The Mission High School football team got its desired result with a 44-12 victory over Victor to start the season and overcame a slow start to the season to get the win.
Victor, a team under the guidance of new coach Brandon Howell, began the first quarter by scoring early and advanced with a 6-0 lead.
“I would say they got on us right away,” Bulldogs coach Tyler Murray said. “We had some turnovers (in the first quarter) but drove and scored 6-0. Our team was only able to score six points in the first quarter.”
Mission, who will enter their second year as a member of the Class C 8-man football after transitioning from the Class B 11-man team in 2016, understands the game better, according to Murray.
“I would say that we understand the game better for sure,” Murray said. “Scheme-wise, the kids understand what we are talking about and they understand how it correlates to the 8-man game. Overall, football is still blocking, tackling, and taking care of the football. We are just better at the 8-man side of it.”
The Bulldogs had some early-season standout performances in their early game, according to Murray. Mission player Jedi Christy stood out on offense and defense. Christy finished the game with 46 yards on six receptions and two touchdowns.
Bulldogs’ QB Isaac DuMontier also spread the ball around and found Wacey McClure, who had six receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.
DuMontier also got help in the run game from running back Troy Matt, according to Murray. Matt got 73 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown.
“(Matt) did very well running the ball and he is our No. 1 back,” Murray said. “He got a bunch of yards and carried the ball the majority of the game.”
DuMontier himself connected on 14-of-22 passes for 168 yards, five touchdowns through the air, two interceptions and one rushing touchdown.
“Our team generated 320 yards of total offense and we really didn’t have the ball much in the second half,” Murray said. “We scored the majority of our points quick and they gave us the ball in short field situations. We had one long drive in the second half of more than 40 yards in the second quarter. We had a lot of ups and downs in the football game.”
The Bulldogs will enter week two playing a team that struggled in their opening game against the defending Class C 8-man football champions Flint Creek.
Clark Fork struggled against the defending champs, and because of the strength of their opponent they faced in the opening game, it made it tough to game plan for them, according to Murray.
“I haven’t watched a lot of film on them (yet) but they like to spread the ball around, hitch and jet sweep and run lots of counters to their sweep on offense,” Murray said. “Clark Fork has some pretty big boys up front and I think it’ll be a great match up for both teams. Our defensive backs have to get some more practice in on man-to-man coverage. Whatever we do each play, it will make us better. We’ll take the outcome. Win or lose, our goal this week is to make our team better.”
Murray, whose team boasts of solid numbers and participation, said they are not overlooking Clark Fork.
“We don’t overlook Clark Fork at all and I don’t pay attention to the preseason ranking as they were technically voted below us by the coaches association,” Murray said. “It’s football and on any given Friday night, a team can upset another team. I am looking forward to playing a game against them.”