In case its No. 1 ranking in Class 5A and undefeated record were not convincing enough, Mountain View made a statement — an exclamation, even — Friday night.
With touchdowns on seven of their eight first-half possessions, the Cougars sprinted to a 48-point halftime lead before sealing a 62-6 5A Special District 1 football win over Ridgeview at Jack Harris Stadium.
“This week, we put an emphasis on getting back to basics,” explained Mountain View coach Brian Crum, noting that his team did not believe it had played to its potential in last week’s 21-6 win at Pendleton. “We’re really focused on, ‘Can we improve our work habits, can we improve our study habits, and can we improve our effort level on the field?’ Tonight, I thought our kids did a nice job. But we’ll go back and find things to improve on. Because we’ve got to keep doing that and keep our nose to the grindstone.”
In reaching their highest point total since 2013, the Cougars (5-0 SD1, 7-0 overall) ran around and through the visiting Ravens.
Jonas Larson, the 5A state rushing leader, racked up 113 yards and two touchdowns rushing (all in the first half), and Jordan Bell rushed for four scores (three in the second quarter alone).
“All of the credit goes to our linemen,” Bell said. “They really worked their butts off tonight and all week long to prepare for this game. We came out ready and prepared to play.”
Mountain View led just 13-0 after the first quarter, on 20- and 4-yard touchdown runs by Bell and Larson, respectively. But the Cougars swelled their lead to 48-0 by the half, sparked by three scores within the first four minutes of the second quarter.
The Ravens (0-5, 0-7) struck on their first possession of the third quarter as quarterback Payton Davis connected with wide receiver Clayton Brown for a 26-yard touchdown. But Ridgeview, which has now lost 13 straight games dating to last season, could not contain Mountain View, which scored twice in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“We felt like, in recent weeks, we had been getting better,” said Ravens coach Andy Codding, whose team scored a season-high 26 points last week against Hermiston. “It didn’t show tonight. We didn’t feel like we came and put our best foot forward.”
While Mountain View’s offense continued to light up the scoreboard, recording the most points by a Ridgeview opponent in the Ravens’ six-year history, its defense — one of the best in 5A — clamped down on Ridgeview, allowing just 91 yards of offense and only 18 yards rushing.
“They’re intense, and they’re suffocating,” Crum said of the Cougars’ defense, which entered the game having allowed the fewest points in 5A this season. “They’re coached well, but they’re coachable. They go full speed, and that it’s tough for teams to handle. It’s good to continue to see them put that blanket on teams.”
Davis finished with 73 yards and a touchdown on 5-of-18 passing for Ridgeview, which hosts Summit next Friday. Brown had 49 receiving yards and a score on two catches, and running back Conner Benz, usually a force for Ridgeview, rushed for just 25 yards and had one catch for 19 yards.
“We need to continue running the ball hard,” Codding said. “We’ve got to take better care of the football. When balls come to a receiver, we need to make sure we bring them in. We’ve got to limit those mistakes and continue to just play fundamental football and play hard and believe in ourselves.”
For Mountain View, which now holds sole possession of first place in the league standings after Bend’s 35-32 loss at Hermiston on Friday, quarterback Caden Cromwell was 4-of-7 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Luke Schulz totaled 63 yards receiving and a score on two catches.
“As long as we stick to what we do best and do our jobs right, this is what we plan on doing for the rest of the season, hopefully,” said Bell, whose team visits Hood River Valley next Friday. “We’re pretty confident with what we’re doing. We’re a good team, and I think we’ll do well. We’ll just have to play it by ear and play the game and see what we can do, week by week.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, email@example.com