The Cienega Bobcats no doubt had revenge on the mind as their bus pulled into the parking lot of Mountain View High School on Friday evening.
The Mountain Lions had a different plan.
After beating the Bobcats twice last season – once during the regular season and again in the playoffs to deliver Cienega a season-ending blow, the Mountain Lions proved it was no fluke by again defeating their D-II foe in a 21-0 shutout.
While it was Richie Estrada who led the offensive efforts for Mountain View, it was the leadership and presence of Corbin Gouby on defense that kept the Bobcats scoreless.
Along with a first quarter interception, Gouby batted down a pass and added 12 tackles for the game.
“Corbin stepped it up,” said Mountain View head coach Clarence ‘Bam’ McRae. “He’s trying to lead this team by example, and he’s definitely getting himself in the right position to do so.”
Offensively, Estrada took advantage of the continued opportunities his defense provided, scoring his sixth and seventh touchdowns of the season and rushing for 175 yards in the process.
Estrada first struck with eight and a half minutes remaining in the half when he sliced through several defenders to find the end zone on a 17-yarder.
It looked like Bobcats’ quarterback Adriell Alvarado was prepared to answer in Cienega’s next possession when he threw for gains of 15 and 14 yards, but a subsequent incomplete pass and a sack by linebacker Garrett Darmer forced a punt.
The two teams would alternate possession in a defensively dependent first half, which ended with the Mountain Lions holding onto a 7-0 lead.
Out of the locker rooms, the Bobcats’ never found a solution for the Mountain Lions’ defense, punting in their first possession after Vaughan Brown knocked down a pass, and turning the ball over on downs in their second possession when Alvarado was sacked on a fourth and 12 attempt.
“Defensively we game-planned well, and we had a good idea what they would try to attack us with,” said McRae. “Our kids made plays when we needed to make plays.”
The Mountain Lions then drove from their own 36 to the Bobcats’ 27-yard line thanks to a rushing flurry by Estrada who carried eight consecutive times for 37 yards.
From there, quarterback Cody Rochon faded and hit receiver Andre Duncan in the end zone to make it 14-0 early into the fourth.
The game ended just as it started when an interception provided another scoring opportunity for the Mountain Lions. It was Darmer with the pick this time.
“When it came down to it, it was our defense that kept everything alive,” said Darmer. “Things just really clicked for us tonight.”
Estrada didn’t let his defense down.
With a minute and a half remaining, he broke free on a run down the middle, outpacing several defenders on an 84-yard score for a 21-0 lead.
“It took me a little bit to get going in this game,” said Estrada. “They had a good defense, they hit hard, but that time I just saw the gap and I went,” said Estrada.
The Mountain Lions (2-0) will look to remain undefeated when they face Mesquite High School at home on Thursday.