Bend High was well on its way to ending its three-game skid in the Civil War. Behind two touchdowns from junior running back Nate Denney, the Lava Bears were moving the ball with ease against their crosstown rival early on, taking a 13-0 lead into the second quarter.
Then came the next three quarters.
Mountain View dominated, outscoring the Lava Bears 49-6 over the final three quarters Friday night at the Cougars’ Jack Harris Stadium to win its fourth straight football Civil War, 49-19.
Friday’s results — including West Salem’s win over Sprague — created a three-way tie between Bend, Mountain View and Sprague for third place in Class 6A Special District 6, from which the top three teams automatically qualify for the 32-team state playoff field. OSAA rankings break the tie, and going into Friday night Bend was ranked No. 27, Sprague was No. 33 and Mountain View was at No. 39. The official brackets for the 32-team 6A playoffs are expected to be released early Saturday.
“It was a pretty gutty performance from our kids,” said Mountain View coach Brian Crum. “We didn’t play well last week (in a 35-28 home loss to Sprague) and we challenged our guys this week and said: ‘What do you want to do?’ They practiced like it and showed what we can really play like. We didn’t panic.”
The tide turned in the second quarter when Mountain View (2-2 SD6, 3-5 overall) responded with an 11-play drive capped off by senior running back Keenan Harpole’s first score of the game. Bend (2-2, 4-5) then fumbled on fourth down in its own territory, giving the ball back to the Cougars.
Two plays later, Mountain View took the lead when junior quarterback Jakoby Moss found senior wideout Jack Barrett for a 31-yard touchdown.
While the Cougars were struggling to find their footing in the ground game, it was the passing game early that opened up the offense and converted crucial third-and-long plays.
“That’s what we needed,” Crum said. “We caught them in a couple places and Barrett really had a nice night catching the ball and that kind of loosened things up for us. I think it relaxed us a little bit, helped get our feet under us.”
Bend retook the lead right before halftime. The Lava Bears marched 75 yards with under three minutes remaining.
Sophomore quarterback Seve Castillo found tight end Kyle Gilbert from 20 yards out with eight seconds left to give Bend a 19-14 lead at the break.
From there, though, it was all Mountain View.
On their first drive of the third quarter, the Cougars held the ball for half the period. Moss connected with tight end Titus Schulz on fourth down from the 11-yard line for a touchdown that put Mountain View on top to stay.
“We were just in the locker room, we were getting each other hyped up, all of us seniors knew that this is our last home game,” Harpole said. “We just battled, play together, play smart and we went out and took it to them.”
Harpole found pay dirt for the second time on the third play of the fourth quarter. As the Mountain View lead grew, it became difficult for the run-centric Bend offense to mount a comeback.
“When we are down a couple scores, with the kind of offense — ball-possession — it makes it hard to come from behind,” said Bend coach Matt Craven.
Harpole scored twice more in the fourth quarter, once from 30 yards out and again from 83 yards to finish with 286 yards on 33 carries and four touchdowns.
“One of the things that we talk about is body blows early on, you go after people,” Crum said. “Our offensive line, it’s like the tide, once it starts going you can’t stop it. Keenan is a physical kid, he’s going to run through the first tackle and he was just delivering blows. It was nice to see what he did today.”
Senior Mountain View defensive lineman Ryan Daubenschmit put the final touches on the Lava Bears when he scooped up a fumbled and rumbled in for a 60-yard score in the closing seconds.
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, email@example.com