Mountain View High entered Friday’s contest at Los Altos with two games and a scrimmage under its belt, while the Eagles had only played 18 minutes of football due to circumstances beyond their control. It showed.
The more polished Spartans subdued the inexperienced Eagles 42-7 in front of a lively, near-capacity crowd reminiscent of the one at Mountain View two years ago – the last time these rivals met. The Spartans, who handily won that game as well, retained the district’s Pride Bowl trophy with Friday’s non-league victory.
Mountain View played without lead running back Leo Navarro (contusion), but that didn’t stop the squad from surpassing 30 points for the third straight week.
“We miss him,” Spartans coach Shelley Smith said of the senior, “but our young guys came through. Dillon Daniels, our sophomore, came up and had a good game for us.”
Daniels scored four touchdowns – two in each half – and surpassed 150 yards rushing.
Los Altos gained just under 150 yards of total offense in its first complete game of what’s been an unusual season. The Eagles’ opener at Independence was called midway through the second quarter due to poor air quality (Los Altos led at the time and won by forfeit), and their next game was postponed until October because foe San Lorenzo Valley was in COVID protocol.
“I was telling the guys that all the stuff that we did tonight is kind of an indication of where we are in terms of the first game versus a team playing their third game, plus a scrimmage,” said Eagles coach Dave DeGeromino, whose squad had its preseason scrimmage canceled. “And they’re a very good team at that.”
Mountain View, which routed King’s Academy 31-0 to kick off the season, played toe-to-toe with Mitty before falling 35-34 a week later. Smith said the road loss remained on the Spartans’ minds Friday, motivating them even more to beat their rival.
“It did,” he said. “Unfortunately, we missed some great opportunities against (Mitty), and that’s something we’ve got to live with. We did a great job on offense controlling the ball; it’s just that we gave up too many big plays.”
The Spartans allowed just one big play Friday – an 80-yard touchdown run by Zach Fagin, who took a delayed handoff and raced down the right sideline. The extra point cut Mountain View’s lead to 21-7 with 7:36 remaining in the third quarter.
“I thought he was going to get tackled around the 50 or the 40, but after he broke a tackle, I knew he was gone,” DeGeronimo said. “He’s got speed and is tough to bring down, too.”
Mountain View answered with a touchdown of its own after taking possession near midfield by recovering an onside kick. Quarterback Jackson Steffen capped the six-play drive with a 2-yard keeper across the goal line.
The Spartans added to their lead before the quarter ended, thanks to even better field position. The Eagles lost a fumble attempting a double reverse, and Mountain View recovered at their 10. Three plays later, Daniels ran up the middle for a 2-yard score. The extra point extended the lead to 35-7 with 1:34 left in the third.
Daniels scored another 2-yard TD in the fourth. His first two scores came on longer runs – a 16-yarder on the Spartans’ initial drive (set up by Kaleb Ecklund’s interception) and a 9-yarder midway through the second quarter.
Later that quarter, Steffens threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Joe Brown, and Mountain View led 21-0 at halftime.
Los Altos is slated to visit Santa Clara 7 p.m. Friday, while Mountain View hosts Sacred Heart Prep at the same time.
View additional images from the game on the Town Crier's Facebook page.