MERIDIAN Mountain View High football coach Judd Benedick kept his secret weapon under wraps during fall camp.
After Thursday nights season opener against Meridian, therell be no hiding running back Josh Buss anymore.
The junior made defenders miss tackles all night, rushing for 165 yards as the Mavericks held off Meridian 33-24 in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference opener for both teams.
Weve always known how special he is, but this was his coming out party to the rest of the league, Benedick said. We have always felt like he is something else and as you can see we tried to put the ball in his hands as much as possible tonight.
Buss was effective no matter the situation, adding a 34-yard touchdown catch and scoring on a 94-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Mavericks.
I dont know how he does it, Benedick said. His body moves in weird ways and hes like Gumby and then hell put his head down and run somebody over or beat them with speed.
But Buss wasnt the only Maverick on a roll.
Junior quarterback Kai Turners deceptiveness in the backfield kept the Warrior defense guessing.
The Mavericks moved quickly on their opening drive, marching 77 yards for their first touchdown of the 2012 season.
Turner faked a handoff to Buss on the final play of the drive, then ran in for a 10-yard TD and a 6-0 lead.
Before the quarter was up, the Mavericks proved they could succeed even without their third-year QB. With Turner sitting out the play after his helmet came off, sophomore Garrett Collingham took over at center, connecting on a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Colin Sale.
I was just trying to be as relaxed as I could and let the play develop, said Collingham, who is a sophomore in his first season on varsity.
The Mavericks led 26-0 at halftime, as the Mountain View defense limited Meridian to just one first down.
Meridians offense came alive in the second half. Senior quarterback Jake Berard opened the scoring with a 22-yard run with 10 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Senior running back Darian Laboto scored twice for Meridian in the fourth quarter, but Mountain Views lead proved too big to overcome.
The first half was a little rough. We didnt come out like I thought we would, Berard said. I think as a team, we pulled together. We realized our faults and in the second half we performed much better.