Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High defensive back Austin Johnson returns a fumble for a touchdown Friday against visiting Palo Alto.
There was no comeback this time. The Mountain View High football team, which rallied from a 21-point deficit a week earlier, couldn’t pull off a similar feat Friday against Palo Alto.
The visiting Vikings scored four touchdowns in the first quarter on the way to a 56-28 victory, spoiling the Spartans’ home finale.
Mountain View fell to 1-5 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division and 3-6 overall. The Spartans are tied with Homestead – a team they beat in dramatic fashion the prior week – for last place.
Summing up the loss, Mountain View coach Toure Carter said it was indicative of a team still learning how to win.
“I think our kids just went out there and fought as much as they could,” Carter said of his squad, down 42-8 at halftime. “Palo Alto is a team full of good athletes and they have a great tradition over there. That’s something we’re trying to build over here.”
The first-place Vikings (5-1 league, 7-2 overall) needed only 12 plays to score those four touchdowns to open the game.
Vikings running back Justin Gates-Mouton took a handoff on the game’s first offensive play and sprinted 90 yards into the end zone. Less than three minutes later, Paly made it 14-0 on a three-play, 43-yard drive capped by a 25-yard touchdown run from Gates-Mouton.
The Vikings tacked on two more touchdowns in the first quarter – one with 3:08 left on a 2-yard run from Matt Tolbert and the other when quarterback Keller Chryst connected with Keesean Thompson on a 40-yard pass with 1:09 to go. Tolbert later added a 75-yard touchdown run with 1:56 left in the first half, extending Palo Alto’s lead to 35-0.
Paly added two special teams touchdowns in the second half on with kickoff returns of 88 yards and 97 yards from Jayshawn Gates-Mouton and Malcolm Davis, respectively.
Meanwhile, Mountain View’s offense sputtered on its first six series of the game, moving no farther than Palo Alto’s 48 in the first half. Mountain View’s first-half touchdown came on defense – cornerback Austin Johnson picked up a Gates-Mouton fumble and scampered 60 yards to pay dirt with 41 seconds left.
“It’s one of those things that when you’re trying to build a program, you’re trying to change their mindset,” Carter said of the Spartans’ struggles. “A lot of the kids wait and see how good this team really is before they decide to play.”
The Spartans picked up the pace in the second half, putting together an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive on their second possession of the third quarter. It culminated with Will Fischer-Colbrie’s 17-yard touchdown pass to halfback Marcus Jones, cutting Paly’s lead to 42-14.
Fischer-Colbrie finished 11 of 25 for 183 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Jones ran for 58 yards on 14 carries and caught two passes for 34 yards.
The Spartans added two more scores in the fourth quarter when the officials went to a running clock. Fischer-Colbrie hit wide receiver Anthony Avery in stride for a 44-yard touchdown and Joe Flores capped a five-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.