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Mountain Lions keep playoff hopes alive

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Don Boorse/Special to the Explorer

Matthew Thomas sets up a key block for Richie Estrada during Friday nights game against Tucson High. The Moutain Lions defeated the Badgers 33-7.

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The Mountain View Mountain Lions put a stop to a would-be eight-game win streak by Tucson High on Friday night when they dominated the visiting Badgers 33-7.

It was a critical win for the Mountain Lions as the regular season draws to a close and the playoff picture begins to emerge. The win marked the team’s third in a row, improving their record from 3-3 three weeks ago to 6-3 currently after they collected consecutive wins over Vista Grande and Ironwood Ridge before breaking down the Badgers’ defense last week.

“We knew if we didn’t win this game, we wouldn’t make it to the playoffs,” said Mountain View running back Richie Estrada. “We knew what we had to do.”

And, Estrada did a lot of it, rushing for 279 yards and three touchdowns by game’s end.

Early on, though, it looked like Tucson High was setting the tone.

After a 30-yard pass completion from Tucson High’s Donovan Moore to Bryce Coleman led the Badgers to the Mountain View 20-yard line.

But the Mountain Lions’ defense held strong, forcing a turnover on downs, and that, in turn, let Estrada do what he does best on offense.

The senior starter moved the ball upfield 38 yards on seven carries, and finished the drive with a 14-yard touchdown to put his team up 7-0.

The Mountain Lions then made it 10-0 after knocking in a 42-yard field goal.

Coleman answered shortly after for Tucson High, his long kick return putting the Badgers in striking distance. That drive was nearly botched when the Badgers fumbled, but lineman Thomas Gray jumped on it for the touchdown.

Mountain View closed out the half with another field goal to make it 13-7, and continued to pour it on late in the third quarter when Estrada put up 12 more points on two rushing touchdowns that combined for 92 total yards.

That gave the Mountain Lions a 19-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. That lead was never threatened as the Mountain View defense continued to suffocate the Badgers, preventing them from finding the end zone.

The Mountain Lions capped off the game with an Andre Duncan touchdown reception.

“We knew what type of football team we were, and we’ve played a tough schedule coming into tonight,” said Mountain View head coach Clarence McRae. “We knew we’d been beaten and battered and our record definitely shows that. We’re a strong team, but at the same time we dropped some earlier in the season against some tough opponents.”

The Mountain Lions will play away at Rincon on Friday at 7 p.m., while Tucson High will play their last regular season game against an unbeaten Salpointe Catholic High School team.

3 images

Don Boorse/Special to the Explorer

Matthew Thomas sets up a key block for Richie Estrada during Friday nights game against Tucson High. The Moutain Lions defeated the Badgers 33-7.

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