Mountain View rolls into playoffs

Mavericks dismantle Meridian, set sights on Highland next week.

SPECIAL TO THE STATESMANNovember 2, 2013 

MERIDIAN — On the first play from scrimmage, the Mountain View offensive line opened up a hole wide enough to drive a semi-truck through.

Or a Buss, if you prefer.

Star tailback Josh Buss sprinted 65 yards to the end zone on Friday’s opening play and the Mavericks never looked back, rolling to a 63-7 home victory over crosstown rival Meridian.

Buss finished with 332 total yards and scored four touchdowns for Mountain View (7-2), which plays Highland in a 5A first-round playoff game next week at Holt Arena in Pocatello.

“That was a new play we just put in this week,” Buss said. “The O-line and receivers set it up with their blocking, and it worked perfectly. Meridian came in with nothing to lose, but it was our senior night and we wanted to make sure we left the field with good memories.”

Meridian could have earned a playoff berth with a victory, but things got away from the Warriors in a hurry. After Buss’ opening run, Meridian went three-and-out and Mountain View responded with another quick drive capped by senior receiver Kenny Webster’s 12-yard TD run.

Mountain View senior Beau White intercepted Meridian quarterback Bryson Stout on the next drive, leading to a 9-yard scoring run by Buss. The Mavericks added a 5-yard TD pass from Kai Turner to Marshall Pack to make it 28-0 after one quarter, and the rout was on.

“We have an inner-circle meeting every week where the coaches and players share their feelings,” Mountain View coach Judd Benedick said. “For senior night, it was a pretty special meeting, so I knew the kids were going to come out and play hard for each other.”

Mountain View extended its lead to 42-0 at halftime, tacking on a 10-yard run by Buss and a 7-yard pass from Turner to Chayse Carson.

The Mavericks racked up 395 yards in the half, while Meridian’s eight first-half drives ended in three interceptions, a fumble, two punts and two turnovers on downs.

“We’ve got a really strong crew on defense,” said White, who had one of four Mountain View interceptions. “We’ve got some amazing playmakers at (defensive back), and it was fun for us to come up with some big plays on senior night.”

Buss had one carry in the second half — and once again, he ran virtually untouched, diving into the end zone after a 68-yard TD sprint on the Mavericks’ first play from scrimmage.

Senior defensive back Nich Guzzetti added one last highlight for Mountain View, zigzagging, juking and powering his way into the end zone on a 54-yard interception return.

Stout ran for 103 yards and a TD for Meridian, which finishes the season 3-6 and out of the playoffs.

Mountain View, meanwhile, gets a huge postseason test right away as the Mavericks seek the first football state championship in school history. Highland comes in unbeaten at 9-0 and has nine 5A state titles to its name.

“Obviously, it’s a challenge,” Benedick said. “But at this point in the season, there are no easy opponents. If you don’t show up in the playoffs, you’re out really quick, so we’re looking forward to the challenge of playing our best football next week.”

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