While Valley View head coach Curtis King was quick to say there are no excuses for the Eagles' 0-6 start, but the injuries they have sustained through the first half of the season have been debilitating.
Against Holliday’s JV team on Friday, Oct. 9, the hits kept coming as Valley View lost its starting quarterback Zach Isbell for the rest of the season and lost the game 8-6.
Holliday is 5-1 on the season and despite not playing its varsity team due to COVID-19 concerns, King said the Eagles’ JV squad was still a tough opponent.
“We were more worried about our guys and we had nine kids out,” King said. “They were all two-way players so that’s basically 18 positions you’re having to fill. There’s nothing you can do. It’s tough, but you have to play with what you have. I thought the kids played hard, especially on defense, which has been a struggle all year.”
King said the Eagles’ defense had an attacking mindset and played physical at the line of scrimmage. Hopefully for Valley View, that is something they can build off as it continues district play this week against Wichita Falls City View.
However, crucial penalties in the fourth quarter were the Eagles’ undoing.
“We bent but never really broke,” King said. “The one drive Holliday scored on was a short drive with good field position, so I thought we played really good on defense. We had three straight plays that we made a first down, but all three were called back to penalties and we has six unsportsmanlike penalties. Holliday tried to give it to us and they made a lot of mistakes, but when you have six personal fouls, you really hurt yourself.”
Despite playing Holliday’s JV team, King said he thought this would benefit his team. The Eagles have four more regular season games left and need two wins to clinch a playoff spot.
“I don’t care who we’re playing, that was a good team,” King said. “They had some athletic, big kids. We played well enough to win and I told the kids after the game that they let it slip away. They had it in their grasp.”
Valley View sophomore Lawson Links is expected to fill in for Isbell at quarterback and King anticipates City View (3-3) to throw the ball plenty on Friday, Oct. 16.
He said the Mustangs are athletic on both sides of the ball and won’t be an easy opponent.
“They have a guy that can throw it 70 yards,” King said. “They’ve got the kids who can go run and catch it. They’re big up front on defense and they don’t do a lot of special stuff. They just play defense and dare you to run at them. They’ve got some great athletes so we’ve got to match that.