Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View High football team went from making history to causing hysteria Friday night.
The Spartans – playing their first night game on campus – overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to beat Homestead 50-41, prompting scores of students to storm the field in celebration.
No one received more hugs, high-fives and handshakes than running back Marcus Jones, who shined brightest under the temporary lights. The senior scored 42 points – rushing for a career-high six touchdowns and converting three two-point tries. Jones accounted for 325 of the Spartans’ 484 yards. He ran the ball 29 times for 294 yards – with his longest run coming on a 64-yard score in the first quarter – and caught two passes for 31 yards.
Oh, and he did most of this after suffering a knee injury early in the second quarter that left him lying on the field for a few minutes. Jones limped off, but not for long. He returned for the next series and got his groove back on the opening drive of the second half. On his first carry, Jones started left and reversed direction for a 31-yard gain. Three plays later, he darted into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown.
“The adrenaline kept me going and my teammates kept me going,” said Jones, whose team improved to 1-4 in the SCVAL De Anza Division and 3-5 overall. “They told me, ‘We need you,’ and I just came in for them when they needed me the most.”
The Mustangs (1-4, 3-5) answered Jones’ score with a quick one of their own. Halfback Derek Rositas ran through the middle for an easy 51-yard touchdown. Mountain View blocked the extra point, however, leaving Homestead’s lead at 41-20 with 9:14 remaining in the third.
That’s when the Spartans showed the kind of resolve rarely seen by a team on a four-game losing streak. Cheered on by their largest home crowd of the season, Mountain View scored four unanswered touchdowns and held Homestead to merely 94 yards of offense the rest of the way.
“Our kids willed themselves to come back and win,” coach Toure Carter said. “It was amazing. We just came alive. These guys learned to persevere tonight.”
The Mustangs opened the door midway through the third by trying a fake punt from their own 16-yard-line that resulted in an incomplete pass. The Spartans scored five plays later on a 2-yard sweep by Jones, who then snared quarterback Will Fischer-Colbrie’s two-point pass.
Homestead’s next drive didn’t end any better, as Mountain View defensive end Nafe Latu sacked Mark Hirschbeck on fourth down. Taking over at their own 46, the Spartans again scored in five plays. Jones reached the end zone, untouched, on a 36-yard burst. Fischer-Colbrie’s two-point toss to tight end Frank Kapp cut the Mustangs’ advantage to 41-36 with a minute to play in the quarter.
Mountain View then forced Homestead into a three-and-out series, getting the ball back near midfield. After receiver Austin Johnson made a tough catch over the middle for an 18-yard gain, Jones scampered 35 yards for a score that put the Spartans on top for the first time, 42-41, with 9:22 to play.
After another failed fourth-down attempt by Homestead – Hirschbeck tossed an incomplete pass while pursued by Latu and defensive tackle James Tilton – Mountain View took over at the Mustangs’ 30. The Spartans soon scored, despite three penalties, to extend their lead. Jones ran straight ahead for a 7-yard touchdown and caught a short pass from Fischer-Colbrie for two more points.
“We just never gave up,” Jones said. “We’re a good team – we know we’re a good team – and we kept fighting in the second half.”
Carter attributed the win to a combination of fighting and lighting. The coach said the chance to play a night game at home motivated his squad.
“Having these lights gives our kids an incentive and a reason to play,” he said.
In other local football action last week:
• Host St. Francis (3-2 West Catholic Athletic League, 4-4 overall) routed Riordan 48-14 Friday. Mike Lauck completed 25 of his 39 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
• Pinewood defeated host Trinity Christian 26-16 Friday. Kevin Tracy threw two touchdown passes for the Panthers (4-1 overall).
• Los Altos fell 35-14 to host Monta Vista Friday. The Eagles slipped to 0-8 overall.
For more photos from the game, click here.