Mountain View prepares for league title game
Mountain View Thunder (6-1, 3-0 3A GSHL)
Week 7: Mountain View 55, Evergreen 14
Next: at Kelso, 7 p.m. Friday
Going into final two weeks …: The Thunder are going to the playoffs. The only thing that needs to be determined is what seed from the 3A Greater St. Helens League. We will all find out Friday. Mountain View travels to Kelso for the league title. Winner will be the top seed. It is the game of the week for Southwest Washington as Kelso is undefeated and Mountain View’s lone loss came against the top-ranked Class 4A team in the state. … The Thunder will conclude the regular season with a Week 9 against winless Fort Vancouver.
Oh that offense: In my story from last week’s game against Evergreen, I focused more on the Mountain View defense. It has been one of, if not the most, dominant defenses in school history.
Today, let’s get back to the offense. The Thunder scored 14 points in Week 1, against a quality defense and the top-ranked 4A team in the state.
Since then, Mountain View has put up 54, 54, 49, 62, 61, and 55 points. Yes, a six-week stretch when 49 was the low number.
Leading that attack is quarterback Garrett Moen.
OK, OK, I said leading because he is the quarterback and that is kind of how football works … the quarterback leading the offense. Moen, though, is not so sure.
“Our linemen are doing a great job for us,” Moen said. “They’re doing all the work in the trenches, allowing me to get the ball to (Jack) Mertens and throw to all my receivers,” Moen said.
Moen rushed for 93 yards on seven carries with a touchdown, plus he threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns in Week 7’s win. Mertens, the running back, had 150 yards rushing on just nine carries, with three touchdowns.
All those numbers, Moen said, could just as easily be credited to the Mountain View linemen.
Prairie ends skid, looks for playoff push
Prairie Falcons (3-4, 1-2 3A GSHL)
Week 7: Prairie 23, Hudson’s Bay 21
Next: vs. Fort Vancouver, 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium
Going into final two weeks …: After a wild victory over Hudson’s Bay last week, Prairie expects to get to the .500 mark in league play with a game against Fort Vancouver. That will set up a Week 9 showdown with Evergreen that will have playoff implications. That final game could be third place outright or set up a possible three-way tie for third place. Bottom line for the Falcons: Take care of business against Fort and Week 9 will definitely have meaning.
Coach talk: “Last week was another great high school football game,” Prairie coach Mike Peck said after his Falcons ended a four-game losing streak.
“We had a rough stretch there, but our kids kept believing, staying positive and working hard,” Peck said. “It was a huge testament to the culture that is being put in place.”
(Nolan Mickenham caught a fourth-quarter TD pass from Zackery Brown for the game-winner.)
Peck said the team is approaching the next two weeks the same as it has all season.
“Have great practices and continue to get better individually and as a team,” he said.
The two main goals coming into the season were to finish the regular season with a winning record and make the playoffs.
“Those are very much still alive,” Peck said.
Hudson’s Bay Eagles (2-5, 1-2 3A GSHL)
Week 7: Prairie 23, Hudson’s Bay 21
Next: vs. Evergreen, 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium
Going into final two weeks of regular season: Very much still in the playoff hunt but have to win the Evergreen game and then might need help in Week 9. “The focus is the same, take care of the opponent this week before we think about the next or any playoff chances,” Hudson’s Bay coach Ray Lions said.
The Bay Way is more than wins and losses: For some teams, when the losses start to pile up, the intensity at practices starts to diminish. Not this team.
“We are extremely proud of our group for showing up each week and improving the little things. That includes focus on practice, leadership, accountability, and competitiveness,” Lions said.
The Eagles are coming off back-to-back winning seasons yet have stumbled this year. This group, though, continues to work.
“They are setting the standard of bringing our best for each repetition, practice, day, or week,” Lions said.
Sure, there are times when one could look at the record and suggest it should be flip-flopped. A few plays here and there, and the Eagles could be 5-2 instead of 2-5. But they are not consumed by that.
“This senior group is setting the standard for years ahead that a win or loss record should not affect our effort or preparation,” Lions said.
He is proud to coach this team for doing things the right way even if the positive results have not yet materialized much on the scoreboard.
Evergreen will have a say in playoff race, too
Evergreen Plainsmen (3-4, 1-2 3A GSHL)
Week 7: Mountain View 55, Evergreen 14
Next: vs. Hudson’s Bay, 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium
Going into the final two weeks …: Well, this is simple for the Plainsmen. Win both games, go to the playoffs. OK, accomplishing that might not be simple, but they don’t have to worry about another team, a result from another game in the league, to determine their playoff fate. Win and in. There is also a possibility of making it to the playoffs by going 1-1, but that would likely mean a tiebreaker. Evergreen’s 5/3 goal at the beginning of the season remains in play. Five regular seasons wins, top three finish in league.
Good moments: OK, Evergreen was never really in the game last week against Mountain View. But it was Mountain View. Only the top-ranked 4A team in the state has a win against the Thunder. No one else has come close. Still, the Plainsmen have something to build on as they head into the stretch run.
There was a long pass from Ryan Blaize to Zyell Griffen and then a pass to Jaylen Fite to set up Evergreen’s first touchdown, a 4-yard run from Eli Vaa-leiataua. That made it 21-7 in the first half.
The Plainsmen ended up with 298 yards of offense against a defense that had held opponents to 156 yards per game through the first six weeks.
On defense, Kenny Munoz had a really smart play, staying disciplined, staying home on a misdirection play to crush one Mountain View play. Later, David Grant got a sack. And Trent Hemann got an interception.
The score said otherwise, but the Plainsmen had strong moments against the Thunder.
Fort scores three TDs in loss to undefeated Kelso
Fort Vancouver (0-7, 0-3 3A GSHL)
Week 7: Kelso 49, Fort Vancouver 8
Next: vs. Prairie, 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium
Going into the final weeks …: If there were such a thing as admiration award for high school football players, we’d all vote for those who play for Fort Vancouver. Here is a salute to the Trappers, who go to practice every day, who are committed to improving, and who are tryint to set the standard for the future. Hard work will pay off eventually. It might not pay off in a win, but the honor is work matters. The Trappers expect to continue to work in these final two weeks, try to improve, even if victory seems improbable.
Paid off in Week 7: That hard work did pay off in a way in Week 7. No, the Trappers were not going to beat undefeated Kelso. But the Trappers did score a season-high three touchdowns – all on passes from Austin Real-James to Anthony Wilhite. That makes for one memorable night for those two and all the Trappers.