Football: Horizon Christian falls in key WVL contest

TUALATIN - In a key West Valley League showdown, the Horizon Christian football team fell to the Dayton Pirates by a score of 35-7 in a game played Friday at Horizon Christian High School.

Dayton improved to 3-0 in league (6-0 overall) while the Horizon Hawks dropped to 2-1 in league, 4-2 overall.

The game featured two high scoring offenses, as Dayton came in averaging 45 points per game while the Hawks averaged 38, but the defenses dominated early. Horizon's Cameron Egger intercepted a Dayton pass on the third play from scrimmage, but Dayton immediately stopped the Hawks on downs at their own 43-yard line.

Both defenses continued to play tough, allowing only one first down for each team as the Hawks and Pirates traded a total of four punts in the scoreless first quarter.

Dayton put together a seven-play, 82-yard drive early in the second quarter. QB Nate Bernards hit speedster Forrest Garcia with a pass in the left flat, and Garcia scampered 39 yards down the sideline to give Dayton a 7-0 lead with 9 minutes and 35 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Hawks responded with a drive of their own, going 68 yards in nine plays, including a 36-yard strike from QB Wyatt Houston to Ryan Sederstrom on a third-and-11 play, putting the Hawks in the red zone. Houston scored four plays later from 3 yards out, deadlocking the score at 7-7 at the 5:56 mark.

The tie score was short-lived however, as Garcia returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for the touchdown, zig-zagging downfield to avoid potential Hawk tacklers. After a very even first half, the score was 14-7 in favor of Dayton in large part due to Garcia's open field running ability.

The Hawks received the kick to start the third quarter still very much in the tight game. However, things turned sour quickly as the Hawks fumbled the kickoff, setting up Dayton at the Hawk 25. Senior A.J. Hedgecock scored from 19 yards out three plays later, extending the Pirate lead to 21-7.

On the Hawk's next possession, they turned the ball over again as Houston was picked off by Dayton defensive back Jared White at Horizon's 39-yard line. Dayton took advantage of the opportunity, scoring on a 12-yard pass to senior Hayden Craig to extend its lead to 28-7 with four minutes left in the third quarter, effectively putting the game out of reach. Hedgecock added an insurance touchdown on a four yard run midway through the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 35-7 in favor of the Pirates.

Horizon's next game is on the road tonight (Thursday) against the Willamina Bulldogs. Willamina is 4-1 overall and tied for first with Dayton in the WVL, though their three league wins have come against opponents with a combined record of 2-14.

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