The Mountain View Thunder needed just a quarter of football Saturday night to advance to the Class 3A state football playoffs.
Then they kept playing the rest of the game to really prove their point.
The Thunder rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns in the first quarter, leading to a 57-9 victory over Auburn Mountainview in a Class 3A state preliminary round game at McKenzie Stadium.
The Thunder (8-2) will travel to take on Lakes next week in the first round of the 3A state playoffs. It is Mountain View’s first trip to state since 2004.
“Just saying that, I’m getting goosebumps,” senior lineman Josh Stolz said. “It’s amazing to see these people fighting so hard.”
“I know it had been a while. I’m just glad we did it,” senior running back Michael Rivers said.
The Thunder, behind a physically imposing offensive line, rushed for 375 yards in Saturday’s blowout. Rivers finished with 129 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. Sophomore Eddie Richardson also cracked the century mark, rushing for 111 yards and three touchdowns.
Mountain View finished with a 477-275 advantage in yardage.
“That means we were doing our jobs and busting butts,” center Bennett Muasau said.
It was all but over after the first 12 minutes when the Thunder rushed for those 208 yards on 19 consecutive running plays and put a 28-spot on the scoreboard. Richardson scored twice, and Riley O’Dell and Connor Atchison also found the end zone in the period.
“That was the game plan, just come out and pound them,” Richardson said. “We got the momentum in the beginning, and we just kept it going. That was just crazy. Everyone kept it going, kept it pumped up on the sideline. It was a great experience.”
Justin Rinta, Cory Creagan, Javon Hilliard, and Nick Mace all had big plays on defense in the first half, making sure the Lions could not get any momentum.
Auburn Mountainview quarterback Domenic Rockey threw 46 times but the Lions managed just 176 yards through the air — less than three yards per attempt.
Rivers has had the most success in recent weeks in a balanced offensive attack. Perhaps that is why he did not see a lot of carries early in the game.
“They definitely played to stop me,” Rivers said. “It was just a matter of getting the ball to different players.”
Richardson and Atchison combined for 155 of those first-quarter yards.
Rivers would add a second-quarter touchdown, then got most of the carries in the second half as the Thunder ran out the clock while continuing to score.
“You gotta give this to the linemen,” Rivers said. “I was amazed with the amount of holes. We did really well up front.”
Chavo Camargo kicked a 28-yard field goal, giving the Thunder 37 points in the first half.
O’Dell found Creagan for a 39-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Rivers and Richardson each had touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it a running clock situation.
That running clock was the only thing that could stop the Thunder on this night.
MOUNTAIN VEW 57, AUBURN MOUNTAINVIEW 9
Auburn MV 0 3 6 0—9
Mountain View 28 9 7 13—57
MV — Eddie Richardson 34 run (Chavo Camargo kick)
MV — Riley O’Dell 1 run (Camargo kick)
MV — Connor Atchison 20 run (Camargo kick)
MV — Richardson 11 run (Camargo kick)
MV — Camargo 28 FG
AMV — Joey Cassano 38 FG
MV — Michael Rivers 10 run (kick failed)
AMV — Devin Bryant 1 pass from Domenic Rockey (pass failed)
MV — Cory Creagan 39 pass from O’Dell (Camargo kick)
MV — Rivers 9 run (Camargo kick)
MV — Richardson 2 run (kick failed)
Rushing — Auburn: Victor Korchemny 18-109, Rockey 8-(-9). Mountain View: Rivers 20-129, Richardson 18-111, Atchison 8-82, O’Dell 5-53.
Passing — Auburn: Rockey 25-46-1-176. Mountain View: O’Dell 2-4-0-102.
Receiving — Auburn: Skyler White 10-87, Cassano 6-40, Bryant 5-18, Korchemny 3-17, J.J. Lacey 1-14. Mountain View: Creagan 2-102.