In round one of the Greater St. Helens League season Friday, Mountain View came out swinging with a one-two punch.
Preston Jones rushed for 130 yards and Austin Mace added 106 to lead the Thunder to a 35-7 win over Prairie at McKenzie Stadium.
Mountain View (3-2, 1-0) scored a knockout with three first-half touchdowns. Now Prairie’s 3A league title hopes are on the ropes.
“It’s a good start for us,” said Jones, who had two touchdowns. “Hopefully we can carry the momentum through the season.”
Mountain View wasn’t flashy, as quarterback Lex Reese only attempted six passes. But the Thunder running game kept delivering body blows in methodically rolling up 255 yards on the ground.
“Austin and I block and do fakes for each other,” Jones said. “But it really starts with the line. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do that. Seeing them work really fires us up.”
Mace echoed praises of the offensive line.
“Our line did a great job making adjustments,” he said. “All of them made blocks and opened big holes. They did what they had to do.”
Prairie (2-3, 0-1) tried a new approach on offense after being shut out last week by Mark Morris. Denzel Hamiel, normally a running back, started at quarterback.
The 6-foot-2, 207-pound junior kept the ball 17 times for 110 yards on designed QB runs, but completed just 2 of 8 passes. That led Prairie coach Terry Hyde to put normal starting quarterback Tyler Armstrong in the game in the third quarter.
“We wanted to come in and do something different,” Hyde said. “Mountain View did a great job of adjusting to it and taking it away.”
Mountain View’s opening drive covered 53 yards on 10 plays. Mace dashed 11 yards up the middle for the game’s first score.
Jones put the Thunder up 14-0 near the end of the first quarter, covering 58 yards while hardly being touched by Falcons defenders.
Mountain View extended its lead to 21-0 in the final minute of the first half. Reese found receiver Nolan Biggs for a 32-yard touchdown pass that saw Biggs backpedal the final five yards.
“They did a great job of executing their offense and we didn’t,” Hyde said. “It’s that simple. Hats off to them.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW 35, PRAIRIE 7
Prairie – 0 0 0 7--7
Mountain View –14 7 0 14 --35
MV – Austin Mace 11 run (Will Warne kick)
MV – Preston Jones 58 run (Warne kick)
MV – Nolan Biggs 32 pass from Lex Reese (Warne kick)
MV –Jones 1 run (Warne kick)
P – Jason Bracken 33 pass from Tyler Armstrong (Scott Keyser kick)
MV – Nick Wilmoth 71 pass from Reese (Warne kick)
RUSHING – Prairie: Denzel Hamiel 17-110, Dallas Goodpaster 7-27, Ronnie Evenden 8-33, Bracken 1-6, Brendan Bussey 4-37. Mountain View: Mace 13-106, Jones 13-130, Carl Falls 3-11, Reese 3-minus 14, Nicholas Wright 3-11.
PASSING – Prairie: Hamiel 2-8-20, Armstrong 11-22-165; Mountain View: Reese 4-6-141.
RECEIVING – Prairie Evenden 3-17, Bracken 6-98, Jacob George 2-32, Kyle Schulson 1-10. Mountain View: Wright 1-5, Biggs 1-32, Wilmoth 2-109.