The man they call “Boom” cracked an ear-to-ear smile addressing the four-dozen or sweat-stained faces in front of him on Thursday night.
That man—longtime Mountain View High School football coach Clarence McRae—was all smiles thanks, in part, to his team’s 28-23 comeback victory yesterday evening over neighborhood rival Ironwood Ridge High School.
McRae and company, who improved to 5-1 on the year with the win, trailed for most of the night, after the Nighthawks struck twice in the first quarter off two Lions turnovers.
The Nighthawks, behind a fearsome rushing attack spearheaded by senior back Nick Brahler, looked to be well on its way to a win, leading 14-0 after the first quarter.
The Mountain Lions punched their way off the ropes, scoring twice on rushing attempts by do-it-all sophomore Edward Gastelum, who overcame an early fumble to score the Lion’s first touchdown midway through the second quarter.
By the end of the night, victory belonged to Mountain View.
McRae was all smiles afterward, praising his team for its never-say-die mentality against a talented Nighthawks squad.
“I think this team is starting to figure out that things don’t come easy,” McRae said.
For IRHS coach Matt Johnson, yesterday’s game provided his team with another taste of what’s to come should the Nighthawks make the state playoffs.
“I think the biggest thing is jut that when you’re playing these quality teams, the stakes are higher,” Johnson said. “I believe on any given night that we can beat anybody. But I also know on any given night we can lose. So our kids just have to keep growing.”
Pick up a copy of next week’s paper for expanded sports coverage.