The first four games of Valley View’s schedule weren’t easy by any means and combined with their injury problems, the Eagles were winless on the year at 0-4.
Friday, Oct. 2, Valley View’s non-district schedule peaked in difficulty as they faced undefeated Wellington.
The Rockets exploded on offense and smothered the Eagles on defense as they breezed their way to a 60-8 victory to drop Valley View to 0-5.
Head coach Curtis King said he knew going into the game just how tough of a challenge his team would face.
“They’re a very good team,” King said. “You’re disappointed in the score, but when you see who we were playing with, it didn’t surprise me. They have good, athletic kids. They didn’t have a bunch of them, but they were big, they could run and they were physical. They just did what they needed to do.”
The Eagles’ offense made some strides in the first half, getting the ball to the Rockets’ 20-yard line multiple times, but they could never punch in a score.
“We just didn’t finish,” King said. “We had so many JV kids that were playing that it was just hard. They tried to shut down Colby [Lewis] and take him away. We’ve got to get more physical. We’ve got to do more of what we’re better at, but the biggest problem we had was not having all our kids out there. On defense at one time, we had six JV kids and two more kids playing that didn’t start the year.”
The immediate result of the younger kids playing isn’t apparent, but King said he thinks this experience will be good for them down the road.
While it is tough that the Eagles were without many of their starters, King said he understands it’s part of the game.
“I’d do the same thing,” King said. “You want to go after their weakest link and it doesn’t take long to find it.”
The 60 points scored by the Rockets were the most the Eagles have given up this season, but King said neither side of the ball played well.
“We still did some good things and there were some plays that we stopped of theirs that teams haven’t stopped all year,” King said. “We tried to get them to throw the ball and they did well. They hadn’t done much of that all year.”
Getting healthy is a priority headed into district play, but playing physical is also top of mind for the coaching staff.
Valley View will face Holliday to begin district and the Eagles are 4-1 on the season. King said Holliday has a chance to make a deep postseason run.
“I’m extremely happy I’m done with district, but Holliday is the toughest team we’ll face this year,” King said. “They’re under center and they’re big and physical. They’ll make a run for Gunter in Class 3A Division II. They play an odd front with either a three or a five-man look. They want you to run the ball and they take pride in playing defense.”
While the Eagles have yet to pick up a win, King has maintained that non-district play is inconsequential to their playoff chances.
It’s time to turn the page and prepare for the final five games of the regular season.
“The first practice of the year we talked about how going 5-0 doesn’t matter and going 0-5 doesn’t matter,” King said. “We know we’re a good team if we’re healthy, but the pieces we have playing half to figure it out. We’re going to be underdogs until we step up and shut people up.”