Football: Horizon Christian moves to 2-0 in WVL play with a win over Gervais

GERVAIS - The Horizon Christian High School football team stayed undefeated in West Valley League play by scoring a 41-28 win over Gervais in a league game played Friday at Gervais High School.

With the win, the Hawks improved to 2-0 in the West Valley League while also moving to 4-1 on the season. Gervais dropped to 0-1 in league competition and to 2-2 on the season.

In Friday's game, the Hawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as junior quarterback Wyatt Houston scored from short yardage on Horizon's first two possessions. The Hawks were aided by good field position, as sophomore Devyn Cardoza's 61-yard return of the opening kickoff setup the first score and senior Jordan Pearson's 22-yard punt return put Horizon in Gervais' territory to begin its next possession.

Gervais' offense began to move the ball in the second quarter, con-suming 7 minutes and 23 seconds off the clock as the Cougars drove 73 yards on 17 plays before Hori-zon stopped them on downs at the 4-yard line.

Horizon junior Taylor Grimmett bolted 41 yards on the next play from scrimmage, starting the Hawks' five-play, 96-yard scoring drive. Houston scored his third rushing touchdown from 16 yards out, giving the Hawks a 21-0 cushion with 2:38 left in the second quarter.

Gervais responded with a 'two-minute drill' of its own, driving 66 yards in 11 plays with senior Kyle Belleque scoring on a 10-yard pass from sophomore QB Austin Garcia with just 24 seconds left, cutting the Hawk lead to 21-7 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Hawks defense came up big as they inter-cepted Garcia three times while also forcing a receiver to fumble after the catch. The four turnovers led to three scores as the Hawks expanded their lead to 41-14 after three quarters.

Gervais managed to score twice in the fourth quarter, including a 73-yard bomb to senior track speed-ster Marady Chuun with less than a minute remaining that provided the final score at 41-28.

For the game, Wyatt Houston had 80 yards rushing including the three rushing touchdowns, plus 134 yards and one TD through the air on 12 of 17 passing.

Taylor Grimmett led the Hawks with 112 yards rushing in only eight carries, including a 35-yard touch-down, and an interception. Cardoza had two interceptions to go with the long kick return. Junior Zack Sel-land led the team with six recep-tions for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Jordan Pearson had four catches for 34 yards.

Next up for the Hawks are the Dayton Pirates in a game that is pivotal in the West Valley League race. At 5-0 (2-0 league), defending WVL champ Dayton is among the favorites (along with Rainier and Santiam Christian) to win the 3A State championship. Two years ago, the Hawks pulled off a stunning upset of Dayton as the Pirates turned the ball over seven times in a 26-14 Hawk win. Last year, the Pirates beat the Hawks 33-0 with the Hawks turning the ball over seven times. This year's installment in the rivalry is Friday, starting at 7 p.m. at Horizon Christian High School.

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