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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Mesa Mtn. View FB uses big plays to run winning streak to 6Oct 12, 2012
No big plays on offense last week against Red Mountain. Still Mesa Mountain View found a way to win.
On Friday night the Toros made up some for the big-play deficit with three in the first half and rode those to a 28-14 win over Highland in a key Division I game at Mountain View.
The win was Mountain View's sixth in a row after opening the season with two losses. Toros coach Chad DeGrenier was pleased with the first half, but not enamored with the second. His team did a little conditioning immediately after the win to get his point across.
"We came out strong, came out physical," DeGrenier said. "We hit some plays we thought we had watching film. The second half we settled and relaxed. We can't do that."
Mountain View quarterback John Clark threw three first-half touchdown passes -- one each to Robbie Millward, Hansen Williams and A.J. Montalvo -- that pretty much left Highland on its heels most of the night. Mountain View scored on the first play from scrimmage with Clark hitting Millward on a short slant that turned into a 76-yard touchdown.
Highland (5-3) showed some spark on its first possession, marching 65 yards to make it 7-6 on a 5-yard run by Grant Gale. The Hawks were enticed to go for two after a penalty on Mountain View, but the attempt failed.
Back came Mountain View with its second big play of the quarter with receiver/returner Montalvo fielding a short kickoff and returning it 30 yards to set the Toros up on a short field. Clark's 20-yard TD pass to Williams late in the period made it 14-6.
The rest of the night was a struggle offensively for Highland. The Hawks drove inside the Toros 20 midway through the second period, but stalled and had to settle for a 37-yard field attempt. The kick was wide.
Clark gave Mountain View punctuation to the first half as he hooked up with Montalvo for a 50-yard catch-and-run TD with 1:03 before intermission. Clark completed 8-of-13 passes for 184 yards in the first half. He played less in the second half sharing time with Chase Funk.
Highland botched a couple chances to cut the deficit to a touchdown, the first with just under five minutes left in the third period. Marching to the Mountain View 9, Highland committed its first turnover of the game. It was a fumble recovered by the Toros' Connor Ipsen.
Highland recovered a Mountain View fumble with 9:05 left in the game at the Mountain View 42. The Hawks failed to do anything with the field position.
Highland was forced to abandon a fairly successly run game in the final period with the clock against it. They tried to put together a comeback through the air, but the Toros wouldn't have it. They sacked Highland quarterback Blake Young six times in the second half. Highland did score a consolation TD with 2:31 left (Young to Jake Brown from 6 yards out), but it was much too late to matter.
"Last week the defense allowed us to win," DeGrenier said. "Our offense did better this week, not enough to be content."
Mountain View pulled off one final big play late. Running back Cayman Nielsen, getting his first carry of the night, broke off a 50-yard run to the Highland 1. He was rewarded with another on the next play and scored to make it 28-6 with 4:15 to play.
Highland coach Pete Wahlheim wasn't second-guessing any particular play or opportunity that went awry in the game. Even the first play from scrimmage that put his team behind 7-0.
"We didn't come to play tonight," Wahlheim said. "We got beat in all three phases. They were the better team."