When the first-half clock struck zeros, Riley McCarthy and the Mountain View offense found momentum.
It’s not often a fourth-and-32 play is successful, but in the Thunder’s case Thursday night in their 23-22 win at Prairie, it turned into a momentum-shifting touchdown.
How much? A lot, quarterback McCarthy said.
“That’s a play we work on in practice,” he said. “It doesn’t work a lot of the time, but it worked now.
The touchdown drive — Mountain View’s lone touchdown of the half — started with 1 minute, 38 seconds left in the first half trailing 8-6 when the Thunder recovered a Prairie fumble. It got down to the 12-yard line, but after penalties and a 10-yard sack, the Thunder faced fourth-and-32 in the final seconds.
With a cluster of receivers in the end zone, McCarthy scrambled and found Austin Lee for the 34-yard touchdown. That gave Mountain View its 13-8 halftime lead.
“Austin made a great play,” McCarthy said. “He had a (heck) of a game. Seeing him being able to do that is awesome.”
Head coach Adam Mathieson joked postgame he liked that corner of the end zone all night — a pass deflection, touchdown and the game-sealing interception with 11 seconds left by freshman Kyle Chen.
Barnum throwing strikes
Skyview senior Cooper Barnum knows a thing or two about throwing a ball. He’s a Washington State baseball commit and star pitcher for the Storm’s baseball team in the spring.
So after repping a trick play in practice this past week that had him throwing a wide receiver reverse pass, he felt pretty confident when his number was called Friday in the Storm’s 30-3 win over 4A Greater St. Helens League rival Union.
He took the flip from running back Jalynnee McGee and fired away a 45-yard touchdown throw to Gavin Baskette, the first six points of 30 unanswered for the Storm.
“I looked up, and I’m supposed to run it out a little more,” Barnum said. “I didn’t because I saw my dude wide open. So I just chucked it up there. It worked out.”
It even impressed Utah State quarterback commit Yaro Duvalko, who had to beat out Barnum for a quarterback role when the two were freshmen.
“He’s going to WSU for baseball so that just talks about how great an arm he has,” Duvalko said. “He’s one of our best playmakers.”
Rockets hold off rally
Castle Rock had the 1A Trico League game in hand against King’s Way Christian … until it didn’t.
Leading 35-6 going into the fourth quarter, King’s Way charged back with four consecutive touchdowns to close the gap to 35-31.
As Rockets coach Aaron Gehring said, a young team must learn how to finish.
“They did a good job for three quarters knowing the game play,” Gehring said about his team. “But something broke down in the fourth quarter.”
Gehring said the Rockets had 84 plays on defense, with the secondary playing very well.
Wyatt Partridge’s 45-yard touchdown run stopped the King’s Way scoring run and sealed the game for Castle Rock, 41-33.
“We are getting better every week,” Gehring said. “We had lots of big plays.”