The Thunder kept rolling on Friday night. That was the planning.
Mountain View ground up 396 rushing yards and Jack Mertens scored three touchdowns as the Thunder rolled past rival Evergreen 48-7 to complete a 5-0 season in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League.
“I thought we played hard tonight,” quarterback Andre Scheer said. “That’s the most important thing. We really just wanted to keep this thing going and get ready for the playoffs.”
The Thunder clinched the No. 1 seed to the next week’s playoffs last week. Friday’s win was for the outright league championship. The Thunder will host the loser of Saturday’s Cleveland-Bishop Blanchet game next weekend at McKenzie Stadium.
“We were just looking to be undisputed league champions, so that was our focus,” Darien Chase said. “It feels great. I’ve never been to the playoffs before, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Friday’s outcome wasn’t in much doubt as the Thunder built a 20-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the game.
Payton Regas capped a 14-play, 76-yard drive on the Thunder’s first possession of the game with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Evergreen fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, and Elijah Brennan scooped up the ball and ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
Evergreen then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Thunder recovered. Four plays later, Mertens ran 33 yards for his first touchdown of the night.
Mertens added a 25-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and Chase made a leaping catch for a 15-yard touchdown reception as the Thunder led 34-0 by halftime.
Glen Perry’s 1-yard TD run on Mountain View’s opening possession of the second half put the running clock into motion with the Thunder up 41-0.
Mertens led the Thunder with 88 yards rushing. Sean Dalmage added 77 yards, and Scheer ran for 70 as the Thunder spread out the rushing yards.
Evergreen, which was led by Jevauhn Hampton’s 121 rushing yards, now drops into a three-team tiebreaker to determine the 3A GSHL’s third and final spot to the playoffs. The Plainsmen will face Prairie and Hudson’s Bay at 6 p.m. Monday at Doc Harris Stadium, with the winner advancing to face Kamiakin next Saturday in Kennewick.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 48, EVERGREEN 7
Eve 0 0 7 0—7
MV 20 14 14 0–48
MV — Payton Regas 2 run (pass failed)
MV — Elijah Brennan 13 fumble return (Bryan Valdez kick)
MV — Jack Mertens 33 run (Valdez kick)
MV — Mertens 25 run (Valdez kick)
MV — Darien Chase 15 pass from Andre Scheer (Valdez kick)
MV — Glen Perry 1 run (Valdez kick)
E — Jevauhn Hampton 2 run (Killian Burris kick)
MV — Mertens 5 run (Valdez kick)
RUSHING — Evergreen: Hampton 16-121, Sheaven Rhodes 1-9, Dustin Nettles 2-(-3), Payton Monda 4-(-10). Mountain View: Mertens 7-88, Sean Delmage 10-77, Scheer 10-70, Perry 9-51, Nile Jones 9-30, Regas 3-23, Chase 1-1, Phillip Earnhardt 2-17, Tyrell Hall 1-19, Garrett Moen 1-20.
PASSING — Evergreen: Monda 11-16-1-115, Nettles 0-1-0-0. Mountain View: Scheer 4-7-1-59, Moen 1-1-0-10.
RECEIVING — Evergreen: Nettles 5-57, Nadil Hodzic 5-14, Rhodes 1-28, Antoine Archer 1-17. Mountain View: Chase 3-32, Mertens 1-27, Dylan Meyer 1-10.