LIVERMORE FALLS — The Spruce Mountain Phoenix knew they were having a good night when they prevented the Mt. View Mustangs from ever getting a first down and punted only once in a Class D football opener at chilly Griffin Field.
Spruce opened holes on offense and was just plain stubborn on defense as the Phoenix rolled to a 44-0 victory Friday night.
The Phoenix also looked good on paper. Rushing wise, Spruce piled up 306 yards while the Mustangs could muster only five total yards.
“At first, we started out a little slow. It is the first game of the year,” Spruce Mountain coach David Frey said. “We did some things well.
“The line finally got it together and blocked well. Changing things up a little bit from last year, I think they are still learning that.”
Senior quarterback Brett Frey scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first half, coming across the end zone on an 11- and 1-yard rushes. Zack Toothacker, who went 4-for-5 in extra-point kicks, delivered two perfect kicks to help give the Phoenix a 14-0 lead.
“(Brett Frey) did a good job,” David Frey said about his son. “I am a bit concerned with the concussions he has had. He has played really well.”
After junior running back Kayle Stewart, who was running amok in the opening minutes of the game, was injured and was forced to leave the in the first quarter, senior Logan Smith stepped up also scored two consecutive touchdowns on a 12- and 4-yard runs.
“He (Stewart) is probably my best back,” David Frey said. “Logan Smith came in and played back for us and did a huge job. That’s the thing — it starts with the senior leadership. That was huge for us.”
In the fourth quarter, the Phoenix introduced a couple of underclassmen who delivered a pair of touchdowns. Junior Tate Walton came across the goal line on 7-yard rush and sophomore Brett Hunt spilled into the end zone on a 5-yard scoot.
Spruce’s defense was unrelenting and forced a safety, allowing the Phoenix to rest easy and head into the halftime break with a 22-0 lead.
But David Frey knows getting that first win on opening night helps instill confidence in his team.
“It feels good. I am happy for them more than anything,” Frey said. “I was hoping we would come out play somewhat well because we have a huge game next week – Wells.”
This is a close-up of a football.