Adam Mathieson’s postgame words to his Mountain View Thunder were short, yet heart-felt.
He addressed the seniors, thanking them for a season that included another 3A Greater St. Helens League title — the program’s third in four years for the senior class.
But he also told the returning underclassmen to not forget what the McKenzie Stadium scoreboard read, and remember the feeling of Saturday’s 38-27 defeat to Seattle Prep.
Quarterback Mitch Johnson, a junior, took that to heart, as he consoled teammates postgame.
“I can’t wait to get to work,” he said … “I feel like that’s going to fuel us. I feel this next year, we’re going to take huge steps and huge leaps. We’ve already improved so much as a team and it gives us more motivation.
“Where we’re going to go with this team is incredible.”
The loss ends Mountain View’s season at 7-3, one game shy of returning to the Class 3A state playoffs. Seattle Prep (6-4) advances to the round of 16 at state, and learns its first-round opponent Sunday.
Mountain View played catch-up the entire game. It trailed by as much as 17 in the second half, as well as a two-score deficit at the 7:25 mark of the first quarter — a quarter that featured 31 combined points.
But Mother Nature slowed the game down for 58 minutes. Lightning strikes in the area led to a nearly hour-long delay with both teams inside the McKenzie Stadium locker rooms with seconds left in the first quarter.
Once the game resumed, big plays — and even a few eye-popping ones — by Seattle Prep helped the Panthers gain multiple double-digit leads. A wild third-and 37 conversion on a scramble by quarterback Braeden Smith, then a 42-yard catch by Will Floyd (six catches, 124 yards) was part of a scoring drive that helped Prep take a 31-21 lead. Then, on the next Prep series, Austin Harnetiaux’s fourth-and-9 conversion led to his 1-yard touchdown run three plays later for its largest lead of the night at 38-21.
And while Mountain View cut the deficit to 11 on a quick three-play drive highlighted by Aiden Nicholson’s (four catches, 91 yards) 15-yard touchdown reception, further Thunder momentum was halted by turnovers.
Seattle Prep picked off Johnson (15 of 29 passing, 245 yards) three times in the final 12 minutes.
“That’s been a big thing this year — finish,” Johnson said. “We’ll fix it for sure this off season.”
SEATTLE PREP 38, MOUNTAIN VIEW 27
Seattle Prep 17 7 7 7—38
Mountain View 14 0 7 6—27
SP — Ishmael Pessner 21 run (kick good)
SP — Austin Harnetiaux 38 punt return (kick good)
MV — CJ Hamblin 3 run (Eli Warne kick)
SP — Caden Lawlor 30 FG
MV — Kyle Chen 22 pass from Mitch Johnson (Warne kick)
SP — Braeden Smith 29 run (kick good)
MV — Johnson 1 run (Warne kick)
SP — Bill Vaouli 2 run (kick good)
SP — Harnetiaux 1 run (kick good)
MV — Aiden Nicholson 15 pass from Johnson (Warne kick)
RUSHING — Seattle Prep: Eli Black 9-60, Ishmael Pessner 3-27, Braeden Smith 14-65, Austin Harnetiaux 8-34, Bill Vaouli 4-15; Mountain View: Mitch Johnson 11-15, Akili Kamau 8-56, Valike Tamakloe 1-6, CJ Hamblin 4-8, Walker Richardson 3-17.
PASSING — Seattle Prep: Smith 12-23-1-157; Mountain View: 15-29-3-245.
RECEIVING — Seattle Prep: Will Floyd 5-124, Drew Velling 2-13, Jack Velling 3-13, Kieran O’Meara 1-7; Mountain View: Aiden Nicholson 4-91, Kamau 5-64, Kyle Chen 4-58, Jacob Martin 4-40.