Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High quarterback Will Fischer-Colbrie hands off the ball to running back Marcus Jones Friday.
After four games, the Mountain View High football team remains a mystery.
Are the Spartans as good as they looked against Los Altos two weeks ago, as bad as they appeared against Santa Clara Friday or somewhere in between?
Not even their coach knows for sure.
“For Mountain View, it’s (all about) when our kids are ready to play – it’s all up to them,” Toure Carter said in evaluating his team after Friday’s 35-13 home loss. “If they come ready to play, then they’re ready to go. If not, then that’s what we get.”
Carter conceded that the Spartans (2-2 overall) entered the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division opener “maybe a little overconfident” after routing rival Los Altos 55-8 seven days earlier.
The coach wasn’t alone in voicing his displeasure with Mountain View’s effort Friday against the unbeaten Bruins (4-0).
“We’re just not playing football right now,” said senior running back Marcus Jones, who accounted for both of the Spartans’ touchdowns. “We’ve just got to play football. We know what we can do – we’ve just got to perform on the field.”
Mountain View went nowhere on its first two drives, the initial series ending with a blocked punt that Santa Clara soon turned into a touchdown on a 19-yard pass from Daniel Chipres to Adam Garza. Chipres tossed another scoring strike on Santa Clara’s next drive, a 30-yarder to a leaping Dajon Thomas.
The Spartans didn’t pick up a first down until the second-to-last play of the first quarter when Jones broke loose for a 40-yard run. The drive stalled at the Bruins’ 29-yard-line, however, as quarterback Will Fischer-Colbrie was nearly intercepted on fourth down. Mountain View’s next possession ended at almost the same spot on another fourth-down misfire by Fischer-Colbrie.
Santa Clara, taking over at its own 27, reached the end zone four plays later. Chipres flung a 36-yard pass to TJ Towns, who outran the Mountain View defense to get open. The extra point pushed the Bruins’ advantage to 21-0 with 2:32 left in the half.
The Spartans responded just before halftime. Jones held onto a 21-yard touchdown pass from Fischer-Colbrie despite taking a vicious hit to the ribs that he later said knocked the wind out of him.
“He’s a tough kid,” Carter said of Jones, who led the team in rushing, receptions and return yards Friday. “He’s one of those kids who’s special and really wants it. Now we’ve just got to get everybody else to want it as badly as he does, and we’ll be fine.”
After a scoreless third quarter, the Spartans twice marched inside the Bruins’ 30 before turning the ball over on interceptions.
Santa Clara scored off the second miscue, thanks to Garza’s 75-yard run to the end zone that, with the extra point, bolstered the Bruins’ lead to 28-7 with 7:24 remaining. Mountain View missed several opportunities to tackle Garza, who accounted for 110 of Santa Clara’s 253 rushing yards Friday.
After another rushing touchdown by Santa Clara – an easy 6-yard scamper by Dion Perry with just under two minutes to play – Jones returned the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
“We don’t give up until that clock shows 0 on it,” Jones said. “We kept fighting and fighting, but we just came up short.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans, scheduled to visit Milpitas (1-0 league, 3-1 overall) 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board, watch film and get better,” Carter said. “We can’t cry over spilt milk.”