Mountainside remains undefeated with 49-28 win over Newberg
At 4-0 and with wins over some of the state's best programs, we know Mountainside is good. But while the jury may still be out on just how good the Mavericks are or can be, head coach John Mannion is enjoying the ride with a group of kids that are doing it the right way.
"These guys compete and battle, which is what we always try to do," Mannion said. "We know there are some tough games ahead, but I'm just super proud of these guys at this point. They practice well and try their best, and that's all you can ask."
Mountainside used a balanced attack and some timely turnovers to turn what was a relatively close game early on, into a runaway 49-28 win Thursday night, Sept. 22, at Mountainside High School.
Mavericks quarterback Alex Ingalls finished the game completing 9-for-12 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, but was overshadowed by a Mountainside offense that saw seven different players score touchdowns.
After taking a 7-0 lead on a Jared Lang 3-yard run, Newberg countered with a score of their own when running back Isaac Heveron capped a 16 play, 84-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring run to tie things 7-7.
On the ensuing kick off the Tigers attempted and recovered an onside kick and with a short field in front of them appeared poised to take back the momentum built by the home team on their opening drive. But Newberg went three-and-out and was forced to punt, and watched all the momentum swing Mountainside's way when on the Mavericks' first play from scrimmage sophomore receiver Brayden Boe caught a post route and went 79 yards untouched to pay dirt.
While a big play for the home team, the visiting Tigers looked back on the moment as one that undoubtedly swung the game in favor of the Mavs.
"Early on we marched the ball down like they did, but they had a couple more big plays," Newberg head coach Jeremy Johnson said. "We got that onside kick, came out and thought we had a good series of things to execute, but we didn't execute, they got the ball back and hit that home run right away. That doesn't feel good and that's the part of the game we've got to handle."
Worse yet, the Tigers fumbled on the game's ensuing kickoff, and Mountainside wasted little time building a 21-7 lead when on the second play from scrimmage Ingalls plunged in from 2 yards out.
Newberg again closed to within a touchdown when Gannon Williams scored from the 1-yard line with 2:59 left on the clock before half. But from there it was all Mavericks who capped 21 straight points with a Quinn O'Connor 6-yard TD run that put Mountainside ahead 42-14.
Johnson wasn't upset with his team in the wake of the loss, but lamented the missed opportunities and mistakes that ultimately led to their demise. He didn't point to any specific play or moment, but more so a handful of plays that can and often do decide games.
"I believe firmly that there's multiple plays throughout the game that decide things," the Newberg coach said. "We talked to our kids about it, but we also tell our kids that the best play is the next play, and that you just need to keep showing up."
Despite the 21-point win, Mannion said the game was anything but easy. He spoke to Newberg's physical style of play, along with their offensive scheme as problematic for any team facing the Tigers, but was mostly pleased with how his team prepared and handled both between the lines.
"They did some good things certainly, but as a whole we found a way," the Mountainside coach said. "It was choppy at times and we didn't always execute, but the effort was there and I'm mostly pleased."
Newberg's Johnson didn't leave entirely disappointed either. His Tigers are 3-1 and headed for Pacific Conference play with what he feels is the confidence necessary to compete for a league title. It will by no means be easy, but they are prepared—or at least he believes they are.
"One of our biggest goals as a coaching staff and a team is to get better each week and to develop our talent with all of our depth, so as we endure the entire season we're ready to go," Johnson said. "I think we accomplished that."
And Mountainside? They're still undefeated, but they know the road only gets tougher from here.
"We're getting better and that has to happen," Mannion said. "We are who we are and we just have to keep scrapping, hustling and doing things right. That's the key."
In all, Mountainside got scores from O'Connor, Ingalls, Boe, Lang, Ian Salbeda, Samuel Pimentel, and Sam Vyhlidal.
Newberg's scores came from Heveron twice, Williams, and Kai Clark.
Heveron finished with 131 yards on 19 carries.
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