Makai Anderson might want to ask the homecoming committee for a recount.
The Mountain View junior proved to be king of the night at McKenzie Stadium on Friday. He caught three touchdown passes, none bigger than the 25-yarder he snared over the Kelso defender in overtime to give the Thunder a 29-23 victory.
“There was a lot of adrenaline there,” said Anderson, who had a career night with five catches for 98 yards. “I had confidence in myself. I’d been catching it over that guy every time. My quarterback had trust in me, and I made the play.”
The Thunder had watched a 23-7 lead slip away, but forced overtime when Philip Earnhardt batted down a pass at the goal line on the final play of regulation.
“We showed our resilience tonight,” said senior quarterback Glen Perry Jr., who finished 6-of-8 passing for 112 yards. “We knew we were one play away from the victory, and we got it.”
In overtime, Mountain View senior Mitchell Delmage stepped in front of a third-down pass near the goal line and made the interception to end the Hilanders’ possession.
“I saw pass, and I just dropped into my zone,” Delmage said. “I did my job and came up with a play.”
One play later, it was Anderson’s time to shine.
“I figured we’d take a shot, and Makai made the play,” said head coach Adam Mathieson. “Makai grew up a little bit tonight. We’ve been waiting for this kind of game from him.”
The game was billed as a matchup of two contenders for the 3A Greater St. Helens League. While the Thunder (4-2, 2-0) got a big leg up in their title defense, Kelso (4-2, 1-1) provided several anxious moments for the homecoming crowd.
Max McDaniel ran for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Hilanders, including the tying score with 3:50 to go as he squirmed through several arm tackles on a 24-yard run.
“Our whole defense was maligned a bit tonight,” Mathieson said. “But we get the two huge stops at the end, throw one jump ball, and Makai is a hero.”
Anderson’s second touchdown catch, a 7-yarder on virtually the same play as the game-winner, capped the opening drive of the second half to give the Thunder a 23-7 lead.
Kelso answered with a 17-yard TD pass from Quentin Nelson to Riley, then recovered the ensuing onside kick and marched down to the Mountain View 1 before Andrew Gulliford came up with the stop on fourth-and-goal.
It was one of three second-half defensive stops for the Thunder that kept Kelso from taking the lead.
The Hilanders got to the Thunder 14 before Earnhardt picked off an underthrown ball in the end zone.
Earnhardt then came up big again on the final play of regulation.
“Kelso is a real hard team to go against, especially on our field on homecoming night,” Anderson said. “No game is in the bag until we look at the scoreboard at the end.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW 29, KELSO 23 (OT)
Kelso 0 7 8 8 0—23
Mtn View 6 10 7 0 6—29
MV—Michael Urruchua 1 run (run failed)
MV—FG Aiden Hargrove 27
K—Max McDaniel 65 run (Josh Webb kick)
MV—Makai Anderson 19 pass from Glen Perry Jr. (Hargrove kick)
MV—Anderson 7 pass from Perry Jr. (Hargrove kick)
K—Riley Noah 17 pass from Quentin Nelson (McDaniel run)
K—McDaniel 24 run (Nelson run)
MV—Anderson 25 pass from Perry Jr. (no PAT attempted)
RUSHING—K, McDaniel 26-225, Nelson 12-31, Jordan Miller 7-16, Mike Murray 1-11, Ben Bergonzine 1-2, John Roberts 1-1, team 3-(minus 37). MV, Perry Jr. 17-51, Nile Jones 14-87, Urruchua 3-12, Tresean Foreman 3-17, Mitchell Delmage 1-25, Tyrell Hall 1-13, Payton Regas 1-4.
PASSING—K, Nelson 8-14-3-81. MV, Perry Jr. 6-9-0-112.
RECEIVING—K, R.Noah 4-51, Emmitt Kinch 2-12, Bergonzine 1-14, Peyton Noah 1-4. MV, Anderson 5-98, Regas 1-14.