Mountain View freshman Isaiah Daniels normally lines up as a wide receiver for coach Lou Sorrentino’s Wildcats.
But against Brooke Point on Friday night in Mountain View’s regular-season finale, the speedy underclassman got the starting nod at tailback and responded in a big way.
Daniels scored the Wildcats’ first touchdown on a 23-yard sprint and then capped their scoring with a 66-yard burst in the third quarter, as Mountain View cruised to a 34–14 Commonwealth District victory.
The Wildcats (8–2, 4–2) will be the top seed in next week’s Region 5D playoffs where they’ll host Stafford in a quarterfinal matchup. Brooke Point (1–9, 0–6) will travel to North Stafford or Patrick Henry-Roanoke in another first-round game.
Daniels finished the night with 159 yards on 12 carries to lead all rushers. He nearly scored another touchdown after he took the opening kickoff of the second half 69 yards to the Black-Hawks’ 1 yard line. Fellow back Mark Shelton then scored to put the Wildcats in front, 27–7.
“[Daniels] is a special kid with scholarship offers already,” said Sorrentino. “We got tested and we certainly weren’t perfect, but we had good effort on a chilly night. I was really proud of this team.”
Coming into the game with injuries at several positions, including quarterback, Sorrentino was hoping for a good start against the Black-Hawks, and he got it.
Junior AZ Hernandez, who was filling in for injured starting quarterback Edward Ware, led the Wildcats on a 13-play scoring drive on their first possession. Daniels’ 23-yard scamper put them in front 6–0 and they never looked back.
“Our linemen did their job and we just did what we had to do,” Daniels said. “We worked as a team and we came together as a family. Now we have to get prepared for the playoffs.”
Hernandez completed only three passes, but one was a 26-yard strike to Bishop Jones-Fowler early in the second quarter. He showed the poise of a veteran, guiding the Wildcats to three more touchdowns—two by Shelton, who finished with 94 yards on 18 rushing attempts.
“I was pleased with AZ,” said Sorrentino. “He did a good job tonight. He’s been patient all year.”
After falling behind 13–0, Brooke Point got on the scoreboard in the second quarter with an impressive drive that covered 80 yards. Quarterback Noah Sanders’ 38-yard strike to Ian Hill cut the Mountain View lead to six points, but that was as close as the Black-Hawks would get.
Sanders also tossed a touchdown pass to Adam Rogers while completing 11 of 25 passes for 129 yards. But he was intercepted twice by the Wildcats’ defense, which showed its mettle with several big plays.
“We’ve played good defense, but we came in a little banged up,” said Sorrentino. “We needed to play a game where we got everything back in sync. Now, we’re excited about the playoffs.”
For Brooke Point, next week’s playoffs offer a chance at redemption in what has been a tough season so far.
“We’re lucky we have an opportunity to be in the playoffs,” said Black-Hawks coach Dwight Hazelwood. “This is the time everybody looks forward to. We’re going to try and take advantage of the opportunity we’ve been given.”
MV—Isaiah Daniels 23-yard run (kick failed).
MV—Bishop Jones-Fowler 26-yard pass from AZ Hernandez (Alex Solorazo kick).
BP—Ian Hill 38-yard pass from Noah Sanders (Bryce Graf kick).
MV—Mark Shelton 2-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick).
MV—Mark Shelton 1-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick).
BP—Adam Rogers 8-yard pass from Noah Sanders (Bryce Graf kick).
MV—Isaiah Daniels 66-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick).
RUSHING: Mountain View—Mark Shelton 18-94, 2TD; AZ Hernandez 5-(-6); Isaiah Daniels 12-159, 2TD; Payton Parker 1-28. Brooke Point—Noah Sanders 4-8; Peter Rolando 1-2; AJ Maxwell 25-99.
PASSING: Mountain View—AZ Hernandez 3-9-0, 40 yards, TD. Brooke Point—Noah Sanders 11-25-2, 129 yards, 2TD.
RECEIVING: Mountain View—Bishop Jones-Fowler 2-34, TD; Darius Crouch 1-6. Brooke Point—Adam Rogers 3-25, TD; Christian Taylor 3-14; Ian Hill 2-72, TD: Ryan Murphy 2-4; Avante Nation 1-14.