By: Gary Dove
WN Sports Writer
A football game was staged at the now-retired Vic Nystrom Stadium for inclusion into the movie “The Glass Castle.”
Friday evening the 2020 edition of the Mount View Golden Knights made a point of a line from another movie in winning the opening high school football game at the new Vic Nystrom Stadium on the campus of Mount View High School.
That line, from the classic “The Wizard of Oz” was, of course, “There’s no place like home!”
The Golden Knights had struggled in their initial three games of the campaign, all on the road, and were 0-3, with only one touchdown scored, and that coming on defense, in those three outings.
Friday to open the new-Vic, the Knights scored on their first five possessions of the game, and on nine-of-their-dozen series in the contest while rolling up a 55-28 win over the visiting Sherman Tide.
For the night, the View amassed 539 yards of total offense, with 286 rushing and 253 more through the air.
In the end though, it was the Golden Knight defense that helped clinch the win, shutting out the Tide in the first and last chapters, while the Mount View offense rang the touchdown bell at least once in every quarter.
The View won the opening toss and chose to receive the initial kick.
It took only two plays and 25 seconds before the scoreboard lit with the opening score on a two yard Levonne Stephens burst up the middle.
Junior Tony Bailey, who rushed 10 times for 107 yards and grabbed four passes for another 75 yards on the evening, had set the table for Stephens’ bell-ringer with a 49 yard jaunt around right end on the game’s opening snap from scrimmage.
Sophomore Jonathan Huff added the extra point on a kick and Mount View was off and running 7-0.
Stephens scored again from two yards out at the 8:40 mark of the first after Mount View’s defense held Sherman on a fourth-and-two pass try at the Tide 37.
A three-and-out for the Tide gave the Knights great field position following a 23 yard Jaylen Hall pass grab of a Jesse Rose toss, followed by a 15 yard pass interference flag against the visitors.
Junior Justin Haggerty, who scored three times in the game, reached the end zone first on a 24 yard run with 7:03 left in the opening frame.
He added a second six-pointer on an 11 yard pass reception from Rose at the 1:57 mark, staking the Golden Knights to a 25-0 advantage at the end of the opening dozen minutes.
Analyzed second year Mount View head coach Maurice Gravely of the quick start offensively for his club, “Most of the time when a Mount View team jumps on an opponent quick like we did tonight, it kind of uplifts us going forward.”
Sherman quarterback David Jarrell put the Tide on the board at the 10:50 mark of the second on an 8 yard scamper around right end before passing to Timothy Hager for the two point conversion.
Haggerty and the Knights answered when Haggerty danced into the end zone from six yards out with seven minutes left before halftime.
Jarrell’s second six-point run cut the deficit to 31-14 after he negotiated a one yard rush with 42 ticks showing before the break.
On the Boone Countians’ opening possession of the second half, Jarrell capped a two play drive with a 50 yard TD strike down the right sideline to Hager to close to within nine after Jarrell threw to Hager for the extra points with 11:16 left in the third chapter.
Bailey, who like Haggerty, is fast and shifty running the football or running after making a catch, scooted in for six at the 7:38 mark to push the lead back to double digits at 37-22 for the Knights.
An apt description of trying to corral both Bailey and Haggerty is like “trying to put toothpaste back in the tube after it has squirted out.”
The Golden Knight advantage went to 43-22 with 5:10 remaining when Rose, who completed 11-of-14 passes for 236 yards and three scores, hit Bailey in the right flat at midfield.
After hauling in the pass, Bailey cut to the inside and was off to the races with a 50 yard pass-and-run score.
Junior Chris Winnell, who ran the pigskin 27 times for 127 yards in the contest for the now 2-2 Tide, reeled off a 10 yard scoring jaunt with 4:32 showing in the third to cut the Knight lead back to 43-28.
The View defense took over from there, not allowing Sherman another trip into the end zone on the way to winning the inaugural game at the new Vic Nystrom Stadium.
Rose threw to Hall for a 28 yard bell ringer with 6:12 left in the contest and backup QB Ryan Long tossed a 17 yard scoring strike to junior Malaki Bishop with 1:20 left to seal the deal at 55-28.
Continued Coach Gravely of the win, “I think the kids saw the vision and what we’ve worked for the last couple days…We are a better team than what we presented in the first three games. The kids actually executed tonight.”
Haggerty caught five passes on the evening for 110 yards and one score, while freshman Ty’Drez Clements rushed six times for 87 yards for the Golden Knights, who were scheduled to play at Van Friday evening, but that game has been cancelled in the latest county covid-19 metrics release.
Coach Gravely and Athletic Director Larry Barber have worked over the weekend to replace the Bulldogs with Buffalo in a game to be played at Vic Nystrom Stadium this Friday, with the kickoff at 7:30.
The win and the game were huge successes, with Judy Nystrom, the wife of the late coach Vic Nystrom in attendance, along with youngest son Scott, as well as McDowell County Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Falin, under whose guidance the construction of the new stadium atop Tom’s Mountain has become a reality.
With that inaugural victory under the Golden Knights’ belts, this writer thought he heard a muffled song as he left the press box. It sounded like the words were “Follow the yellow brick road,” off in the distance.
AT VIC NYSTORM STADIUM
SHERMAN 0 14 14 0 28
MOUNT VIEW 25 6 12 12 55
MV: Levonne Stephens 2 yd run (Jonathan Huff PAT kick) 11:35
MV: Stephens 2 yd run (PAT kick blocked) 8:40
MV: Justin Haggerty 24 yd run (PAT kick failed) 7:03
MV: Haggerty 11 yd pass from Jesse Rose (PAT kick blocked) 1:57
SH: David Jarrell 8 yd run (Timothy Hager PAT pass from Jarrell) 10:30
MV: Haggerty 6 yd run (PAT pass failed) 7:00
SH: Jarrell 1 yd run (PAT pass failed) 0:42
SH: Hager 50 yd pass from Jarrell (Hager PAT pass from Jarrell) 11:31
MV: Tony Bailey 3 yd run (PAT pass failed) 7:38
MV: Bailey 50 yd pass from Rose (PAT pass failed)
SH: Chris Winnell 10 yd run (PAT pass failed) 4:32
MV: Jaylen Hall 28 yd pass from Rose (PAT pass failed) 6:12
MV: Malaki Bishop 17 yd pass from Ryan Long (PAT run failed) 1:20
FIRST DOWNS SH 13 MV 18
RUSHING YARDAGE SH 39-147 YDS MV 39 -286 yds
PASSING SH 5-18, 148 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int MV 12-17, 253 yds, 4 TD, 0 Int
TOTAL YARDAGE SH 295 MV 539
FUMBLES – LOST SH 1-1 MV 1-0
PENALTIES SH 7-53 MV 19-146
PUNTS – YDS – AVG SH 3-90-30.0 MV 3-91-30.3
RUSHING SH Chris Winnell 27-127 yds, David Jarrell 11-22 MV Tony Bailey 10-107 yds, Ty’Drez Clements 6-87 yds, Justin Haggerty 2-30 yds, Kishon Vineyard 4-27 yds, Levonne Stephens 10-26 yds
PASSING SH Jarrell 5-18, 148 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int MV Jesse Rose 11-14, 236 yds, 3 TD, 0 Int, Ryan Long 1-3, 17 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int
PASS RECEIVING SH Timothy Hager 3-104 yds, Alex Kirk 2-44 yds MV Haggerty 5-110 yds, Bailey 4-75 yds, Jaylen Hall 2-51