Most offensive players would look at a 3rd-and-34 and shudder.
Clark Brown saw it as an opportunity to show off his greatest asset.
The Mountain View star wide receiver had one plan when the Toros were facing that distance late in the third quarter of a close game against Highland: Run straight, and run fast.
He caught the ball near the first down sticks and didn’t stop there, eluding a pair of defenders for an unlikely 65-yard touchdown. The score put No. 10 Mountain View up by double digits and it wouldn’t look back in a 41-28 Division I victory over host Highland on Thursday night.
“They were in Cover-3 and we (all) knew it was going deep,” Brown said. “I just said, ‘I’m going.’”
It was Brown’s third touchdown reception of the night, and he finished with seven catches for 217 yards.
Highland led for a majority of the first half as the defense set the tone with three interceptions. Chip White had two of them while Casey Cole returned the other 39 yards for a score.
The Hawks (1-2) had the lead as late as midway through the third quarter when Jake Brown caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Blake Young to go ahead 28-21.
From there, though, it was all Toros.
Brown caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to tie the game less than a minute after Highland went ahead, and then a Conner Ipsen interception set up a 36-yard field goal by Luis Bustillos to give Mountain View a 31-28 advantage with 2:00 left in the third quarter, its first lead of the contest.
The Toros immediately went with an onside kick which they recovered, and while the ensuing drive was marred by penalties, Brown bailed them out with the long touchdown.
Mountain View would recover a fumble and get another field goal from Bustillos to put the game away.
The Toros (3-0) scored the final 20 points of the game, all in under a 10-minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters.
“We didn’t play football in the first half at all,” Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier said. “We played like I expect us to play in the second half, and that’s the way we need to play the rest of the year if we’re going to have an opportunity (to be successful.)”
Mountain View quarterback John Clark threw a pair of first-half interceptions but finished 16-of-28 for 301 yards and three touchdowns.
Highland’s offense was improved in this one after struggling the first two weeks. Young connected on his first 10 passes and finished 14-of-20 for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Jake Brown had six catches for 118 yards and a score.
Mountain View 41, Highland 28
First Downs: MV 17, H 12
Rushing: MV 34-102, H 29-77
Passing (Comp.-Att.-Yards-TD-INT): MV 16-30-301-3-3, H 14-20-208-2-1
Fumbles-lost: MV 1-0; H 2-1
Penalties-yards: MV 12-127, H 6-55
Mountain View 7 7 17 10 -- 41
Chaparral 7 14 7 0 -- 28
H: Young 11 run, Miller kick
MV: Nielson 5 run, Bustillos kick
H: Cole 39 INT return, Miller kick
MV: Brown 66 pass from Clark, run failed
H: McCord 21 pass from Young, Miller kick
MV: Nielson 1 run, Hall from Clark
H: Brown 70 pass from Young, Miller kick
MV: Brown 10 pass from Clark, Bustillos kick
MV: Bustillos 36 FG
MV: Brown 65 pass from Clark, Bustillos kick
MV: Bustillos 27 FG