With trauma in his eyes and a slight limp in his step, James Monroe’s Tahj Smith issued a warning to fellow quarterbacks who’ve yet to cross paths with Mountain View senior Adin Huntington.
“[No.] 45 is a strong man,” said Smith, referencing a number that was called early and often as Huntington and the Wildcats’ defensive line harassed Smith and pummeled his protectors into submission during a 55–15 victory on homecoming night in Stafford.
“They’ve been really disruptive so far,” Mountain View coach Lou Sorrentino said of the upperclassman-laden unit.
When Mountain View (4–0) lost star tight end Brendan Heatherman to a torn ACL in February, the Wildcats migrated to more of a spread look on offense. So far, the transition has been seamless.
On Friday, four Wildcats—quarterback Edward Ware, running backs Ike Daniels and Mark Shelton, and reserve Payton Parker—eclipsed the 100-yard threshold on the ground.
Shelton is the downhill runner, intent on lowering his shoulder whenever even remotely necessary. Ware, a senior, operates as a potent dual threat, evidenced both by his two rushing scores and an 81-yard tear drop that alighted into the hands of receiver Amari Walker to put the Wildcats up 21–3 in the second quarter.
And then there’s Daniels, a preternaturally gifted freshman who creates electricity every time he touches the ball.
“It’s like lightning,” Ware said of Daniels, who finished with 106 yards and three touchdowns on six carries. “If you don’t catch him before he finds the hole, he’s gone.”
Smith, a freshman thrust under center due to Aidan Ryan’s thumb injury, withstood the pressure valiantly. He completed 13 of 20 passes for 175 yards. Tomas Moreno booted a pair of field goals for James Monroe (2–2), including a 43-yarder.
Trevor Gleason snagged a one-handed interception and returned it 29 yards down the sideline for a touchdown, cutting the Yellow Jackets’ deficit to 21–9 early in the third quarter. But Mountain View reeled off four straight touchdowns to dispel any notion of a comeback.
Through four weeks, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 169–27. After traveling to Riverbend next Friday, Mountain View faces North Stafford and Colonial Forge in back-to-back weeks.
“Our competition will stiffen up,” Sorrentino said.
MV—Edward Ware 9-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick)
JM—Tomas Moreno 32-yard field goal
MV—Ike Daniels 38-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick)
MV—Amari Walker 81-yard pass from Ware (Alex Solorzano kick)
JM—Trevor Gleason 29-yard interception return (kick fail)
MV—Mark Shelton 2-yard run (kick failed)
MV—Ike Daniels 51-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick)
MV—Edward Ware 28-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick)
JM—Andrew Powell 32-yard field goal
MV—Ike Daniels 3-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick)
JM—Tomas Moreno 43-yard field goal
MV—Payton Parker 75-yard run (Alex Solorzano kick)
RUSHING: James Monroe—Jawuan Fauntleroy 7-57; Deonte Curry 3-19; Tahj Smith 7-(-7); Antawan Yates 3-26. Mountain View—Mark Shelton 15-133, TD; Ike Daniels 6-106, 3 TDs; Edward Ware 14-123, 2 TDs; Payton Parker 3-100, TD; Amari Walker 1-22; Tyler Perry 1-5; Brendan Robinson 1-3.
PASSING: James Monroe—Tahj Smith 13-20, 173 yards. Mountain View—Edward Ware 4-11-1, 136 yards, TD.
RECEIVING: James Monroe—Dimario Brooks 7-89; Aidan Ryan 2-44; Fauntleroy 1-5; Tyler Whitman 2-26. Mountain View—Amari Walker 2-97, TD; Ike Daniels 1-7; Bishop Jones-Fowler 1-8.