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Energized Mountain View builds early momentum to rout Ridgefield for 49-24 win

Thunder tally 441 total offensive yards, force three turnovers on defense

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 9, 2023, 12:06am

RIDGEFIELD — When they’re at their best, the Mountain View football team is a lively, perhaps even frenetic group.

With a tough week one loss to Class 1A power Nooksack Valley behind them, the Thunder were re-energized for week two against Ridgefield, all but overwhelming the Spudders on their home field Friday.

Mountain View’s offense performed at a breakneck pace with big plays, with four of 40 or more yards in the first half. Three went for touchdowns.

Along with those came a hard-hitting Thunder defense, which forced three turnovers, including a 96-yard interception return from Aiden Nicholson in the third quarter, effectively sealing a 49-24 win for Mountain View.

“We thrive on that momentum, we love that energy,” senior Ayden Denbo said. “In the weight room, our best lifts are when we’re energetic.”

“(We’re) explosive, just all over the place, yelling, shouting (and) just loud,” senior Cameron Magnussen added. “It plays a huge factor in our mood and our overall performance.”

The bounce-back win was also the first under Aaron Hart, Mountain View’s first-year coach. From the time players stepped on the field for pre-game warmups, Hart said he sensed the team was ready to go.

“Our warmups are everything to us — to me anyway,” Hart said. “I could tell when they’re locked in and fully engaged. I always say, ‘be where your feet are,’ and that’s where they were today. They were that way from step one. It felt completely different than last week.”

Mountain View tallied 441 yards of total offense, highlighted by a quick-strike passing game with quarterback Cash Cook and his top target, Nicholson, who hauled in six catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

The Thunder took a 21-0 lead through one quarter on a Jaden Brown 2-yard rushing touchdown, plus a pair of 43-yard passing touchdowns to Akili Kamau and Nicholson.

By then, Mountain View had all the momentum.

“It just helps the whole morale of the team. Everyone gets hyped,” Nicholson said. “It just goes up from there, and then you’re at the top.”

The Thunder took a 35-7 lead into halftime with a 52-yard rushing score from Brown, followed by a Nicholson 24-yard catch and run in traffic on 4th and 20.

“I loved how explosive our offense was this week,” Denbo said. “I loved our conditioning on defense. Way better (than last week).”

Now 1-1 with a meeting against district rival Union on tap for next week, Mountain View’s win Friday marked a positive step, but the result doesn’t change how the Thunder look at themselves. They’ve always believed in their potential.

“We’re just proving it to ourselves at this point,” Magnussen said.

MOUNTAIN VIEW 49, RIDGEFIELD 24

Mtn. View 21 14 7 7—49

Ridgefield 0 7 10 7—24

First quarter

MV — Jaden Brown 2 run (Owen Purvis kick)

MV — Akili Kamau 43 pass from Cash Cook (Purvis kick)

MV — Aiden Nicholson 43 pass from Cook (Purvis kick)

Second quarter

MV — Brown 52 run (Purvis kick)

MV — Nicholson 24 pass from Cook (Purvis kick)

R — Cash Hill 24 pass from Brayden Malella (Brandon Rogers kick)

Third quarter

R — Rogers 26 field goal

MV — Nicholson 96 interception return (Purvis kick)

R — Landon DeBeaumont 24 pass from Malella (Rogers kick)

Fourth quarter

MV — Cook 13 run (Purvis kick)

R — Cly Stephens 64 run (Rogers kick)

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Mountain View: Jaden Brown 5-58, JJ Thompson 2-0, Cameron Magnussen 6-11, Cash Cook 4-24, Porter Drake 5-57, Dallas Hobbs 2-30, Team 2-(minus 2); Ridgefield: Brayden Malella 4-1, Rocco Wright 8-29, Cly Stephens 15-150, Team 2-(minus 16).

PASSING — Mountain View: Cash Cook 12-16-1-251, Bryson Vance 0-0-0-0; Ridgefield: Malella 9-12-0-186; Logan DeBeaumont 10-21-2-56.

RECEIVING — Mountain View: Akili Kamau 2-58, Aiden Nicholson 6-140; Thompson 3-53; Brown 1-12; Ridgefield: Landon DeBeaumont 5-33, Cash Hill 7-101, Noah Stromberg 4-35, Sam Mishin 1-34, Ben Concannon 2-39.

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