The final points for Prairie came on a big pass play, with Isaiah Conley shaking off a tackler on a 65-yard scoring play in the fourth quarter.
But it was what the Falcons did on the ground on Friday at Kiggins Bowl that enabled them to shake off a five-week losing streak and earn their first win.
Prairie (1-5) ran the ball 59 times for 307 yards and held off Hudson’s Bay for a 30-28 win in a back-and-fourth Class 3A Greater St. Helens League play.
“We kept it pretty basic. We ran three or four running plays, running what we thought we could against the way they were lining up,” Prairie coach Kevin Baker said.
Eight of those carries came after the Eagles (3-3) pulled within two points with 3:24 left in the game. Recovering an onside kickoff, the Falcons ran eight plays for 41 yards to extinguish the clock.
There was a moment of anxiety for the Falcons when the ball was knocked loose from quarterback Kevin Aguirre with less than two minutes on the clock. Running back Aaron Brumley, who had three carries for 33 yards on the last possession, fell on the loose ball.
“I’m happy for the win,” Baker said. “We’ve told our kids all year that we never quit no matter what is happening. We’ve taken pride in the fact that we haven’t quit.”
Aguirre ran for 96 yards and two touchdown and threw for 137 yards and two scores. After carrying the ball 18 times for 93 yards in the first half, the Prairie quarterback distributed the ball more in the second half, on several occasions holding the ball until a tackler reached him.
Baker said Aguirre was not told to distribute the ball more in the second half, but that the quarterback made good decisions.
On the opening drive of the second half, four different players carried the ball on a 70-yard march that put Prairie ahead 24-14. An 18-yard pass to Alec Gawley on third-and-11 jumpstarted that drive.
Gawley also scored on a 31-yard pass from Aguirre early in the second quarter.
Hudson’s Bay answered each of Prairie’s second-half touchdowns. Eagles’ quarterback Jordan Hickman threw his second touchdown of the night, connecting with Julio Vara for a 32-yard score with 3:24 left.
Marco Cadiz ran for 115 yards and a touchdown to lead the Hudson’s Bay offense. The Eagles had an early lead thanks to two first-quarter touchdowns: a 43-yard catch and run by Carter Morse and a 2-yard run by Akilotoa Kamatule to cap a 47-yard drive.
But the Falcons took the lead for good with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns.
PRAIRIE 30, HUDSON’S BAY 28
Prairie 6 12 6 6–30
Hudson’s Bay 14 0 7 7–28
HB — Carter Morse 43 pass from Jordan Hickman (Alfonso Barajas kick)
P — Tyler Feeney 13 run (run failed)
HB — Akilotoa Kamatule 2 run (Barajas kick)
P — Alec Gawley 31 pass from Kevin Aguirre (run failed)
P — Aguirre 22 run (pass failed)
P — Aguirre 1 run (kick failed)
HB — Marco Cadiz 1 run (Barajas kick)
P — Isaiah Conley 65 pass from Aguirre (pass failed)
HB — Julio Vara 32 pass from Hickman (Barajas kick)
RUSHING — Prairie: Kevin Aguirre 28-96, (6) Aaron Brumley 7-53, Tyler Feeney 5-75, Carson Slagle 9-32, Alec Gawley 10-51. Hudson’s Bay: Marco Cadiz 22-115, Jordan Hickman 1-3, Akilotoa Kamatule 4-17, Vara 1-8, Morse 1-2.
PASSING — Prairie: Aguirre 5-10-0-137. Hudson’s Bay: Jordan Hickman: 6-18-1-126, Vara 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Prairie: Isaiah Conley 1-65, Gawley 2-49, Jaelen Stephen 1-16, Feeney 1-7. Hudson’s Bay: Cadiz 1-6, Carter Morse 2-47, Myles Artis 1-19, Julio Vara 1-32, Dominic Freeman 1-22 .