One big win does not win a league title; plus tidbits from the Clark County programs of the 3A GSHL
Here are the weekly football notes from the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League
MOUNTAIN VIEW THUNDER (5-1, 2-0 3A GSHL)
Week 6: Mountain View 23, Prairie 22
EVERGREEN PLAINSMEN (3-3, 0-1 3A GSHL)
Week 6: Kelso 47, Evergreen 27
A few weeks ago, long before Mountain View took on Prairie, a Mountain View administrator told me even if Mountain View were to beat Prairie, it would not mean much if Mountain View did not follow that up with a win over Evergreen.
Now, for years, that was not really a worry for Mountain View. The Thunder have ruled this in-district rivalry.
However, the Thunder realized a few weeks ago that Evergreen can pose a problem for the top teams in the 3A GSHL.
The Plainsmen are loaded with talent, and the Plainsmen are improving.
Biggest win of the year … so far:
Mountain View was focused enough to get its biggest win of the year, to date, knocking off undefeated Prairie in Week 6.
The Thunder have won the past three league titles, but this team had big questions marks coming into the season, with 21 new starters. Yes, in terms of experience, this is one young team.
It is such a young team that a freshman — Kyle Chen — made the game-saving play for the Thunder, an interception at the 1-yard line in the closing seconds.
Carter Monda threw for more than 400 yards in the loss to Kelso. Monda leads the region in passing yards, and Zyell Griffin leads the region in receiving yards.
Oh, and even though the Plainsmen lost by 20 points last week, it was a 13-point game in the fourth quarter and Evergreen had the ball. This was competitive.
Considering Kelso still believes it can beat Mountain View and force a tie for a league championship, that’s a good sign for Evergreen. The Plainsmen might not be too far behind the leaders.
“There are some really good things that are happening,” Evergreen coach Christian Swain said. “We haven’t played a full game yet.”
That makes Swain encouraged for the stretch run.
No, there are no guarantees of a victory this week against the defending champions, but Evergreen has to believe it has a shot.
“We have tremendous respect for Mountain View and Coach (Adam) Mathieson,” Swain said. “We’re definitely going to show up and try to give them a game.”
Next: Mountain View takes on Evergreen at McKenzie Stadium, roughly 7 p.m., the second game of the McKenzie Stadium doubleheader.
PRAIRIE FALCONS (5-1, 1-1 3A GSHL)
Week 6: Mountain View 23, Prairie 22
In Week 5, the Falcons improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 1980s, beating a team it has struggled with through the years.
And then the Thunder had to take on the three-time defending league champs.
A tough task, indeed, but one that the Falcons handled.
Sure, the players and coaches have to be thinking about all the what-ifs in a one-point game, but considering where this program has been … yeah, beating Kelso and losing a close game to Mountain View certainly made a statement.
Prairie can play with the best in the league.
Now, it is all about responding to the first loss of the season. The Falcons have a great chance to finish second in the league. Heck, if things go their way, they still have a decent chance at sharing a league title.
The key here, for a program not yet used to being in this position, is to bounce back from that disappointment last week.
Next: Prairie will take on Hudson’s Bay at 7 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl
HUDSON’S BAY EAGLES (2-4, 0-1)
FORT VANCOUVER TRAPPERS (0-6)
Week 6: Hudson’s Bay 27, Fort Vancouver 13
The traditions continues:
The Peace Pipe Game remained on the schedule, even though Fort Vancouver is playing an independent schedule.
It turned into a special night at Kiggins Bowl.
James Ensley, the athletic director at Fort Vancouver, said it was a memorable night.
“Ray (Lions) and the Hudson’s Bay program, one of the most stand-up programs I’ve ever talked to,” Ensley said, referring to Bay’s football coach and team. “His comment to me: This is more than football.”
The game has to go on, both schools agreed.
“It’s cool. It’s a great tradition. Great for the kids and the communities,” Ensley said. “Our kids, at the end of the day, love each other. We’re the neighborhood. Most of these kids have known each other for years, played against each other for years.”
That bond showed in the Kiggins Bowl stands, as well.
The student sections were separated at the start of the game, as the norm.
“Near the end of the first quarter, they crunched in and sat together,” Ensley said
Trappers and Eagles watching together.
“It was just good fun,” Ensley said.
Note: The official 3A GSHL website lists Hudson’s Bay getting a league win. Ensley confirmed, however, that this was not a league game. Fort is playing a full independent schedule. The Peace Pipe Game remained on the schedule for the tradition, but does not count toward league standings.
Next: Hudson’s Bay will host Prairie at 7 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl. Fort Vancouver will travel to Ilwaco for a 7:30 p.m. game.