Mountain View's Marvin Elam
LAWRENCEVILLE — Mountain View struggled in the first half, but Marvin Elam's big rushing night Friday was enough to help power the Bears past Meadowcreek 48-7.
"We played a lot sloppy (in the first half)," Mountain View head coach Doug Giacone said. "I went in and challenged the guy at halftime. I said, 'About anything that can go wrong, we've done wrong.' Our defense played well, but we had, I want to say, 10 or 11 missed tackles at halftime. You can't do that and be successful week in and week out."
Meadowcreek (0-9, 0-6 Region 7-AAAAAA) fumbled the snap on a punt attempt after getting stopped on its first possession of the game. Mountain View took advantage with a Marvin Elam touchdown run of 14 yards on the next play. Alex Herring's extra point put the Bears up 7-0.
Elam finished the game with 250 yards and 3 TDs on 26 carries.
The Mustangs didn't give up. Kortez Towels took the ensuing kickoff 69 yards to the Mountain View 5. But Meadowcreek was bitten by the first turnover of the game, a fumble by quarterback Trey Bryant. Matt Buddan recovered the ball for the Bears, ending the threat.
Both teams played some sloppy football almost until the halftime buzzer. Meadowcreek committed three turnovers and seven penalties for 55 yards. Mountain View turned it over twice and had nine penalties for 93 yards in the first half. But after Kielan Whitner stopped Meadowcreek with an interception at the Bears' 26, Mountain View mounted a threat.
Chris Bartlett gained a couple of big chunks on the ground, putting up runs of 12 and 15 yards. Then on second down at the Meadowcreek 25, Bartlett found Andre Joseph in the air. Joseph caught the ball near the 5-yard line and ran into the end zone for the score and a 14-0 lead with 33 seconds before halftime.
Meadowcreek had an 18-yard run by Ryan Moore and a pass interference penalty to get to the 35. Bryant connected with Ian Young for a 33-yard reception with just one second remaining, but the Mustangs couldn't get a snap off before the buzzer.
In the third quarter, Mountain View (3-5, 2-4 Region 7-AAAAAA) put the game away.
The Bears started off sloppy again, holding on a would-be TD run by Elam and fumbling the ball away on their first possession. But Greg Burns got the ball back for Mountain View, and Bartlett connected with Ty McRae for a score with 5:51 left in the third for a 21-0 lead.
Meadowcreek responded by putting up its only points off a 10-yard TD run by Ryan Moore, who had a big night himself with 205 yards on 22 carries. An extra point by Jessie Romero brought the Mustangs to within 21-7, but that's as close as it would get.
Elam scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter on runs of 25 and 34 yards just 43 seconds apart. As time was running down in the quarter, Kielan Whitner intercepted a pass, took a nice cross-field cut and returned the ball 85 yards for a touchdown and a 42-7 lead.
"I think I ran it back 30 yards and hit the cutback," Whitner said. "Once I hit the cutback, I was winded. I was done. I thought I was going to get caught, but I wasn't going to let that happen."
Joseph scored the last points of the game for Mountain View after coming in at quarterback. He scrambled in from nine yards out with just 1:53 left in the game. A bad snap on the extra point attempt made the final 48-7.
"We just got off to a slow start," Elam said. "We went in at halftime, coach coached us up real good. We came out fighting. We know that's not how we wanted to play in the first half. We just came out strong."