Category: Mountain View Football

No. 1 Mountain View’s defense stands tall, shuts out Milwaukie

There were moments when Brian Crum flashed back to three years ago, the last time Mountain View drew the top seed in the Class 5A football state playoffs. That year, the Cougars fell in the first round to the 16th-seeded team in the 16-team bracket. There were times Friday night, against No. 16 Milwaukie, that Mountain View appeared on the cusp of repeating history.

And then the Cougars’ defense, one of the best in 5A this season in terms of points allowed, took the field — and any doubt about Mountain View being able to hang on was erased.

Cameron Houchin’s 21-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the second quarter was all the scoring the No. 1 Cougars needed against the visiting Mustangs from the Northwest Oregon Conference, as Mountain View recorded its first shutout in three years for a 3-0 win in the first round of the state playoffs. The Cougs will host No. 8 Silverton in the quarterfinals next Friday.

“That’s the most physical team we’ve played — the biggest, most physical team we’ve played,” Crum said of Milwaukie. “They presented a few problems, mainly for us offensively. We just really struggled to get any continuity in the game.”

On a frosty night at Jack Harris Stadium, the Mustangs, making their first playoff appearance since 2005, threatened to strike early in the second quarter of a scoreless game. The fourth-place team from the NWOC drove to the Mountain View 11-yard line but stalled, as the Cougars pushed Milwaukie back 3 yards. The Mustangs attempted a 31-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked, keeping Milwaukie off the scoreboard.

The Mustangs began their next possession at the Mountain View 34-yard line, but quarterback Grey Andreasen-VanOtten fumbled a handoff, and it was recovered by the Cougars, setting up the lone scoring drive of the night — which itself was dramatic.

Mountain View faced a fourth down at the Milwaukie 38-yard line. Cougars quarterback Caden Cromwell rolled to his right and lofted a pass that seemed too high for his intended target, Luke Schulz. The lanky tight end, though, made a leaping catch for 22 yards and extended the drive. And while Mountain View was kept out of the end zone, Houchin drilled the 21-yard field goal with 32.7 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Cougars (10-0) the lead.

“That was big,” Crum said of Houchin’s kick. “We played field position in the second half. We punted a few times when we probably wouldn’t. I really felt like there was no way they were going to go 80 yards on our defense. So we flipped the field a couple times, and guys stepped up on some big plays.”

Milwaukie (5-4) broke open several gashing runs in the second half, but the Mustangs could not put together a scoring drive. The few possessions that put Mountain View on its heels in its own territory stalled by the time the Mustangs reached the Cougars’ 35-yard line — such as Milwaukie’s last two drives of the game that appeared promising but ended with punts.

“When they moved the ball a little bit, that kind of takes it out of you,” said Mountain View defensive lineman Rylee Ettinger. “But when you get a stand, that gets everybody fired up.”

The Cougars took over with 3 minutes, 36 seconds remaining, and the Cougs used all of it to secure the win and advance to next Friday’s quarterfinals.

“Hopefully we wash (away) a game like this and the kids realize they have to show up and play,” Crum said. “We just made too many errors, too many mistakes. Execution wasn’t what it needs to be. The positive is our kids didn’t panic. We talked a bit at halftime about relying on each other and going back to those leadership lessons we worked on in the offseason. You saw our kids stick together and play through. And some guys stepped up.”

Junior running back Nalique Hogan was one of those guys for Mountain View. After entering the night with only eight carries for 47 yards this season, Hogan filled in for 5A rushing leader Jonas Larson, who left the game with an an apparent leg injury late in the first half and did not return. Hogan finished with 89 yards rushing on 16 carries. Cromwell also came through, completing 8 of 16 passes for a season-high 114 yards.

But it was the Mountain View defense that came through, limiting Milwaukie to 155 yards of offense, all of it rushing.

“That was a struggle,” Ettinger said. “We didn’t come out playing our best football, and they really put it on us. We got lucky on that one.”

Still, when it comes to the playoffs, Ettinger said, the only thing that matters is the win — keeping the season alive for at least one more game.

“That’s our main focus — earn another week,” the senior said. “We just have to earn another week.”

Mountain View’s backs run deep in win over Ridgeview

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,

Mountain View avoids trap game, beats Pendleton

PENDLETON — Upset-minded Pendleton scored on its first possession Friday night, but Mountain View answered with a momentum-stealing drive and went on to claim a 21-6 Class 5A Special District 1 football win.

Star junior running back Jonas Larson rushed for 230 yards on a whopping 44 carries and scored all three Mountain View touchdowns as the No. 3-ranked Cougars stayed undefeated at 4-0 in SD1 and 6-0 overall.

“We kind of saw this as a possible trap game, coming off a big win last week (35-13 at Summit) and going out on the road,” said Mountain View coach Brian Crum. “Our kids were resilient, that was good to see.”

