Week 1: A loss for Mountain View, but a win for the program

Thunder prove they belonged among the best of the best

The only thing that surprised the Mountain View Thunder on Friday is that they did not win the game.

Oh, it is true that many outside of the program figured Union was going to win easily. After all, Union won the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League a year ago and has so much returning talent. Mountain View, the 3A GSHL champ, lost a lot of players to graduation.

Still, the Thunder knew. They did not expect a big drop-off. Sure, those seniors last year were awesome, but the coaching staff, and the players, knew that the next group had the potential to be more than solid.

So far, so good.

Jack Mertens rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown in Mountain View’s season opener. Photo by Mike Schultz
Jack Mertens rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown in Mountain View’s season opener. Photo by Mike Schultz

Mountain View Thunder (0-1)

Week 1: Union 17, Mountain View 14

Next: at Juanita, 7 p.m. Friday

If Union really is one of the top 4A programs in the state, then Mountain View showed it must be one of the top 3A programs in the state.

Mountain View gained 299 yards of offense, while Union had 298 when not including taking a knee for a loss at the end of both halves.

The Thunder, when trailing 14-7 in the fourth quarter, went 60 yards on 11 plays to tie the game. On their next possession, trailing 17-14, the Thunder went 43 yards on three plays to get to the Union 9-yard line.

A fumble on the next play ended the scoring threat.

“You feel for the kids,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said. “They invest a lot.”

T Thunder wanted this one. Mathieson acknowledged as much, too. Still, he also wanted to make sure his players understood there is a long season ahead.

“It’s Week 1. You can’t make a ton of it.”


As a coaching staff, the Thunder will make a bit out of all the Mountain View penalties. Some would say that’s a Week 1 thing, too. But we know the coaches will be in teaching mode for the next couple of weeks.

One drive in particular crushed the Thunder.

In a 7-7 game late in the first half, the Thunder had a first down at the Union 18-yard line. Two false start penalties followed. Then a 25-yard penalty (In high school football, a blocking penalty is from the spot of the foul. In this case, after the quarterback scrambled, a penalty was called 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. So, statistically, that’s a 25-yard penalty.) Later, another false start.

Mountain View had a second-and-52 from its own 40-yard line.

Still, when all was said and done, the Thunder had a chance to win, the shock the rest of the state. But it would not have shocked anyone at Mountain View.

“We were right there. So close,” Mountain View receiver Makai Anderson said. “We came out and played as a team.”


About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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