The Thunder warmed up for their showdown with Columbia River by running over visiting Kelso at McKenzie Stadium on Friday.
Austin Mace rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns, and the Thunder outgained the Hilanders 548-153 in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League victory.
The Thunder (6-2, 4-0 GSHL) will face Columbia River for the league title next week.
“We’ve got to go out there and hit them from the start,” Mountain View’s Garrett Jones said. “Just like today.”
Jones intercepted a Kelso pass on the first play from scrimmage. Three plays later, Mace was in the end zone on a 5-yard run, the first in his trifecta.
“It was a great way to set the tone from the very start,” Jones said of his pick. “We’d been preparing for them all week long. Nothing we haven’t seen.”
Quarterback Lex Reese rushed for a TD and threw a 53-yard TD pass to Nick Wilmoth. Nicholas Wright showed off his dazzling speed on a 66-yard touchdown run. Mace added touchdown runs of 18 and 39 yards. Carl Falls made it 48-0 with a 15-yard run late in the third quarter.
Mountain View rushed for 430 yards and Reese threw for 118 yards on just five attempts.
“It starts up front. We just dominated the whole time,” senior lineman Kade Burns said. “The running backs were running hard every play. We were confident we could get at least five yards every play.”
The Thunder actually doubled that, rushing for more than 10 yards per attempt.
And the man who started it all for Mountain View ended it with a defensive touchdown. Jones scooped up a loose ball at his 38-yard line and sprinted 62 yards to make it 55-0.
Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said he would have to look at the film to see just how good of a game his team played, but he was thrilled with the defensive effort one week before the big game.
“I thought we ran to the ball better, defensively,” Mathieson said. “We definitely took a step forward.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW 55, KELSO 0
Kelso 0 0 0 0– 0
Mountain View 14 13 21 7–55
MV — Austin Mace 5 run (Will Warne kick)
MV — Lex Reese 1 run (Warne kick)
MV — Mace 18 run (run failed)
MV — Nicholas Wright 66 run (Warne kick)
MV — Nick Wilmoth 53 pass from Reese (Warne kick)
MV — Mace 39 run (Warne kick)
MV — Carl Falls 15 run (Warne kick)
MV — Garrett Jones 62 fumble return (Warne kick)
RUSHING — Kelso: Lloyd Melone 11-38, Davis Radcliffe 5-6, Hayden Gillen 6-26, Zak Schueller 6-16, Chauncey Goudy 1-3. Mountain View: Mace 14-180, Avi Bharth 14-73, Carl Falls 3-24, Reese 4-15, Jose Leyva 2-29, Wright 3-69, G. Jones 1-13, Anthony Ramirez 2-2, Corey Davis 5-30, Kimball Elliott 3-28, Team 3-(minus 9).
PASSING — Kelso: Schueller 13-18-1-64. Mountain View: Reese 4-5-0-118.
RECEIVING — Kelso: Somit Chhim 5-24, Mason Meeker 6-29, Radcliffe 2-11. Mountain View: Jesus Familia 1-35, G. Jones 2-30, Wilmoth 1-53.