HOOD RIVER — Ridgeview running back Josh Biever was a workhorse for the Ravens in a 46-26 Intermountain Conference football win Friday, March 26 at Hood River Valley High School.
The 175-pound senior ran 28 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and he also caught a pass for a third score as Ridgeview evened its record to 2-2. Quarterback Aiden Brenneman threw for four scores, including two to Jeremiah Schwartz, as the Ravens broke open the game with 16-0 third quarter scoring advantage.
Up-and-down Ridgeview entered the contest on a two-game losing streak, but the Ravens showed some punch in week two when they led league-leading Pendleton by two touchdowns at halftime before losing 20-12. Ridgeview was shut out 27-0 last week by cross-town rival Redmond, while Hood River lost its first game, 26-6, at Pendleton.
Biever said the Redmond game was an anomaly.
“We came into the game not prepared and didn’t really step off the bus,” he said. “This week we were just ready to go. We faced a lot of struggles with guys being out, guys being gone for spring break, but in the end, we got off the bus and took it to ‘em.”
Biever’s touchdown reception as time expired for halftime seemed to turn the game into Ridgeview’s favor. It appeared Hood River would take an 18-16 advantage into the locker room, but a 47-yard Biever run on a reverse moved the ball to the HRV 12 with 1.8 seconds on the clock. After a Ridgeview timeout, Brenneman connected with Biever as Ridgeview retook the lead it would not relinquish.
“I’m the inside receiver and I have a corner route,” he said. “I knew I could get to the corner. I saw Aiden throw it and as soon as I caught it, I got hit and luckily I held on.”
Biever said the Ravens had the advantage against a Hood River line that includes two future college players, including 285-pound Oregon State signee Henry Buckles. “The line, they went off this game,” he said. “Especially from last game against Redmond where I feel like we struggled a little bit in the running game. We proved we can be a running team.”
The same could have been said about Hood River, at least in the first half. Both teams were successful on their first two offensive possessions. The Eagles received the opening kickoff and scored after nine Tanner Fletcher running plays covered 56 yards. Ridgeview answered with Biever, who capped the Ravens’ initial drive of 58 yards in 10 plays with a 17-yard TD scamper. Biever carried on all but three plays of the drive, and his conversion run gave his team an 8-6 lead.
Conversion runs figured huge in the back-and-forth first half. Ridgeview was 2-for-3 on points-after touchdowns before intermission, while HRV failed on all three of its first-half attempts.
Buckles tipped his helmet to Ridgeview, which took advantage of its opportunities. “We made some mistakes defensively and a couple mistakes offensively,” he said. “That cost us a couple of touchdowns.”
HRV answered the Ravens’ first score, this time mixing in two Trenton Hughes completions into a nine-play drive, before Fletcher ran it in from the 2 for a 12-8 lead midway through the second period. The pass plays proved an indicator of things to come, as Hughes found Ryles Buckley on a slant pattern and the junior wide receiver raced 50 yards for the go-ahead score with 4:04 remaining in the first half. Ridgeview had matched HRV’s second TD with another Biever run to go ahead 16-12 before Buckley’s catch-and-run had once again given the Eagles the lead, 18-16.
For his part, Fletcher finished with 18 carries for 119 yards before intermission, but the senior halfback was slowed by the Raven defense after the break when Ridgeview seized control.
Brenneman connected with Gannon Jeter on a four-yard touchdown pass with 9:13 left in the third period. Hood River went four-and-out on its next possession and Brenneman and Schwartz hooked up on their first TD connection — this one covering 38 yards. The Ridgeview defense forced another four-and-out, and two plays later Brenneman threw to Schwartz for 31-yard catch-and-run score. The sophomore quarterback was an efficient 7-for-9 passing for 109 yards, registering TDs on nearly half of his throws.