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After beating Hillsboro 34-14 on Friday, the Spartans and Vikings are heading in different directions.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Forest Grove's Kaden hale, left, stiff arms a Hillsboro defender Oct. 14, at Hare Field in Hillsboro.

The flip has been switched for Forest Grove High School football.

The Vikings started the season 0-4 with blowout losses to Century, McMinnville and Mountain View, followed by a close 21-8 loss to Hood River Valley.

However, the Vikings got off the mat to take down Centennial 45-14 and then pulled off a huge upset of then No. 1-ranked Southridge 42-13.

Those good times kept coming Friday at Hillsboro as Forest Grove walked away as winners, 34-14, thanks to junior quarterback Kaden Hale putting on a show.

Hale went 30 for 50 passing for 296 yards with four TD passes, and he also ran the ball 20 times for 123 yards and another score.

Of course, Hale was quick to give the love back to his teammates and offensive linemen.

"We've really been pushing it in practice, going hard," Hale said. "They were the ones, it wasn't just me. I scrambled out a couple times, but really it was all them, all my love to the line."

Hale's strongest connection of the night was to senior Tyler Resbom, who finished with 10 catches for 141 yards and two TDs, including the game's first score on an 8-yard pass in the first quarter on the opening drive of the game.



The Vikings (3-4, 2-0 SD1) found paydirt on three of their first four drives, the third and fourth ending with a 6-yard TD pass from Hale to Hunter Frohnert and a 3-yard TD run from Hale. Those two scores made it all Vikings, who led 19-0 going into halftime.

"We've been seeing it since last year, we know he was capable of all that," Forest Grove coach Camden McFarland said. "Frankly, he expects that out of himself, he's that type of a player who wants better and he feels like he could do even better.

"We wouldn't throw some of the routes and do some of the things and him make some of the plays if we didn't believe in him."

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Forest Grove's Kaden Hale (11) evades the pass rush from Hillsboro on Oct. 14, at Hare Field in Hillsboro.

The outburst continued in the second half when he found James Oberhelman for a 2-yard score late in the third quarter to make it 27-7 Vikings, and they scored again two drives later on a 5-yard pass to Resbom to seal the game 34-14.

"We knew it was going to be tough, he's a stud and he's a good athlete," Hillsboro coach Dan Shuff said of Hale. "We harped on it all week, if we can contain him we'll be fine. We just definitely didn't do a good job."

The Spartans (3-4, 0-2 SD1) had a couple highlights in the second half, the two biggest ones coming from senior QB Ian Ingram and senior wideout Nahum Chavez.

Ingram hit Chavez in the third quarter for a 24-yard score to keep hope alive at 19-7. Forest Grove responded, but so did the Spartans with a 40-yard connection from Ingram to Chavez to push it to 27-13.

Chavez missed the first half of the game, but certainly made his presence felt in the second half, an energy Shuff felt was missing for his Spartans.

"All our kids look up to him, they look for him to make the big plays and he did it," Shuff said. "Unfortunately, he wasn't in the first half. … I think that's the reason we started so flat, everyone looks up to him and expects him to make the plays."

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Hillsboro's Nahum Chavez, left, celebrates with teammate Andrew Morato after scoring a touchdown Forest Grove on Oct. 14, at Hare Field in Hillsboro.

Forest Grove has certainly been making the plays to get back to 3-4 and more importantly 2-0 in Special District 1 play.

It hasn't just been about Hale either as he hit eight different receivers on the night, meanwhile the defense held a complicated Hillsboro offense to 234 total yards. The Vikings finished with 493 yards of offense.

"They practice with a lot of enthusiasm and joy on the defensive side, and it's showing in the game, especially the last couple of weeks," McFarland said. "Our kids are believing in the plan, and they're flying around and executing it. It's fun to watch because they are starting to hit people hard, and they are starting to step in and make plays."

It would have been easy for a high school club to pack the season up after starting 0-4, but instead, the Vikings just dug in deeper to rattle off three consecutive wins.

"The intensity," Hale said about the biggest difference. "We really wanted to start winning. We were hanging our heads for a while. We flipped a switch at practice; practice is where it all happens. We started working so hard, just an intensity flip switch that we flipped."

Not only has the intensity picked up, but the team's connection with one another has continued to improve, thanks in part to some breakfasts at Prime Time.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Forest Grove's Kyle Fabela runs with the ball against Hillsboro on Oct. 14, at Hare Field in Hillsboro.

"I think it's just building confidence," Resbom said on the flip. "We're more fluent, we're faster in our steps, getting faster in our reads just because of that confidence. We had some younger guys stepping up big time and they're getting up to speed."

Hillsboro will try to stop a three-game skid next week it takes on Southridge at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, meanwhile Forest Grove hosts Wilsonville at 7 p.m. also on Thursday.

As the standings have worked out, the winner of Forest Grove and Wilsonville will play the winner of Canby and Putnam, who also play next week, in the final week for the league title.

With plenty of momentum and confidence coming in, the Vikings are ready to make sure their ship turns all the way around.

"We made some adjustments on how we practice, we made some adjustments on how we game plan and some of our play calling and it's been for the better," McFarland said. "You can go 0-4 and a lot of kids just start doubting it and they can start hanging their heads, but these kids didn't. They kept believing and they kept working and now they're starting to see it pay off."


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