Mountain View’s Richie Estrada led the Mountain Lions to a 21-7 victory over Canyon Del Oro l on Friday night.
The junior running back managed two touchdowns on 23 carries and 178 yards of total offense.
Estrada’s first touchdown came about halfway through the first quarter. On a handoff from quarterback Cody Rochon, Estrada pushed his way through the Dorado defense and sped downfield for a 44-yard score to put the Mountain Lions up 7-0.
About halfway through the third quarter, Rochon and Estrada again teamed up to make another push to the Dorados’ 12-yard line. Off the snap, Rochon checked his options, and found space to run the ball in and extend the lead to 14-0.
Rochon would end the game 6-10 passing for 46 yards with one touchdown carry.
Head Coach Clarence McRae acknowledged the team’s unity throughout the game, as well as the individual efforts of Rochon and Estrada.
“We have some very special kids,” he said. “Richie and Cody are very talented young men, and it’s my job to get them going in the right direction so people can see what I see on a day-to-day basis.”
But the win was not just the result of two players. The Mountain View defense managed to limit the Dorados on the ground and in the air, and the offensive line opened gaps nicely for Estrada’s running game.
“I’ve got to give it up to my offensive line,” said Estrada. “It’s not just me. It’s my team. This is my family. We do it as a whole. There are no individuals.”
With nine minutes remaining in the game, Estrada and his offensive line continued to stay in sync, and Estrada found an opening from the Dorado 21-yard line, shrugging off several tacklers to extend the Mountain View lead to 21-0.
But where the Dorados fell short on the field, they hadn’t lost their pride, and weren’t about to allow a shutout on their home turf.
Led by the offense of running back Isaac Chacon and quarterback Leo Khawam, the Dorados found some big gains to bring the ball to the Mountain View five-yard line on second down and goal, but a penalty was called against the Dorados and a subsequent quarterback sack pushed the Dorados to fourth down and 17.
Chants from the Dorado stands began ringing out. “We want one! We want one!”
In the very next play, the fans would get what they asked for.
Khawam found wide receiver Tommy Sawyer for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the corner of theend zone to send the crowd into eruption.
But with only four minutes remaining in the game, the Mountain View lead would prove insurmountable, and the game would end 21-7 in favor of the Mountain Lions. McRae said the win was a big one for the Mountain Lions’ confidence as the season progresses.
“This is huge for the guys,” he said. “A lot of these guys grew up together and played on the same teams growing up, so it makes this win a little bit sweeter, but in the end it’s just another football game. Our hard work day in and day out will always carry over into games with tough opponents like CDO.”
Estrada said the team is adjusting well under McRae, who is the third coach to take over the Mountain View football program in the last three years.
“He knows his coaching,” he said. “I have no doubt he will lead us to a winning season. We’re going to continue working hard and never settle for anything.”
The Dorados fall to 0-2 and will face Chavez at home on Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.
The Mountain Lions improve to 2-0 and face Desert View on Friday.