A starting quarterback in street clothes. Its top two running backs on the sideline with injuries. And a two-touchdown deficit with 6 minutes left.
None could stop the Mountain View football team, which rallied Friday night to knock off No. 1-ranked Rocky Mountain 20-19 at Mountain View High.
“It’s a movie script ending,” Mountain View coach Judd Benedick said. “You couldn’t have drawn it up that way. You and I could have come up with the craziest scenarios, and that’s basically it.”
The third-ranked Mavericks (4-0) capped the comeback with a wild play that ended with 11 seconds left.
Backup quarterback Carson Wells fielded a shotgun snap on the grass, reaching down and palming the loose ball. With no timeouts left, Wells knew it was the last play of the game. So he improvised.
He abandoned the called slant route, slipped out of an arm tackle in the backfield, picked his way through the chaos and bulldozed his way in for the game-tying score. Magnus Wattles converted the extra point to give Mountain View its first lead of the game.
“When the ball hit my feet, I was just thinking I’ve got to score,” Wells said. “There’s 30 seconds left, and we’ve got to get this win.”
Wells, a starting receiver, didn’t play last week due to a separated shoulder, creating a hectic week to get him ready to start his first game since his sophomore year. Mountain View dialed back the playbook and let the 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior focus on running the option.
Wells ran for 97 yards and the game-winning score while completing 2 of 10 passes for 15 yards.
“To me, that’s one of the greatest personal performances I can think of,” Benedick said. … “He had the injury going, a lack of practice time, a lack of experience there. And also, I found out afterward that he had like a family tragedy in his extended family. I’m pretty sure he left it out here and gave it everything he had.”
Rocky Mountain (3-1) held the Mavericks scoreless through three quarters. But the game opened up in the fourth.
Mountain View found the end zone for the first time when Caden Hansen broke a 38-yard TD run. But Rocky Mountain’s Carter Kuehl responded with a 74-yard TD run the next play from scrimmage, and Benedick admitted even he had to fight off doubt trailing by 13 with 6:09 left.
But Joey Elwell punched in a 2-yard TD run with 3:22 left, the defending state champs forced a three-and-out and Wells and third-string running back Mitch Leiby continued to pound the Grizzlies defense as the clock wound down.
A 7-yard run from Leiby set the Mavs up at the 4, and Wells put the game away on the broken play.
Benedick said the Mavericks have amazed him with their resilience all season long, winning games late by two points, four points and, now, one point.
“I don’t think this senior class knows anything different,” Benedick said. “Whether they are as talented (as previous teams) or not, they just think, ‘Hey, this is what we’re supposed to do.’
“They’ve watched three senior classes in a row go to the state championship game. So they just think that’s what they’re supposed to do.”