Game Preview Nov. 19

The No. 11 Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions (7-3) are set to kick off the first round of the playoffs against No. 6 Mountain View (8-2) in Mesa, Ariz., Friday Nov. 19, at 7 p.m..

The Mountain Lions are coming off of a 28-3 loss against Sandra Day O’Connor where they failed to score a touchdown and only entered the red zone twice. The Eagles managed to apply heavy pressure on Junior quarterback Brendan Anderson (CQ) with consistent three-and-outs that were very unlikely for a high-scoring offense.

“We need to continue to improve sustaining blocks up front and recognizing, picking up pressure-looks to give the quarterbacks more time,” coach Doug Madoski said. “With that being said, we need to trust the guys up front to go through our progressions and know where to go with the ball.”

Anderson, who averages 268.9 passing yards a game, had 20 incomplete passes with an interception as the pocket collapsed around him against O’Connor last week. Madoski noted Anderson addressed the team after the loss and took responsibility for his level of play.

“We need to find ways to get over the hump mentally as it relates to not just O’Connor but other programs that have consistently been successful over Mountain Ridge,” Madoski said. “With that said, we still have a lot more that we can accomplish with this team and these guys.”

After missing the playoffs the first two seasons under the coaching of Madoski and his staff, the Mountain Lions are looking for their first playoff victory since his takeover of the program. 

“The offensive improvements that we have had this year over the last year is obvious,” he noted. “With that said, we still have a lot more that we can accomplish with this team and these guys.”

With an under-experienced core last season, Madoski is relying on the maturing of his players who are now mostly juniors to take the lead. Those juniors include Anderson, wide receiver Terrance Hall (CQ), running back Jacob Kelley (CQ), offensive tackle Alexander Doost (CQ), and defensive tackle Christian Madoski (CQ).

“Making the playoffs gives us another opportunity to compete and to continue to improve,” Madoski said. “There is a tremendous amount of preparation and work that goes into a football season with a small number of actual opportunities to compete, comparatively speaking. I think that any time you can extend the season, it’s an opportunity worth taking advantage of.”

The Mountain View Toros are coming off of a 42-12 win against Cesar Chavez last Friday. The Toros will be relying on the arm of Senior quarterback Willy Roberts (CQ) who has a 62.5 percent completion rate through 10 games. 

The Toros heavily rely on their running backs, with senior Aidan Damiani (CQ) carrying the load with a total of 485 yards run this season, averaging 69.3 yards per game. 

Mountain View and Mountain Ridge have one common opponent in Valley Vista, both coming out with respective wins. Mountain Ridge came out with a 42-14 victory, while Mountain View blanked Valley Vista 21-0. 

Mountain View head coach Joe Germaine did not immediately respond for comment.