Friday’s football game between Los Altos and Mountain View highs was similar in many ways to last year’s meeting. Both took place in front of large and spirited crowds under the lights at Foothill College, where the team celebrating homecoming trounced its rival in week three of the season.
This time, however, the Eagles did the trouncing: 32-14.
“It’s great to flip it around and win with a team effort today,” Los Altos quarterback Lambie Lanman said. “It was very emotional for me and the whole team, especially the seniors.”
Lanman and his senior teammates had never defeated Mountain View on the varsity level – or even come close. The Spartans routed the Eagles 55-8 last year and 43-6 in 2011.
Lanman, under center for both blowouts, did his part to snap that streak Friday night. He completed 17 of his 26 passes for a total of 230 yards and two touchdowns.
“The line was fabulous today – they blocked so well,” Lanman said. “I have to credit my receivers, too. They did a great job getting free and getting open.”
Lanman capped the Eagles’ opening drive with a 47-yard touchdown toss to receiver Victor Ruiz, who outran the Spartans’ secondary on his route down the right sideline.
Los Altos’ next two possessions resulted in points as well: Matt Schroner booted a 37-yard field goal and receiver Patrick McColl snared Lanman’s 24-yard pass in the corner of the end zone.
The Spartans – who drove to the Eagles’ 13-yard line on their first drive, only to commit a delay-of-game penalty that took them out of field-goal range – scored their first points of the season late in the half. Quarterback Anthony Avery plunged over the goal line on a 1-yard keeper, set up by passes to tight end Frank Kapp (27 yards) and receiver Austin Johnson (28 yards). The extra-point attempt failed, leaving Los Altos with a 17-6 edge with 1:46 left.
After the extended halftime (due to homecoming festivities), the Eagles extended their lead with a 45-yard field goal from Schroner. Halfback Sean Lanoza rushed for 29 of his game-high 75 yards on the drive.
Mountain View’s next possession ended in disaster – a high snap to punter Esteban Rivera, who had little choice but to try a pass that fell incomplete – giving Los Altos favorable field position.
Starting on the Spartans’ 24, the Eagles needed only five plays to score. Halfback Patrick Vargas darted up the middle, untouched, for a 14-yard touchdown. A failed two-point try left the score 26-6 with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Mountain View answered midway through the fourth on a 15-yard scamper by fullback Jake Butters, who shed tacklers along the way. The Spartans faked the extra point, with Avery instead throwing to Kapp in the end zone to make it 26-14 with 7:32 left.
The Eagles punctuated the win on the final play when Avery’s second interception of the night landed in the hands of linebacker Duke Myers, who returned it 43 yards for a score as time expired.
The victory boosted Los Altos’ record to 3-0 – the team’s best start since 2007.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” said first-year coach Trevor Pruitt, who took over a team that went 0-10 last season. “We’re practicing with a purpose and come into every game expecting to win.”
Mountain View, meanwhile, slumped to 0-3 – the team’s worst start of the millennium. New coach Shelley Smith is down to 23 players due to injuries.
“They’ve all been tough,” Smith said of the losses. “But this one is something to build on – we have to start somewhere.”
Pruitt, Mountain View’s offensive coordinator last season, described the win as “bittersweet.”
“I feel for those guys over there,” he said of the Spartans. “I spent a lot of time with those kids and don’t want to see them sad. I wish the best for them.”
Los Altos is scheduled to visit Mills 2 p.m. Saturday; Mountain View has a bye.
Lancers win again
St. Francis’ shutout streak came to an end, but not its winning streak. The Lancers beat visiting Skyline 35-12 Friday night.
The Lancers – who opened the season by shutting out Oak Grove and Palma – surrendered their first points of the year with 2:59 left in the first half.
St. Francis still held a commanding 28-6 lead and added to it with a touchdown on the opening play of the second half. Alex Andrighetto, who had already scored on runs of 8 and 40 yards, returned the second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Panthers fall to Trinity
Pinewood fell behind early and never recovered in Friday’s 58-36 loss to Trinity Christian in eight-man football. The visiting Panthers trailed 16-6 after one quarter and 30-14 at halftime.
Matthew Murphy and Aidan Lucero each scored two touchdowns for Pinewood (1-1).
LAHS Homecoming: Football -Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier