Game Summaries & Headlines.
(Photo by Peter Cihelka - Free Lance Star)
The Mountain View Wildcats welcomed the Forge Eagles to the “Den” on Friday night, with a spring in their step and an unbeaten record in the books, after a half dozen contests. Now, let us be fair, the win streak reached six, but the opponents were hardly your murder’s row of high school football. The Forge came in at 4-1 and clearly was the best team the Wildcats had faced.
The visitors took the opening kickoff, drove 63 yards in six snaps, and had the Wildcats back on their heels until the seventh play. That is when Eagles signal caller Madden Lowe threw a pass over the middle that was picked off by James Sullivan for a touchback. The threat died but the offense was clicking.
The Wildcats could not get anything generated with their first offensive series and went three and out, kicking it back to the Eagles. On the GREEN’s next possession the offense got the ball back at their own 30 and drove it 70 yards in nine plays, with THE K-TRAIN, Max Kauthen carrying the rock the final 3 yards for the “good guys” first tally of the night. Phillip Lovelace came on for the point after and the Forge led 7-0 with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
The Eagle defense again stretched its Talons on the Views next possession as the Wildcats went three and out again. Unfortunately, the drive stalled on the Wildcat 41 yard line and Lovelace came on to kick it back to Mountain View on the second snap of the second quarter.
The Wildcats had a first and ten at their own 24, but they were not there for long. In fact, they were not there but one snap as senior quarterback Edward Ware called his own number and found a seam that ended 76 yards downfield with him reaching the end zone for the Mountain View score. Alex Solorzano tacked on the point after and we were all tied at 7-7 with 10:52 left until the break.
The Eagles responded quickly on the next possession when they mixed the run and the pass and drove 56 yards in twelve plays, and it was Kauthen again from 2 yards away. Lovelace’s point after gave the Forge a 14-7 lead with 7:22 left in the half.
The rest of the half was a slop fest, as the View went three and out and then the Eagles could not get out of their own way. A plethora of illegal shift calls on the Forge sent the Eagles heading the wrong direction and when they got it back in gear, the drive stalled just over the midfield stripe where they punted it away to the Cats, who ran out the clock to the half satisfied to only be down by seven.
To start the second half, Lovelace sent a pooch kick into Wildcat territory that was recovered by the Eagles and it looked like that Forge offense was ready to bust out. That look proved to be short lived as on a second and six play, Lowe’s pass went through the hands of an Eagle receiver into the arms of the Wildcats A.J. Gordan at the View 15 yard line.
Again, the Eagle offense was up to the task as it controlled the Wildcat offense and kept their speed contained. Solorzano punted the ball back to the Eagles and they finished their next possession in just four plays. The Forge drove down inside the Cats 9 yard line, and called on Lovelace to come on to kick at 26 yard field goal to give the Eagles a 17-7 lead with 7:55 left in the third quarter.
The next possession proved to be the only sustained offense the Wildcats showed all night. As they drove 59 yards in 10 plays. The drive ended with Ware finding Darius Crouch in the end zone for the score. Solorzano’s point after however was blocked by the Forge and the lead was now 17-13 good guys with 2:55 left in the third quarter.
Right near the end of the quarter the Wildcats got the ball and drove down the field benefiting from a pass interference penalty in front of the Forge bench and a roughing the passer penalty when Ware was out of the pocket and clearly a runner on the play. Early in the final frame the View had a 4th and 4 at the Eagles 18 yard line when Ware dropped back to pass and threw a quail into the corner of the end zone that was picked off by Noel Innocent to end threat and keep the “good guys” ahead by four.
Throughout the middle of the final quarter both offenses struggled, as they could not seem to convert that crucial 3rd down to keep drives alive. Late in the fourth, the Eagles made a powerful statement to put this one away. On their final drive, the Eagles were focused on running the football and running down that scoreboard clock.
On first down, Lowe handed the rock to Kauthen for a six-yard gain. On the next play, the K-TRAIN left the station and rambled down the track 67 yards into the end zone for the nail in the coffin score. Lovelace came on to tack on the point after and the Forge had a 24-13 left with 2:17 left in the game.
The Wildcats would control the ball for what was left on the clock, but the Eagle defense did not intend to let this one get away. The View drove the ball down to the Eagle 36 yard line before the game clock and the Wildcat winning streak expired.
The Eagles now prepare for some “home cookin” as they head home now for a three game home stand, which starts next Friday night when the North Stafford Wolverines come in for a 7pm kickoff. This game was over hyped, the way it played out was exciting, but in the end the final score was much closer than the actual game, and the Eagles made the "Den" look more like a family room decorated in GREEN.