Mountain View made two fourth-and-goal defensive stops and clinched a playoff berth with a 42-22 victory over visiting Needles on Saturday.
The Saints (6-2, 4-1) wrapped up a Class 2A Southern League postseason spot with their third straight victory.
“It’s the character of the kids because it’s the same kids playing both ways,” Mountain View coach Ray LeBoeuf said of the defensive stands. “It takes willpower for all 11 people to support each other and keep assignments.”
Needles (3-4, 2-3) desperately needed touchdowns on each of the fourth-down plays.
The Mustangs trailed 24-8 in the first, when Andrew Mathews’ pass from the 4-yard line was batted down as the first half expired.
They were behind 36-22 on the second, when Austin Baldwin ran for 3 yards before being stopped at the 2.
Mountain View’s Cortland LeBoeuf rushed for 180 yards on 17 carries, scoring on an 85-yard run with 2:52 to play.
T.J. Engel passed for 94 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 57 yards and another score. Justyn Anderson caught three passes for 67 yards a touchdown, and Mark Allen scored on second-quarter catches of 1 and 15 yards.
“It’s pretty big,” Allen said of clinching a playoff spot. “Our line blocked, they did what they had to do. We just came out and gave it our all.”
Baldwin rushed for 94 yards and one TD on 15 carries and caught six passes for 62 yards and another score to lead Needles.
The Meadows 43, Agassi Prep 0 — At Rancho, Garrett Gosse passed for 222 yards and five touchdowns and the Mustangs (5-1, 4-0 2A Southern) allowed the Stars (3-3, 2-3) only 118 yards of total offense.
Gosse threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter, starting with an 18-yarder to Dylan Lee that capped a 54-yard, five-play opening drive.
Austin Brown scored on catches of 62 and 39 yards, and Chase Marrs added a 24-yard reception as the Mustangs took a 27-0 lead.
David Liu scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter, and Gosse hooked up with Lee on a 13-yard score late in the third.