Day After Report: Mountain View vs. Auburn
Playing at Husky Stadium as part of a special event for opening week would have been memorable enough for any team. But then the Thunder had to endure that long weather delay before rallying to win. What. A. Day.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 32, AUBURN 21
The offense found its rhythm, but only after the Thunder had to wait for the thunder.
So this happened:
After the game, the Mountain View coaching staff was informed by WIAA officials that they will never be invited back to the Emerald City Kickoff Classic. No, the team did nothing wrong. But that whole nickname and all those play-on words freaked out the WIAA when lightning and thunder tried to ruin the day. Don’t worry, Thunder fans. The WIAA was joking. (We think.)
Can anyone blame the WIAA, though? This was a tweet from Mountain View football on Friday:
— Mtn. View Football (@MVHSFootballTTT) September 5, 2015
And after the game:
— Mtn. View Football (@MVHSFootballTTT) September 6, 2015
Click on the links to the photos. They’re great.
Those who were there saw the flashes. Heard the thunder. The storm lasted quite a while, especially for western Washington. There was one boom, though, that was more incredible than the others. It felt like it was right over us at Husky Stadium. It shook me to my skeleton, I tweeted, and I have a lot of cushion before it gets to my skeleton!
Anyway, we survived, and the game resumed.
The booms weren’t done, though. There was no more thunder, but plenty of hits, which made the crowd roar.
The biggest came from linebacker Kimball Elliott, who destroyed an Auburn ball carrier late in the third quarter when Mountain View was holding on to a 25-21 lead.
The press box at Husky Stadium is roughly 17 miles from the field (estimate) but we could hear it. Then we all heard the roar of the crowd.
The game was delayed for 2 hours, 20 minutes. It was, in a word, strange.
“As a coach, you plan for a lot of things,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said. “You plan for weird things in a football game. Like when to take a safety or something. You don’t plan for a weather delay.”
He told me this about an hour into the delay. At that time, he had no idea how long his team would need to warm-up again once the players were allowed back on the field.
Defensive tackle Isaiah Carbajal was concerned because of a recent back injury.
“The delay just made me mad because I didn’t have the adrenaline anymore,” he said.
He was worried that his back would stiffen and not loosen up again with the re-start.
“But once we got back on the field, I was excited,” he said.
It worked out. The Mountain View offensive and defensive line ruled the second half of the game.
Taj Albeck said the delay helped him. The Thunder were losing at the time.
“I got my mind right,” he said.
Mountain View rushed for 275 yards. Preston Jones picked up 131 with a touchdown, and Albeck scored the Thunder’s first TD of the season. He finished with 95 yards.
“Just run behind my line, and hit a hole hard,” Albeck said.
“They’re the hardest working people on the team,” Jones said of the linemen.
It took a little bit for the offense to get going, but Mathieson and the coaches saw some numbers during the delay and realized they would be OK. At the time, early in the second quarter, the offense had only run eight plays.
Mountain View lost a possession by turning the ball over on a punt return and didn’t do much on its other two drives.
“We knew if we could just get in a rhythm, we’d be OK,” Mathieson said.
Win or lose, the Thunder were going to remember this night. Winning just makes it better for them.
It was not just the weather and Husky Stadium, though. The student body embraces its athletes. There was a huge crowd in blue for this one. The players and coaches appreciate them. It made for a great atmosphere.
Here is a text from Mathieson:
“What an amazing night for our school. The players, fans, band, cheer team, dance team, etc. The crazy weather will only add to the story as the years go. Proud to be a witness to their evening. #Go Thunder … Literally.”