When temperatures drop below freezing with an icy wind blowing, a high school football game can require a different mentality.
The football gets harder, making it tougher to handle and more challenging to throw.
Those were definitely factors for the Mountain View and Cedar Valley offenses in their Thursday night Region 10 showdown in Eagle Mountain as the execution just wasn’t as crisp.
But Bruin junior running back McKay Strauss appeared to be in his element.
Strauss exploded for touchdown runs of 52 yards and 32 yards during an impressive first half before he had to leave the game with an injury.
His powerful running, however, helped Mountain View build a huge lead and cruise to the 49-14 victory.
“It wasn’t pretty sometimes but in games like this in the cold, sometimes that’s how you have to get it done,” Bruin head coach Tyler Anderson said. “The run game opened up the pass game. It was good to come out and get a win.”
He said Strauss has been a huge part of the Mountain View offense throughout the season and if the injury proves to be serious, it will be a big blow to the Bruins.
“If he’s out, it’s going to impact our offense,” Anderson said. “We had others make some good runs for us. But we’ll adjust and move on, but hopefully it’s just a bruise and he’s able to come back.”
The visitors proved to have a knack for making plays in key situations in the first half.
The first Mountain View touchdown was a 27-yard pass from senior quarterback Duce Anderson to senior wide receiver Ben Mella on 4th-and-13.
The Bruins would tack on a 22-yard TD run by junior Colton Burr after a holding penalty had put Mountain View in a second-and-long situation.
Strauss would get his two big scoring runs and Mella would catch another touchdown pass from Duce Anderson as the Bruins built a 35-0 lead.
Cedar Valley got its biggest play late in the first half when sophomore AJ Lindsey scooped up a bouncing ball on the ensuing kickoff and found an opening. He raced 80 yards to the end zone to get the Aviators on the board.
But that would be the most momentum Cedar Valley would get as Mountain View got a third Duce Anderson-to-Mella TD pass early in the second half and never looked back.
“We said at half that we had to come out and get a score,” Tyler Anderson said. “We wanted to get a score and get the kids rested.”
The Bruin defense played an excellent game, limiting the openings for the Aviators and never letting it get rolling until the outcome was decided.
“They (Cedar Valley) have some good receivers and their quarterback is good, but our defensive line was amazing tonight,” Tyler Anderson said. “They were in the backfield all night. We also had the picks. The defense played lights out tonight.”
The performance was a big one for Mountain View as the Bruins had dropped a pair of tough region games in the last two weeks and needed to get back on the winning track.
“This was big,” Tyler Anderson said. “We’re getting toward the playoffs and we got some momentum back on our side. We’re getting back with a winning attitude. It was a big game for us tonight.”
Mountain View (7-2, 4-2) will close out the regular season when it hosts Tooele on Oct. 16. Cedar Valley (4-5, 4-2) heads to Park City on the same evening.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.