The Stallions’ explosive running game was on display Friday night when they demolished the visiting Mountain View Bruins 49-28. The result of the game was never really in question as Stansbury scored on its first four offensive possessions through the first 18 minutes of the game and rushed for 582 total yards.
Throughout the game the Stallions running backs reeled off enough long yardage runs that it was starting to feel like watching sprinters at a track meet rather than a football game. Alex Mackay had touchdown runs of 30 and 37 yards in the first quarter as well a 31-yard reception from quarterback Gage Manzione. Mackay then had a 20-yard rushing touchdown as well as a non-scoring 35-yard and 15-yard rushes and a 25-yard reception on a screen pass in the second quarter.
Josh Mulivai had long runs of 36 and 44 yards while Tyler Jensen converted a short pass into a gain of 41 yards in the second quarter. The big plays in the first half alone were nearly enough to win the game for the Stallions as they led 28-14 at the half. Stansbury punted for the first time in the game with 2:43 remaining in the half.
The big plays continued in the second half as Mackay scampered for a 60-yard gain in a drive that ended with 5-yard touchdown run by Manzione.
The next time the Stallions had the ball on offense Mulivai set the tone with a 48-yard run. Manzione capped off that drive with a second scoring touchdown, this time on a 7-yard run into the end zone.
Jesse Horowitz ended the third quarter for Stansbury with a 69-yard run, but the Stallions couldn’t finish with a score. Late in the game Horwowitz set up the final score for the Stallions with runs of 13 and 18 yards. Nick Mackay then scored the seventh touchdown of the night for Stansbury on an 8-yard run, giving the Stallions a 49-20 advantage.
To go along with with his three touchdowns Alex Mackay rushed for 235 yards. Mulivai rushed for 135 yards, and Horowitz ran for 100 yards.
Stansbury’s defense was admirable considering it had injuries to key defenders.
“Hudson Conrad got hurt last week and broke his collar bone so we’re missing him at one of the corner spots in the secondary,” said Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen. “We had a couple breakdowns in the secondary tonight. Zayne Anderson got hurt tonight so that hurt us at free safety. Some guys that haven’t had a lot of reps were in there, but that just helps us get ready for the playoffs.”
The Stallions also amassed penalties throughout the game that gave Mountain View more opportunities to stay close.
“(Penalties) have been a concern all year,” said Christiansen. “We’ll never get mad when a kid is going hard and gets a penalty; some penalties we have to live with. I thought our kids responded well tonight though regardless of the penalties.”
Up next for the Stallions is the playoffs. By finishing with the second best record in the 3AA North region the Stallions earned a bye for the first round of the playoffs.
“We’re excited (about the playoffs). We know we have a battle ahead of us with Desert Hills coming in here,” said Christiansen. “We’ve had quite a rivalry with (Desert Hills) the last few years. We’ll take the bye week to get our guys healthy.”
It’s not a guarantee that Stansbury will play against Desert Hills in the second round of the playoffs. The Thunder host Uintah next Friday but will be heavily favored in that matchup. If Stansbury plays the Thunder, the Stallions will have a chance to avenge an opening night 12-0 loss.
There is some good news for the Stallions heading into the playoffs as they will get some players back from injuries, including Utah State commit Chase Christiansen.
“Chase will back for the playoffs,” said Christiansen. “We held him out tonight, but he’ll be ready and we’ll have almost everybody back for the playoffs and we should make a good run.”
The Stallions’ playoff game will be in two weeks against the winner of Desert Hills and Uintah.