Mountain View Hig School's football Lions endured "the week from hell," according to coach Paul Schmidt.
Before losing at Tucson High School 31-8, the winless Mountain Lions (0-5) had already dealt with enough adversity to flatten a lot of lesser hearts. Schmidt pointed out that 13 of the players were injured, and all three of the quarterbacks had the flu, so they couldn't practice all week.
"It was a tough thing to overcome," Schmidt said.
While the final score may appear one-sided, the game itself was not that way. The Mountain Lions gained 162 yards overall, while the Badgers had 174, not exactly dominating the lines.
After a scoreless first quarter, a late interception in the first half helped the Badgers to a three-score lead.
Myles Williams was one of the few starters actually able to suit up, and he had another big game, rushing 24 times for 127 yards. The senior running back now has almost 350 yards rushing through five games.
"It's always been tougher," Williams said. "Our kids on the offensive line are undersized, but they have a lot of heart.
"I tell my line in the huddle, I trust you. I just carry the ball. You guys block, and let me do the rest."
"We had about 15 of our players hurt, I think," Williams said. "And Mark Vera ruptured his appendix, so he couldn't play."
In the first half, Mountain View was moving the football at will on the ground. Williams carried seven straight times on a drive halted inside Badger territory. Then the Badgers offense went to work, marching 56 yards down to Mountain View's 24, before Marcelino Aguilar kicked a 41-yard field goal to give Tucson a 3-0 lead.
Mountain View and Williams pushed into Tucson territory, with quarterback Marcos McMillon connecting with Chris Romero on a 23-yard gain to the Tucson 35. After a penalty, McMillon was intercepted ending the scoring threat.
McMillon was cast in a difficult position to begin with. Just pulled off the junior varsity due to the quarterback shortage, McMillon was making his first varsity start. He completed two of 10 passes for 34 yards, and was picked off four times, once for a Badger score when Glen Meriweather picked off a pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown. In the second half, Meriweather had another long interception return, as he cut in front of the intended receiver and took the ball back 73 yards to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Sean Ochiagha for a 31-0 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, Mountain Lion Robert Kallal picked up a fumble and rumbled 25 yards for a touchdown. Mountain View then converted a two-pointer when Chris Romero passed it to Harrison Hughes.
"Our kids stepped up," Schmidt said. "It was unbelievable. They worked hard. They just need to get healthy."
Marana, Mountain View gridders try again Monday
By Luke davis
When it comes to football, Mountain View High School head coach Paul Schmidt is pretty straightforward.
"Football isn't like baseball or basketball, where you can play every other day," said Schmidt. "There are injuries … it's very hard."
Mountain View (0-5) and Marana High School (2-2) are about to play one another, three days after games with other foes. The Mountain Lions and Tigers meet Monday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. to re-start a rivalry game postponed due to weather Sept. 4.
Both teams host their opponents on Friday — Mountain View has Rincon/University, Marana takes on Flowing Wells.
Teams are not allowed to practice on Sundays in Arizona, so that leaves both teams just one day to prepare for the game.
"We'll have to call our guys in Saturday morning, do a film exchange, watch film Saturday morning, and quickly try to adjust to things that they're doing," said Schmidt. "Both teams are faced with that."
There will be a little time to do walk-throughs on Monday, said Schmidt, as both schools start fall break that day, but it will be "extremely difficult," according to the coach.
Short preparation time or not, both coaches are aware of what the other team brings to the table.
"Their fullback (junior Louis Payne) is a big, physical, strong kid," said Schmidt. "He's tough and runs hard."
Marana head coach Anthony Coronado has equal respect for Mountain View's running game.
"(Tailback Myles Williams) is a pretty good athlete," said Coronado in an earlier interview. "We have to make sure we can stop him — that's going to be key, in high school football, if you can run the ball, you're in good shape."
The game will be resumed from the time of cancellation, giving Mountain View a 6-0 lead with 6:46 left in the second quarter.
"We should've played on a Saturday," Schmidt said. "But there will be no school on Monday, and that's the way it is."