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Heading into their third game of the season Friday, the Mustangs had scored just 14 points.

It took less than a quarter for Mountain Crest to more than double that amount.

In the first game of The Rocky Mountain Rumble in Rexburg, Idaho, the Mustangs showed up ready to play. Mountain Crest scored on its first five possessions to set the tone early and rolled to a convincing win against Bonneville, a team from Idaho Falls, 56-22. The Mustangs (1-2) were in control pretty much from the start.

“The kids just played hard and really well,” MC head coach Jason Lee said. “We should have put up points last week. We had a touchdown called back that shouldn’t have been. We moved the ball really well last week, just didn’t get it in the end zone at times.”

That was not a problem Friday.

“This week our kids just focused in and had a couple of really good practices,” Lee said. “The kids came up here ready to play.”

Under a new head coach and with many new starters, the Bees were overmatched in their season opener. Bonneville turned the ball over on downs in its own territory several times and then, after moving the ball, turned it over with a fumble deep in Mountain Crest territory.

“The O-line blocked well,” Lee said. “They (Bees) played in that 3-3 stack and blitzed all the time, but when we blocked them up, we broke some big runs and had some good throws. If you break that first level, then it’s a foot race.”

The Bees did punt to start the game after going three and out. The Mustang offense made a statement with a 13-play drive that covered 62 yards. Four times Mountain Crest converted third-down plays, including for the score. Cam Oswald walked in from a yard out to start the scoring eight minutes into the contest.

Then the flood gates opened for the Mustangs.

Less than two minutes after scoring his first touchdown, Oswald scored from two yards to make it 15-0.

On the second play of the second quarter, Elijah Jackson took his turn at reaching paydirt, blasting up the middle for a 10-yard score. Jackson would also recover a fumble to halt the best Bee drive to that point. He gobbled up the loose pigskin on the MC 13-yard line.

Jackson was back in the action four plays later when quarterback Preston Lofthouse froze the Bee defense with a perfect fake and then hit Jackson with a swing pass. Jackson got to the sidelines and was off to the races for a 46-yard score as the Mustangs went up 29-0.

Back-to-back sacks and a near interception by the Mountain Crest defense helped set up the next score. After a 20-yard scamper by Oswald, Emilio Veater made it 36-0 with 4:30 left in the first half on a 1-yard TD run.

“That was absolutely a great start,” Lee said. “And the defense was playing well.”

Bonneville did get on the scoreboard just before halftime with a big pass play. The Bees pulled within 36-16 in the third quarter, but then the Mustangs put it away.

Veater scored his second TD of the day with a 57-yard sprint to the end zone. Early in the fourth quarter quarterback Zeb Bensen scored from a yard out. Zander Ryan capped the scoring for the designated visiting team with a 30-yard run, and the Mustangs held a 56-16 lead with 9:35 to play.

“It was good for us to go on the road, get on a roll and really get going,” Lee said.

The Rocky Mountain Rumble was originally planned for Holt Arena on the campus of Idaho State in Pocatello. However, Holt Arena has been closed because of COVID-19 concerns. Sky View will play Saturday in the second day of the event, taking on Highland out of Pocatello.

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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