Union takes rivalry game over Mountain View

Paul Valencia, Reporter
Paul Valencia, Reporter

VANCOUVER — It is a rivalry each season anyway, but it was even more emotional Friday night.

One of the top players in the state switched teams over the offseason.

A coach gave a sarcastic comment regarding the other team.

And the fans, well of course the fans were fanatical.

A non-league football game means nothing when it comes to playoff positioning. But this game really did mean something to all involved.

Union tight end Aiden Nellor (87) dives over the goal line for a touchdown in the Titans’ victory over Mountain View Friday at McKenzie Stadium. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union tight end Aiden Nellor (87) dives over the goal line for a touchdown in the Titans’ victory over Mountain View Friday at McKenzie Stadium. Photo by Mike Schultz

By the end of the night, it was Union taking bragging rights with a 26-21 victory over Mountain View Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

“This is a big win. It’s a turf war,” said Union defensive lineman Zion Fa’aopega. “It means a whole lot for our whole team and our community.”

But it is just a rivalry on the field between the players.

Once the game ended, there were handshakes and photos, Titans and Thunder posing together.

Jojo Siofele, who rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns for Union, wore a green T-shirt under his jersey and a green bandana under his helmet, in a salute to Mountain View.

“I wanted to show them we are a family,” Siofele said.

He and the Titans also wanted to show off their own bond. At halftime, they challenged each other to play together, and it worked.

Union quarterback Lincoln Victor (5) scampers for yardage in the Titans’ win over Mountain View Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union quarterback Lincoln Victor (5) scampers for yardage in the Titans’ win over Mountain View Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Union, which gave up 200 rushing yards in the first half, held Mountain View to 62 on the ground in the second half. That paved way for Union’s come-from-behind victory.

“We made some adjustments,” Union coach Rory Rosenbach said. “It’s about being disciplined. It’s about doing your job and trusting the other 10 to do their jobs.”

Rosenbach credited Mountain View for keeping the Titans off balance for the first half.

“At halftime, we figured things out,” Rosenbach said. “We were able to slow them down and make some plays.”

Fa’aopega was one of those guys who figured it out for Union. He was in on two big tackles-for-loss in the second half.

“We were kind of shocked,” he said of Mountain View’s big first half. “We knew we had to get our heads in the game.”

Mountain View went three-and-out in the first possession of the second half, leading to Siofele’s 1-yard touchdown run to give Union a 20-14 lead. The score was set up by on a 35-yard pass from Lincoln Victor to former Mountain View standout Darien Chase.

Mountain View quarterback Glen Perry Jr. (3) rushes for some of his game-high 176 yards in Friday’s rivalry game with Union at McKenzie Stadium. Photo by Mike Schultz
Mountain View quarterback Glen Perry Jr. (3) rushes for some of his game-high 176 yards in Friday’s rivalry game with Union at McKenzie Stadium. Photo by Mike Schultz

Jordan Torres would get an interception early in the fourth quarter, putting Union in position to score again. Victor found Aiden Nellor on a 16-yard touchdown pass for a 26-14 advantage.  

Mountain View responded with a 10-play touchdown drive. Quarterback Glen Perry Jr., who finished with a game-high 176 yards on the ground, scored his third touchdown on an 8-yard scramble with 4:05 left in the game.

The Thunder never got the ball back, though.

Union, behind Siofele, picked up two first downs. Then Victor found Chase, who made a diving, one-handed grab on a third-down play to get the final first down of the night.

It was victory formation from there for Union.

Union running back Jojo Siofele (26) rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans’ win over Mountain View Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union running back Jojo Siofele (26) rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans’ win over Mountain View Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

The Thunder were looking like more than just a team thankful to compete on the same field with such a talented team as Union, as Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said earlier in the week.

Union scored first in this game on a Siofele 5-yard touchdown run, but the Thunder fought right back to take a 7-6 lead on Perry’s 1-yard touchdown run.

Jack Mertens got an interception to lead to another Mountain View touchdown. This time Perry went 45 yards and just stayed in bounds before diving into the end zone for a 14-6 lead.

Union pulled within one, at 14-13, on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Victor to Braedon Ensley. But it was so much more than just that. Victor looked like he would be the victim of a certain sack. Instead, he scrambled away, then found Ensley downfield. Ensley caught it, then made quite the move at the 8-yard line before slipping into the end zone.

“We’re not satisfied with it,” Victor said. “We still have a lot more to do. This was a learning experience. We can’t just show up and think we’ll roll them. We have to prepare Monday through Thursday and come out and play four full quarters of football.”


UNION 26, MOUNTAIN VIEW 21

Union 6 7 7 6 — 26

Mtn View 7 7 0 7 — 21

First quarter

U — Jojo Siofele 5 run (Snap goes awry, pass failed)

MV — Glen Perry Jr 1 run (Aiden Hargrove kick)

Second quarter

MV — Perry 45 run (Hargrove kick)

U — Braedon Ensley 36 pass from Lincoln Victor (Alex Koga kick)

Third quarter

U — Siofele 1 run (Koga kick)

Fourth quarter

U — Aiden Nellor 16 pass from Victor (run failed)

MV — Perry 8 run (Hargrove kick)

Individual statistics

RUSHING: Union: Ensley 1-18, Alishwuan Taylor 1-7, Siofele 16-115, Victor 6-39, Elijah Jones 5-6. Mountain View: Perry 24-176, Jack Mertens 5-33, Michael Urruchua 5-20, Nile Jones 8-33.

PASSING: Union: Victor 14-21-1-196. Mountain View: Perry 4-9-2-31.

RECEIVING: Union: Darien Chase 5-79, Taylor 1-17, Ensley 5-59, Nellor 3-41. Mountain View: Jones 1-3, Michael Bolds 1- (minus 2), Rodolfo Montiel 1-16, Mertens 1-14.


This week’s scores

Team Score Team Score
Eastside Catholic 49 Skyview  21
Union  26 Mountain View 21
Camas  34 Sherwood (Ore.) 12
Tualatin (Ore.) 53 Battle Ground 0
Heritage  34 Evergreen  7
Hockinson  42 Prairie  6
Hudson’s Bay 34 Rochester  7
The Dalles (Ore.) 34 Fort Vancouver 0
Washougal  41 Castle Rock  14
W.F. West 33 Ridgefield  13
Woodland  35 La Center 28
Tumwater  56 Columbia River 18
Forks  54 King’s Way Christian 21
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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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