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SMALL SCHOOLS: Saints looking to hurdle Mustangs

Mountain View’s football program has accomplished a great deal since moving up to Class 2A three years ago.

The Saints reached the state semifinals in 2008 and 2009, and fell two points short in last year’s state title game.

But there is one hurdle Mountain View is yet to clear: The Meadows. The Saints are 0-4 against the Mustangs since joining 2A, twice losing by eight or fewer points.

“Without question, we look at them as a hump,” Mountain View coach Ray LeBoeuf said. “It’s an overall program thing. They have tremendous leadership by a coach who’s won multiple state championships. It’s no mistake they’ve been able to accomplish what they’ve been able to.”

Mountain View (6-4) visits The Meadows (7-2) in a Class 2A state quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Saturday. It will be the first postseason meeting in the budding rivalry.

“Any time you get to the playoffs, it’s a great honor,” Mustangs coach Frank DeSantis said. “It’s play or go home. We’ve got to be ready to play. (Mountain View) has gotten better and solidified what they do. They’re playing a lot better.”

Mountain View is riding a four-game winning streak, and averaging 40.5 points over that span.

The Saints have relied on a three-pronged rushing attack that features running backs Matt Larson (688 yards, five touchdowns) and Jacob Duldulao (549 yards, eight touchdowns) and versatile quarterback Trevor Van Kempen (441 yards, eight touchdowns).

“It took them a little bit, but we’re at the first real point in the season where we have multiple options,” LeBoeuf said. “With Trevor, Jacob and Matt, it’s kept defenses on the field.”

LeBoeuf also praised his offensive line’s progress over the course of the season.

Defensively, the Saints have been more consistent, allowing a total of 38 points the past three weeks.

Linebackers Jared Taylor and Elijah Armstrong lead the Saints with 94 and 93 tackles, respectively.

“It’s been a balanced effort,” LeBoeuf said. “Jared Taylor has stepped up, and him and Elijah are right there with Josh (Killam) and Trevor (Van Kempen) in tackles. We have a real good tandem at nose guard with (Ruben) Santiago and (Jerrod) Wallace.”

Mountain View will need its defense to play well against The Meadows’ explosive spread passing attack.

Senior quarterback Garrett Gosse leads the area with 2,158 yards and has thrown 26 touchdown passes against only four interceptions. Senior receiver Max Newman has 48 receptions for 1,087 yards and 13 TDs.

“People have thrown different defenses at us, and they’ve done quite well,” DeSantis said. “It’s been a fun year. I’m fortunate to have both of them as a head coach.”

The Meadows also has seen receivers Taylor Beck (22 catches, 434 yards) and Richard Lee (22 catches, 305 yards) emerge as consistent threats this season. Both have five TD grabs.

“It’s been great watching them grow. Those kids have been with us for four years,” DeSantis said.
 

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