“They’re a real good football team,” Behr said. “Someone as special as Eli, it just takes a sliver and he’s gone.”
Despite the season-ending loss, the River Hawks (6-4) bowed out knowing they played a much better game in their second chance against the Orioles. Springville won 66-16 the first time the teams met this fall, and Easton Valley managed just 89 yards of offense in that one.
“It was a better effort by everybody,” Easton Valley senior Chase Zaruba said. “We played hard the whole game.”
Behr was proud that despite the potentially huge swing in points just before the half, the River Hawks didn’t lose their spirit.
“I’ve got to give it to our kids,” he said. “I think they played as well as they could. They played their guts out. That’s a really talented team.”
Nissen said the closer rematch was good for the Orioles (11-0), who face top-ranked Gilbertville Don Bosco in Friday’s state quarterfinals.
“It probably will benefit us a lot,” he said. “We know we can pull it out when its close.”
Monday’s game was close early.
Springville took the lead just 41 seconds into the game on a 33-yard run by Cody Blake, but the Orioles fumbled on their second possession, setting up Easton Valley’s first score. Craiton Andresen capped a five-play, 30-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Zaruba.
Nissen’s first touchdown run put Springville back on top 44 seconds later, but just 45 seconds after that, Andresen and Zaruba hooked up on a post-pattern pass for a 65-yard touchdown, and Driscoll’s two-point conversion tied the game at 14.
Easton Valley created a break on Springville’s next possession, when Zach Peiffer intercepted a Sam Scriver pass at the EV 22 and returned it to the Springville 17. But, the Orioles stepped up on defense, stopping the River Hawks on downs at the 15.