The Mountain View High football team continued to check off another first Friday, winning a road playoff game for the first time in school history to return to the 5A state championship.
The Mavericks held on late to edge Madison 23-21 in Pocatello’s Holt Arena, remaining undefeated — a program first — after trailing at halftime for the first time this season.
Mountain View (11-0) advances to the finals, where it will take on district rival Rocky Mountain (10-1) for the second time this season. The Mavericks routed Rocky Mountain 44-20 on Sept. 3.
Madison (9-2) threatened a comeback in the final minutes when Konner Stoneberg hit Curtis Hathaway for an 8-yard TD with 3:04 left on the clock, cutting the lead to two. But the Mavericks’ potent offense ran out the clock, capping the game off with QB Tucker Rovig taking a knee.
“I’m just exhausted,” Mountain View coach Judd Benedick told the (Idaho Falls) Post Register. “I feel awesome, but I’m more relieved, in disbelief.”
The Mavericks struck first with Rovig’s 4-yard TD pass to Joe Farris in the first quarter. But Madison ended a back-and-forth half leading 14-10.
Mountain View and its high-flying offense only trailed twice all season — the regular season finale against Eagle and in the quarterfinals against Capital. But Mountain View’s offense always got on track by the second quarter, allowing the Mavericks to cruise through games without the result ever being in doubt.
Madison kept Mountain View from ever exploding offensively, forcing the Mavericks defense to come to the rescue.
“They do so much on offense, they have so many weapons, that it’s tough to get in a groove against them,” Benedick said. “They counter, you have to find a way to try and counter. Get some of it back, make some adjustments to their adjustments. I guess we just made enough plays.”
The tide shifted in the third quarter as Mountain View’s defense flexed its muscle, holding Madison to 16 total yards on nine plays. Stoneberg passed for a minus-1 yard and an interception.
Running back TreyTon Bell gave Mountain View the lead back with a 6-yard TD run. Then Mati Lamberti added two of his three field goals in the third quarter. The final one came with 40 seconds left in the quarter and proved to be the game-winner.
Bell finished with 70 yards on 20 carries, and Kennan Pattwell finished with 10 touches for 108 yards of offense.