Punchers score momentous win over Mountain View


Robert Galbreath photos

BIG PINEY – Mountain View punted the ball deep into Big Piney territory early in the second half as the conference rivals squared off at Puncher Stadium on Oct. 8.

The ball landed just shy of the Punchers’ 20-yard line. The Big Piney offense stared down 81 yards to the Buffalos’ goal line.

Senior Jaspur Brower took a handoff from senior quarterback Thomas Barron and raced up the right side of the field.

Brower broke two tackles, crossed midfield and ran 55 yards to the Buffalos’ 29-yard line.

Barron pitched the ball to senior Dalton Bell, who muscled forward 8 yards for a first down.

Brower grabbed the next handoff and dashed into the end zone.

The touchdown gave Big Piney the lead, laying the foundation for a victorious second half. Big Piney scored two more touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters while the Puncher defense prevented the Buffalos from reaching the end zone.

When the final buzzer sounded, Big Piney was ahead, 27-7, defeating Mountain View for the first time since 2009.

Big Piney moved up to the fourth seed in the 2A West Conference with Friday’s victory.

Head Coach Ryan Visser expressed pride in the Punchers for fighting through poor weather conditions to beat a team with a tough reputation.

“I’ve said this the three years I’ve been here now – Mountain View beats a lot of teams before they even play,” he said. “Mentally, it’s the name, it’s the brand. We worked on that all week, to not be intimidated and just play our game. With that being said, we came out flat in the first half and played a little timid. At halftime, we made a few adjustments. The kids really responded and played a heck of a second half.”

Visser praised both the Puncher offense and defense.

“Koy Walton got a couple of touchdown catches on some really good routes with Thomas Barron throwing perfect passes,” he added. “The running backs ran really hard. Jaspur Brower had a good game, especially in that second half and Dalton Bell on the defensive side with two picks. Mountain View’s No. 2 is a stud running back, and our defense really did a good job containing him.”

The Big Piney offense struggled to advance in the first quarter. The Puncher defense shut down Mountain View’s first drive with tackles by Brower, senior Jaron Petty and junior Thomas Howard. Walton batted away the Buffalos’ pass.

On the Buffalos’ second drive, Brower and junior Jovany Munoz swept in for a tackle in the backfield. An incomplete pass forced Mountain View to punt.

Despite a tackle for a loss of yards by Bell and senior Brayden Hymas, Mountain View eventually broke through to the end zone on its third drive. A good kick set the scoreboard at 7-0 in the Buffalos’ favor.

Big Piney struck back on the following possession.

Bell returned Mountain View’s kickoff at the Puncher 25-yard line. Howard bulldozed the ball up the middle. Munoz caught a handoff and rushed past the 30-yard mark for a first down.

Brower and Howard carried the ball over the Punchers’ 40-yard line. Barron completed three passes to Bell, advancing the Punchers over midfield.

Walton caught a fourth pass for a first down. Munoz and Brower drove the ball far into Buffalo territory.

Barron backed up, looking for an opening. Walton slipped past the Buffalo defensive line. Barron launched the ball, sending it spiraling toward Walton as Walton raced into the end zone to complete the pass and score the Punchers’ first touchdown.

A tackle by Howard and junior Hampton Jones stopped Mountain View from gaining as the second quarter ended.

The halftime score stood at 7-6 in Mountain View’s favor.

Mountain View began the second half in possession but hit an unyielding Puncher defensive line. Tackles by Howard, Bell, Brower and sophomore Zach Murphy forced Mountain View to punt.

The Punchers took possession and scored a touchdown, edging ahead of Mountain View, 12-7.

Jones pulled off a tackle as the Buffalos’ return. Brower and Hymas dove in for a tackle. Bell leapt up and intercepted the Buffalos’ pass.

The Punchers came up short on the ensuing drive and Mountain View took possession. Senior Seth Stoutenburg broke up a pass and Murphy pulled off a sack.

The Buffalos punted, returned by Bell to the Punchers’ 44-yard line. Petty rushed 15 yards for a first down. Howard plowed through the Mountain View defense for another first down. Petty ran the ball to the Buffalos’ 16-yard line. Brower picked up another 9 yards for a first down.

Barron completed a pass to Bell. Diving into the end zone, Bell scored the Punchers’ third touchdown. Brower delivered on a 2-point conversion.

The score stood at 20-7 in Big Piney’s favor as the final quarter began.

Bell intercepted the ball during Mountain View’s first drive in the fourth quarter. Mountain View fumbled on its second drive, recovered by Brower.

Barron completed a pass to Walton in the end zone to score the Punchers’ fourth touchdown. A good kick by senior Jafet Martinez widened Big Piney’s lead, 27-7.

Senior Dustin Martin, Munoz and Walton kept Mountain View in check with tackles as the clock ticked down.

The Punchers host conference rival Cokeville on Friday, Oct. 15.

“Cokeville is a big running team,” coach Visser said. “We’ve got to work on the fundamentals or else we don’t have much of a chance with them. We’ll make sure we know our game plan.”