The Mountain View football team answered the question of whether it could be competitive with a WCAL team in the affirmative Saturday, going toe to toe with Archbishop Mitty in a 35-34 loss.
What would have made it so much better, of course, would have been to come out with a win. But coming so close and being within range to pull an upset over a WCAL team represents a big step forward for the program.
"I'm encouraged,'' Mountain View coach Shelley Smith said. "It was a great learning experience for us. It will pay dividends down the road.''
Mountain View (1-1) trailed 21-14 at halftime before scoring two third-quarter touchdowns — a 14-yard pass from Jackson Steffens to Joe Brown and a 5-yard run by Min Kant — to take a 28-21 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
After Mitty (1-1) tied it 28-28 on a 31-yard pass from Wills Towers to Danny Scudero, the Spartans proceeded to embark on a time-consuming 13-play, 69-yard drive that concluded on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Steffens to Leo Navarro. On that play they lined up in a full-house T-formation but faked the run with Steffens rolling out to the left and hitting Navarro.
But the PAT was no good. Still Mountain View had a 34-28 lead, playing on the road at the home of a WCAL member, with 2:50 left in the game.
But the Monarchs, running the spread, had already reeled off a series of quick-strike big plays throughout the game. And they did it one more time. On fourth and 1, Towers connected with Scudero on the right flank, just out of the reach of a Mountain View defender. Scudero broke a tackle at midfield and went 60 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good to put Mitty on top, 35-34, with 1:42 to go.
And that's the way it ended as Mountain View, starting on its own 9-yard line, was unable to drive length of the field.
The teams scored five touchdowns apiece but did so in a contrasting manner. Mitty's touchdowns were on plays of 73, 60, 43, 31 and 9 yards. Mountain View dominated time of possession, moving the chains with scoring drives of 15, 13 and 10 plays.
Total yards were as close as the final score. Mountain View ran 70 plays from scrimmage for 360 yards. Mitty's 358 yards came on only 32 plays from scrimmage
With Mitty keying on Navarro after his 221-yard outing against The King's Academy, Kant led Mountain View with 105 yards rushing on 18 carries. Steffens completed 11 of 18 passes for 148 yards and added 45 yards rushing.