Three different running backs featured in Mountain View's first three football games, each going over the century mark, suggests the Spartans are a magnet for good runners.
Sophomore Dillon Daniels took center stage in Mountain View's 42-7 victory over district rival Los Altos Friday night and all he did was gain 140 yards and score four touchdowns.
"I was excited to show what I could do," Daniels said of his starting opportunity. "My line was a big part of it."
Last week it was senior fullback Min Kant who gained over 100 yards. The first week Leo Navarro went over 200 yards. Kant was a valuable complement to Daniels against the Eagles, gaining 51 yards and proving an extra blocker.
Navarro missed Friday's game due to an injury, though he didn't look so hurt jumping around on the sidelines.
"Dillon did a nice job for us," Mountain View coach Shelley Smith said. "We were missing three or four starers and we're getting a couple guys back. Losing Leo was tough on us. He can't be replaced. We have guys who can come in and do certain things though."
Smith hopes his team can get healthy in time for Friday's 7 p.m. home game against Sacred Heart Prep, which had a bye this week.
"I think we have a good team," Daniels said. "We have a chance of making it to CCS and maybe to get a trophy."
Mountain View already knows about receiving trophies. The "Pride" Trophy, which represents the rivalry between Los Altos and Mountain View, made its way from the Eagles' side of the field to the Spartans' side after the game in a semi-formal ceremony.
Los Altos, led by Zach Fagin's 84 rushing yards (81 on the Eagles lone touchdown), ran into some bad luck on its first possession and never quite got things going.
A pass was juggled by the receiver and fell into the hands of Kaleb Ecklund, who advanced it to the Los Altos 30 on the game's third play. An incomplete pass and three Daniels rushes later, Mountain View took the lead and never looked back.
On its next possession, Mountain View went on a 12-play, 61-yard drive that spanned the first and second quarters, accumulating 86 offensive yards thanks to penalties and one tackle for a loss. Quarterback Jackson Steffen scrambled for nine yards and a first down and Kant went 21 yards on a play that led to Daniels going the final eight yards.
A 29-yard punt return gave the Spartans good field position late in the first half, which resulted in a nine-yard scoring toss from Steffen to senior Joe Brown, making it 21-0 at halftime.
Los Altos actually outgained Mountain View in the second half, 121-112, but the Spartans took advantage of turnovers to score its final two touchdowns. Mason Tynefield recovered a fumble on the Eagles 10-yard line and Mountain View also recovered a fumble on the Los Altos 39-yard line.
Daniels was right about his offensive line. With senior center David Lopez anchoring the unit, Mountain View controlled the line of scrimmage.
"This is his first year playing center," Smith said. "We needed one and he stepped up."
Lopez, as a defensive tackle, also helped set the tone with a sack and a pair of tackles for a loss in the first quarter. Chris Barmore also hurried Los Altos sophomore quarterback Jimmy Flynn, who finished with 67 passing yards.
Los Altos travels to Santa Clara for a nonleague game with the Bruins at 7 p.m. Friday.