Pendleton (2-2, 3-3) took a 6-0 lead just over two minutes into the game on a 12-yard touchdown run by Jon Swaggart.

After the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars countered — forcefully if not quickly. Mountain View drove 93 yards on a 6½-minute march capped by Larson’s 2-yard TD run. Cam Houchin’s point-after kick put the visitors ahead to stay at 7-6.

Larson tacked on another score from a yard out with just under two minutes left in the half, which ended with the Cougars up 14-6. After a scoreless third quarter, Larson iced it for Mountain View with a 15-yard touchdown run that made it 21-6 with just 4:42 left in the game.

The Cougars are at home next week to play a struggling Ridgeview team that is winless through six weeks of the season.

“With another Central Oregon opponent, you always have to be careful,” Crum cautioned with a look ahead to the Ravens. “We’re lucky … I think we have a mature team, and we’ve been able to avoid the pitfalls so far.”


Mountain View crushes Redmond to improve to 4-0 first time since 2010

Jonas Larson was on the sideline last year in Redmond. Then a sophomore, the Mountain View running back had been injured during the year, and he was left on the sideline, watching as Redmond dealt the Cougars a 28-point loss.

You better believe that game was on the mind of Larson and the Cougars heading into Friday night’s Class 5A Special District 1 football game.

And you better believe that was the driving force behind a 56-16 victory by 5A top-ranked Mountain View over Redmond at Jack Harris Stadium.

“Even having the opportunity to play, I don’t care about the score, remembering being on the sideline and watching us lose, it didn’t feel good at all,” Larson recalled. “Coming out now and winning and playing well, it was an amazing feeling for everyone. Beating a team that beat us last year, that has beat us the last couple years, it’s revenge.”

With Larson rumbling for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries, the Cougars snapped a two-game slide against the Panthers and are 4-0 for the first time since 2010.

“It’s a new year for us, and a different team,” said Mountain View coach Brian Crum. “Last year, we felt like they really hit us in the mouth, and we kind of cowered. We challenged them all week long to see who we are. And it was good to see them respond and come out and play like we can.”

Though the Cougars (2-0 SD1) turned the ball over on downs on their first possession, they quickly made up for it, scoring 21 points in the first quarter with rushing touchdowns from Larson and Jordan Bell sandwiching a 12-yard passing score from Caden Cromwell to Forrest Love. The lead ballooned to 35-0 by halftime thanks to another rushing score by Larson and a second passing touchdown by Cromwell, this time to Logan McCulligan.

While Mountain View’s offense continued to light up the scoreboard, the Cougs’ defense stymied Redmond, limiting the Panthers to a mere 47 yards of offense in the first two quarters.

“I thought our defense played really opportunistic tonight,” Crum said. “I can’t say enough about them making big stops down in (Redmond’s) end, causing turnovers. … I’m really impressed with what our defense did up front.”

The Panthers (0-2, 0-4) found the end zone on their second offensive play of the second half, on a 72-yard touchdown run by Jack Taylor. Mountain View, though, answered on its second offensive play — a 70-yard sprint by Larson. The Cougars cruised from there, finishing with their highest-scoring game of the season while dropping Redmond to its worst start to a season since 2009.

“We’ve had a heck of a first four games with teams we’ve been playing,” said Panthers coach Gene Dales. “The scoreboard has not been our friend in those games. But it’s all about us. It’s not about who we play. We just have to continue to work to get better.”

After the game, while addressing his team, Dales focused solely on the second half, when Redmond accrued 217 yards of offense. That, he said, will be key moving forward.

“It’s all about execution for us,” said Dales, whose team hosts Pendleton next Friday. “We’ve got an all-new offensive line up front, we’ve got people in the backfield who are brand new. All we want to do is get some success going on, get into the end zone, get us a chance to feel some success and build off of that. You can talk about scheme all you want, but we just have to get some confidence and get some want-to out there on the football field. We just have to play harder.”

Taylor finished with 139 yards rushing and two touchdowns while passing for 94 yards for the Panthers, and Henry Chambers had two catches for 63 yards.

For Mountain View, Bell ran for 59 yards and two touchdowns, while Cromwell passed for 62 yards and two scores. Yet it was Larson, as he has done all season, leading the charge for the Cougars.

“He’s a horse,” Crum said of his running back. “The nice thing about him is anytime he touches it, he can go 80 (yards). We haven’t had that for a couple years. It’s nice to see that somebody can take it to the house, and he’s got that vision and he has those cuts.”

Next week, Mountain View puts its No. 1 ranking — and first-place positioning in 5A Special District 1 — on the line as it travels to crosstown rival Summit, which has won the past two conference titles and was ranked No. 4 in the state before falling to Hermiston 34-14 on Friday.

“Confidence is always high,” Larson said. “It’s definitely higher after this game. We’re going to be going into Summit next week definitely feeling good.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0307,