MOUNTAIN VIEW – The Mountain View High School football team started discussing the possibility of winning a state title in December.
The Buffalos knew it would be a lengthy process if they wanted to hoist that championship trophy, but through the first six weeks of the season, Mountain View has shown it is capable of reaching its ultimate goal.
The Buffalos know there is still work to be done. And they have no intentions of getting complacent.
“They understand what the end goal here is,” Mountain View head coach Brent Walk said after the Buffalos claimed a 42-0 win against Lyman on Friday in a Class 2A West matchup.
The Buffalos (5-1, 4-0 2A West) are ranked second in the state behind Glenrock (5-1, 3-0 2A East).
Mountain View will host Kemmerer (1-5, 0-4 2A West) on Friday before closing out the regular season at Greybull (3-3, 2-2 2A West). A win against Kemmerer would make the Buffalos conference champions.
That’s just another step in the process.
“Our first goal is to win conference games and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Walk said. “Our second goal is to win the conference championship, and we have the opportunity to compete for that. And I’m not going to lie to you, we started talking about this last December. The goal is a state championship.”
The Buffalos aren’t taking any opponents for granted. They prepare the same way each week. And they know they have a long road ahead to achieve their ultimate goal.
“We are a long way away from (a state championship),” Walk said. “The thing that is really cool about what we’re doing, and the kids have totally bought into this, it’s one week at a time. We will be 100 percent focused on the Kemmerer Rangers this week. If we take care of that, then we regroup. It doesn’t matter who we play, we focus on the task at hand.”
The Buffalos, who split time with two sophomore quarterbacks and have a sophomore running back, have been on a roll since suffering an 18-0 loss to Cokeville in Week 1. Mountain View claimed a 22-21 win against Big Piney in Week 2 and has outscored its opponents 153-6 in its last four games.
“At the beginning of the season, we were inexperienced,” Walk said. “Our kids are making that steady, steady climb and it’s really exciting. We’ve really been stressing since Day 1, all the way back to our fall camp, that every week and literally every day, our goal is to get better. As we’re coming into Week 7, our kids have steadily gotten better.”
Mountain View compiled 394 yards on offense while limiting Lyman, ranked fifth in Class 2A, to 126 yards. The Buffalos held a 14-0 halftime lead, before erupting for 21 points in the third quarter. They added seven more points in the fourth.
Briggin Bluemel did most of the damage for the Buffalos with 155 yards rushing on 17 carries and two scores. The sophomore also had three catches for 130 yards and two touchdown receptions.
“He was phenomenal,” Walk said. “He has gotten better and better on both sides of the ball. He ran the ball hard. He’s really elevated our running game in about the last three weeks. He’s very physical, and once he gets loose, he’s gone. He’s very, very fast. We’re really excited about the way he’s carrying the ball.”
Sophomore Braeden Walk was 5 of 11 for 89 yards and a touchdown. Fellow sophomore quarterback Kimball Madsen was 5 of 5 for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Madsen also ran for a score in the fourth quarter.
The duo has split time under center this season and both receive equal repetitions with the first-team offense during practice. Walk and Madsen both bring a special skillset to the game, according to Walk.
“It’s a great situation that we have,” Walk said.
Walk was also quick to credit his offensive and defensive linemen. He said much of Mountain View’s success is due to the work put in by Colby Rees, Trevon Peterson, Jonathan Anderson, Braxton Hysell and Hunter Gross.
“They get after it,” Walk said. “They do a heck of a job opening up holes for our running backs. They’ve really done an excellent job for us.”
Mountain View senior Jason Stoddard entered Friday’s matchup leading Class 2A in receiving with 28 catches for 361 yards. He also led the state in tackles with 12.0 per game.
Stoddard had 18.5 total tackles and an interception on Friday, but didn’t have any receptions. The receiver still found a way to impact the Buffalos’ offense without touching the ball.
“They put some extra guys over the top on him, and that opened up some extra areas for us to attack, and that’s what we did,” Walk said. “Jason is just a stud. He is having an incredible senior year.”
Lyman’s Beaudee Bluemel led the Eagles with 65 yards on 17 carries. Colton Vangieson added 32 yards on the ground on 15 attempts, while sophomore quarterback Hagen Lamoreaux was 0 of 3 with two interceptions.
“We were really hoping we could run the ball a little more consistently and that would help keep our defense off the field and their offense off the field,” Lyman coach Dale Anderson said. “(Mountain View) did a good job of controlling that part of the game and that hurt us.
“I think one of the biggest differences is they have so much team speed. They’ve got some kids that can run. That was definitely an advantage that played to their favor was team speed.”
Lyman (3-3, 2-2 2A West) will host No. 4 Greybull (3-3, 2-2 2A West) Friday and will close out the regular season Oct. 20 at home against No. 3 Big Piney (5-1, 4-1).
“You have to recover, and the nice thing with kids is they’re pretty resilient,” Anderson said. “We’ll get together (Saturday) morning and see what we can fix. The next two weeks are big. It will be tough, but hopefully we can get our kids to battle back and still be in (playoff) contention when the dust settles.”