Mountain View falls to White Pine in opener

Mountain View football coach Ray LeBoeuf met with White Pine coach Quinn Ewell at midfield after their game Saturday for a short debriefing of the afternoon’s festivities.

Sure, the Saints lost at home. But they finished the game. With only 11 players. In 100-degree heat. And that in itself is a victory of sorts.

Mountain View allowed four long scoring plays in the first three quarters and fell to visiting White Pine 26-8 on Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats aren’t exactly rife with numbers either — they dressed just 24 players.

But on an afternoon in which temperatures hovered around and exceeded more than 100 degrees, 24 players were more than enough.

“I was really impressed with Mountain View. Eleven guys. Only 11,” Ewell said. “They’re not able to rotate guys in and out … They gutted it out for the whole game, and that’s tough to do.”

The Bobcats had a stable of running backs and even had a few extra lineman to help the starters stay fresh. White Pine quarterback Monty Moore did most of the heavy lifting, though, with three long touchdown passes, including two first-half bombs to Dekoda Barela.

The Saints, meanwhile, leaned on junior quarterback Tyrell Brooks, who doubles as a safety/linebacker and spent most of the first half under duress, struggling to lead any sustainable drives.

“We’re gaining 2 or 3 yards on our traps and counter plays instead of 7, 8 yards,” LeBoeuf said. “We have to clean that up … Playing all 11 at a time, I’m not able to talk to some of them.”

White Pine running back Taverick Brimingham opened the second half with a 44-yard touchdown run on an end around and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass a few minutes later, essentially icing a Bobcats victory.

Brooks led Mountain View’s only scoring drive late in the fourth quarter and called his own number from 2 yards out for the team’s only touchdown.

He finished the game with 140 passing yards and 88 rushing yards, but conceded that playing with 11 players was difficult.

“Mentally it’s a problem,” Brooks said. “But it’s getting better, learning to deal with stuff, and it helps us in life.”

LeBeouf said the Saints have to practice a little bit differently as a result, and spend a considerable amount of practice time in the film room instead of on the practice field.

“The biggest thing we do is work on the mental part of the game,” he said. “We execute specific things like footwork and where you’re supposed to be on the game. It shortens the game up for the them.”

The Saints battled cramps and minor injuries in the second half and fielded nine or 10 players for several plays. In those situations, Ewell opted to pull Bobcats’ players off the field to match Mountain View’s output.

“I appreciated that. We talked about it during the week … We kind of knew that would possibly happen,” LeBeouf said. “I appreciated that gesture.”