drives.
“At times we moved the ball well,” Cochran said. “But we would march the ball down the field and then turn the ball over.”
The Cowboys were their own worst enemy in the game, finishing with five turnovers, while committing numerous penalties.
“You can’t commit five turnovers and expect to win games,” Cochran said following the loss.
Crook County finished the game with 247 yards of total offense including 117 rushing yards and 125 yards passing.
Ben McLane led the Cowboys defense with 11 tackles while Dean Smith added six.
With the victory, Hood River Valley raised their record to 3-6, earning a Class 5A play-in game at Sandy High School.
With the loss, the Cowboys dropped to 3-6 on the year. However, in spite of the losing record, the team still earned a play-in game.
“It was one of those things that definitely wasn’t expected,” Cochran said. “We didn’t hold the cards. We let other people hold the cards. We don’t like to do that, but that’s the position we put ourselves in. Fortunately we were ranked high enough to still earn an at large berth.”
Crook County will travel to Ontario to take on the 5-4 Tigers, who are ranked ninth in the latest OSAA Class 4A power rankings. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. Mountain Time on Friday, Nov. 4.
“They have a pair of guys that are 6-3 or 6-4 and weigh 285,” Cochran said. “They outweigh us a bunch just like teams have all year. They do lots of spread offense so we will have to prepare for that. We are just excited to have the opportunity to get into the playoffs. So hopefully we can knock them off and get in the playoffs.”