If Friday’s Prairie-Mountain View football game were a marathon, it was the Falcons who raced out to a big lead early.
And it was the Thunder who methodically closed the gap.
“I started thinking we were going to run out of time,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said. “You think you’ll run enough plays and wear them out. Then you start looking at the clock and wondering if you’re going to have enough possessions to wear them out. … Riley’s run was huge.”
Riley McCarthy’s 50-yard touchdown run followed by Kevin Chen’s two-point conversion run with 4:21 left in regulation helped force overtime, where Zak Gables’ 11-yard touchdown run gave the Thunder a 30-24 victory at McKenzie Stadium.
“Everything I give to the (offensive line), making giant holes, perfect blocks, like so much space,” a winded Gable said. “I’ve got to give everything to them. When it came down to it, it was their game.”
McCarthy, who rushed for 179 yards, also gave credit for the comeback from a 24-8 fourth-quarter deficit “to the big dogs up front.”
“They played their tails off,” the senior said. “I love each and every single one of those guys. They give their all no matter what. Couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Prairie got the jump on the Thunder from the very first play from scrimmage when quarterback Brandon Baum hit Ian Davis for 73 yards down to the Thunder 7.
Two plays later, Dustin Shelby punched it in from the 1 for an early 8-0 lead.
The Falcons struck again on their next possession when the Baum-to-Davis connection went for a 46-yard touchdown on fourth down, giving Prairie a 16-0 lead it would take into halftime.
“Right after we warmed at the half, I told the boys we’ve got a decision to make for this whole year,” McCarthy said. “We’re 1-1, we’ve wavered at times, and the second half was going to be the decision point. And I told them after the game ‘the decision’s made.’ ”
McCarthy’s 1-yard touchdown run made it 16-8, but Prairie pushed its lead back to 24-8 after Shelby’s 27-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter. Shelby finished with 125 yards rushing on 24 carries.
In the fourth quarter, McCarthy hit Chen for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 8:01 left before McCarthy helped tie the game with his long touchdown run.
Prairie got the ball first in the overtime. Shelby appeared to put the Falcons on the verge of scoring when he ran inside the 10. But the ball popped loose and the Thunder recovered, ending the possession.
On the Thunder’s possession from the 25, Gable ran 14 yards to the 11 before racing in for the winning touchdown.
“Both teams battled,” Mathieson said. “They’ve got some tough kids over there. It was a good 48 minutes, and that’s what we try to do is put together a good 48 minutes. Eventually, we’ll put all 48 together in the same game. I should probably rephrase that to the kids.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW 30, PRAIRIE 24, OT
Prairie 16 0 8 0 0—24
Mt. View 0 0 8 16 6—30
P — Dustin Shelby 8 run (Joshua Blick pass from Brandon Baum)
P — Ian Davis 46 pass from Baum (Davis pass from Baum)
MV — Riley McCarthy 1 run (Aiden Nicholson pass from McCarthy)
P — Shelby 27 run (Shelby run)
MV — Kevin Chen 15 pass from McCarthy (Nicholson pass from McCarthy)
MV — McCarthy 50 run (Chen run)
MV — Zak Gable 11 run
RUSHING — Prairie: Shelby 24-125, Baum 9-17, Alexander Ford 1-2, Davis 1-1. Mountain View: McCarthy 26-179, Gable 9-63, Porter Drake 9-46, Valike Tamakloe 1-3, Chen 2-0.
PASSING — Prairie: Baum 11-17-0-203, Shelby 0-1-1-0. Mountain View: McCarthy 6-22-0-97.
RECEIVING — Prairie: Davis 4-129, Dion Garrett 3-47, Shelby 1-11, Logan Kimball 1-9, Alex Porter 1-4, Grayson Weber 1-3. Mountain View: Chen 2-33, Kyle Chen 1-26, Nicholson 1-13, Drake 1-15, Jacob Martin 1-10.