With his offense struggling with just two first downs in the first half, first-year coach Ray Lions had a simple message to his Hudson’s Bay Eagles.
“Do your job,” Lions said. “That was it. Just do you job. In the first half, I think we just had guys trying to do too much. Do your job, and trust your teammate to do his job. That’s all we had to do.”
Brian Perez-Tinoco did his job, so did Carter Morse, and Toa Kaumatule and the Eagle defense.
And finally, Nick Campbell.
Campbell drilled a 38-yard field goal with two seconds to play to send the Eagles to a 31-28 season-opening win over La Salle of Milwaukie Ore., giving Lions his first win as Bay coach.
The Eagles needed a team effort to beat La Salle, particularly with All-Region running back Marcus Cadiz out with a shoulder injury.
“Marcus is our brother, and we just play with a chip on our shoulder now,” senior Julio Vara said. “It’s like we had even more to prove because people were doubting us more.”
Without Cadiz in the first half, the Eagles’ offense was basically one big play — a 97-yard catch-and-run by Carter Morse — which left Bay trailing 14-7 at the half.
But the defense stepped up big, forcing a fumble on the first play of the second half, and Vara helped tie the game with a 4-yard run four plays later.
Kaumatule, who rushed for a team-high 95 yards in Cadiz’s absence, gave Bay a 21-14 lead on a 17-yard run with 6:08 left.
La Salle had a big play of its own — a 74-yard TD reception by Tae Brooks. And after the Falcons took a 28-21 lead early in the fourth quarter, Myles Artis’ 5-yard TD reception on fourth down tied the game for Bay with 5:40 left.
Then the Eagle defense gave Bay one last shot, starting from their own 35.
“We were just talking about having to stay calm, we have to drive the ball down the field, and we have to stay together no matter what,” said Perez-Tinoco, who threw for 225 yards.
Three different players caught passes on the final drive and Kaumatule and Elijah Fishel had key runs to set up Campbell’s 38-yard field goal.
Lions said he was confident in his kicker.
“At practice, Nick is the kid off by himself just kicking ball after ball,” Lions said. “I can show you a string of texts from him telling me ‘Coach, I hit one from this far.’ But it’s not about how far you can kick it. It’s about consistency, and that what Nick has shown us all through practice.”
After stopping La Salle on one last-ditch pass play, the Eagles celebrated their first win for their new coach.
“It feels good,” Lions said. “Hopefully, the first of many.”
HUDSON’S BAY 31, LA SALLE (Ore.) 28
LS 0 14 6 8—28
Bay 7 0 14 10—31
HB—Carter Morse 97 pass from Brian Perez-Tinoco (Nick Campbell kick)
LS — Justin Owens 1 run (Evan Verzosa kick)
LS — Tae Brooks 13 pass from Owens (Verzosa kick)
HB— Julio Vara 4 run (Campbell kick)
HB — Toa Kaumatule 17 runs (Campbell kick)
LS — Brooks 74 pass from Owens (kick blocked)
LS — JJ Menor 7 run (Brooks pass from Owens)
HB — Myles Artis 12 pass from Perez-Tinoco (Campbell kick)
HB — Campbell 38 FG
RUSHING — La Salle: Menor 21-102, Chris Bianca 7-22, Jujuan Lane 8-30, Owens 5-(-15). Hudson’s Bay: Kaumatule 11-95, Elijah Fishel 6-25, Vara 2-5, Perez-Tinoco 3-(-23).
PASSING — La Salle: Owens 18-22-0-217. Hudson’s Bay: Perez-Tinoco 14-27-0-225.
RECEIVING — La Salle: Brooks 9-139, Dominic Pisanechi 3-22, Riley McDonaugh 2-23, Noah Schlunz 2-3, Ethan Edgerly 2-30. Hudson’s Bay: Carter Morse 4-146, Taumatule 2-28, Quadrese Teague 2-27, Artis 3-12, Vara 3-12.