ERA — If the high school football season is a marathon, Valley View won the first mile.
The Eagles knocked off Era 25-7 to open the regular season and win the 922 Blowout at Hornet Stadium on Friday night.
“The biggest thing we did tonight is we were pretty physical,” Valley View coach Chris Donaldson said. “(Era is) a good football team. I don’t want anybody to think that they’re not. But I was real proud of the way our kids executed and how they flew around.”
Eagle quarterback Ethan McCollum put Valley View on the board late in the first quarter when he found Hunter French wide open in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 2:23 left in the first quarter.
McCollum would finish the night 9 of 14 passing for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
“The biggest thing about our passing game is that our kids are starting to put our concepts with the different coverages that they throw us,” Donaldson said. “We’re starting to take what the defense gives us.”
Valley View would strike again late in the first half with a 47-yard touchdown run from Landon Boaz on the first play of a drive.
Boaz set the Eagles up with good field possession before his long score with a 27-yard punt return that set Valley View up in Era territory.
“Landon is a special kid,” Donaldson said. “The best thing about him is that he’s just an all-around great kid. He’s really easy to coach. We can rip him pretty good and he takes it and bounces right back up. He’s going to have big nights.”
Boaz was one of two Eagles running backs to go over 100 yards with him accounting for 134 rushing yards on 13 carries and Scott Prescher with 114 on 10 carries.
Era had trouble getting out of its own way at times, racking up 60 penalty yards.
The French-McCollum connection would put six more points on the board on the Eagles’ first drive of the second half.
McCollum found a streaking French up the right hash mark for a 15-yard touchdown – the second score for the two on the night.
French finished with 38 yards on three catches.
The run-heavy Hornets scored their lone touchdown on a 41-yard pass from Jacob Metzler to Bobby Riley to cut the Eagles’ lead to 19-7 at the time.
Riley had eight carries for 32 yards for Era. Austin King had five carries for 71 yards and Jose De Los Santos had 11 carries for 35 yards.
Prescher had perhaps the top highlight of the night when he took reverse around the right end of the Eagles’ offense, where he zipped and zagged past the Hornet defense on his way to a 45-yard touchdown.
Defensively for Valley View, Tyler Dial and Austin French both combined for a sack while Colton Bryant and Uriel Aguillon both nabbed solo sacks.
“It was a good first game for us,” Donaldson said. “I was real proud of the way our kids played. It’s a great way to start the season.”