Mountain View makes it three in a row against Cienega; Richie Estrada rushes for 175 yardsby Andy Morales on Sep. 07, 2013, under Sports
Mountain View was thinking playoffs in the fall of 2011. They were 3-0 with a win against Canyon del Oro under their belt but a blowout loss at Salpointe was followed by a 31-3 thrashing by Cienega at home. By the time that season was over, the Mountain Lions were limping to a 4-6 finish. Another lost year.
It seems every year since the fall of 1993 is a lost year. Wayne Jones started the football program at Mountain View in 1987 and he led them to an undefeated season (14-0) and a state title six years later.
Kevin Schmidtke was his star running back and he ended his high school run with a “big school” state-record 524 points scored in his career. It was a record that only the great Ka’Deem Carey has been able to match but not beat.
Jones retired in 2006 and the school went through a couple of coaching changes until former Pueblo and University of Arizona tight end Clarence “Bam” McRae was hired in the spring of 2012.
McRae had spent eight years as an assistant football and conditioning coach at Arizona before moving over to the Marana school. His 2012 campaign began the same way the 2011 season started. The Mountain Lions were once again 3-0, including a victory over CDO.
And, once again, Salpointe put a hurt on them to end their win streak. But, this time, McRae was able to pullout a 21-19 win at Cienega. Mountain View went on and beat Cienega again in the first round of the state playoffs before falling to Salpointe again.
With an 8-4 finish, expectations began to rise for this fall.
A 51-28 win over district rival Marana in the first week was followed by home game against Cienega Friday night. Even though Mountain View had won two in a row over Cienega, some still considered the wins “upsets” and gave them no chance to take the hat trick.
Richie Estrada scampered 84 yards to put Mountain View up 21-0 over Cienega with about a minute left in the game and there was no doubt. This was not an upset.
The Mountain View defense had held Cienega to -2 yards rushing in the first half. Only Adriell Alvarado’s throwing arm kept Cienega in game at the half.
After Cienega forced Mountain View to punt after their opening drive, Alvarado marched Cienega down the field with quick passes until the play calling changed and the Bobcats moved to the run. A first down at the 34-yard line stalled after Cienega went to the run to set up a long third down at the 33.
A 7-yard pass from Alvarado to Christian Poe kept the drive alive to set up a 4-2 situation but a run on fourth down only netted one yard and Mountain View was left off the hook and took over on downs.
Mountain View quarterback Cody Rochon ripped off a 25-yard run to keep his next drive alive but they gave the ball back on downs later in the drive. Mountain View linebacker Corbin Gouby is on everybody’s radar. With Northern Arizona cornerbacks coach Charles Huff on the sidelines, Gouby intercepted Alvarado to get the ball back.
Gouby’s interception was a game-changer. The game went into the second quarter and Estrada put Mountain View up 7-0 after he ran through the Bobcat defense for 18 yards. The rest of the second quarter featured four more punts.
Estrada was held to only 42 yards in the first half. In any other circumstance, that would be a moral victory for Cienega’s defense but Estrada finished the game with 175 yards on 24 carries.
Rochon hit Andre Duncan on a 27-yard strike to put Mountain View up 14-0 entering the fourth quarter. Garrett Darmer intercepted another Cienega pass with two minutes left in the game to set up Estrada’s 84 yard clincher a few seconds later.
Alvarado gained 144 yards through the air but he was held to -23 yards rushing. They call Mountain View’s field the “Black Hole” for a reason. With Gouby and company patrolling the middle of the field, there will be very little room to run.
Cienega is now 0-2 with a tough game against Catalina Foothills (2-0) scheduled next week at home and it just gets harder from there. Mountain View (2-0) will host Gilbert Mesquite (1-1).
Besides Charles Huff, NAU brought running back coach Jimmy Beal to help evaluate Richie Estrada. Estrada now has an unofficial 435 yards on 56 carries (7.77) through two games. He also has seven touchdowns.
The Pima College coaching staff had a huge presence at the game including head coach Patrick Nugent.
There was a 15-minute delay near the beginning of the game due to darkness. The lights went out after Mountain View’s first drive.
Former University of Arizona women’s basketball coach Joan Bonvicini was taking in the game on the Mountain View sidelines. Visiting friends and family before her season at Seattle University started, Bonvicini was a very vocal and educated supporter of the Mountain Lions.
You may have (incorrectly) read on a Sunday morning print column that the “Tucson-area” had five artificial turfs after counting Mountain View and Marana’s new playing surfaces. Salpointe, Cienega and Tucson High also have artificial grass but so does Sahuarita. As far as high schools go, that’s six.
The Marana Governing Board was recognized for the success of the bond election that provided the new playing surface at Mountain View.