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Sacred Heart Prep a good test for Mountain View football

Glenn Reeves, Palo Alto Online Sports
Friday night football preview: SHP Gators travel to Mountain View.

The Mountain View football program is on an upward trajectory. Last spring the Spartans beat Palo Alto for the first time in nearly 20 years and finished third in the makeshift SCVAL De Anza Division spring standings.

This season they are off to a 2-1 start, with the one loss by one point to Mitty. Their 7 p.m. game at home Friday with Sacred Heart Prep will give an indication of just how ready the team is to compete in the upper reaches of the De Anza Division, and beyond.

"This game will give us a huge challenge going into league," Mountain View coach Shelley Smith said.
Mountain View is coming off a 42-7 win over Los Altos. Sacred Heart Prep (1-1) had a bye last week.

"It gave us some time to look at ourselves, to do some self scouting,'' SHP coach Mark Grieb said of the bye week. "We'll try to be a little more disciplined. We had some penalties we should clean up.''

The Gators played a high level of competition with two WCAL teams their first two games, beating Sacred Heart Cathedral, 28-21, before losing to St. Ignatius 13-7.

"We hope to give them a good game,'' Smith said. "I think we are very capable. I like our team, the kids on our team. They're not flashy, kind of a blue collar unit. They bring their lunch pails.''

While Mountain View is a program on its way up, Sacred Heart Prep is already pretty well established. The Gators won four consecutive CCS championships from 2012-2015 and are a perennial contender in the PAL Bay Division.

"We have to play our game,'' Smith said. "Establish a ball-control offense, try to control the clock, limit our mistakes. We need to get off to a good start. We had a slow start against Mitty and had to play in catch-up mode all game.''

Leo Navarro, who rushed for 220 yards in Mountain View's opener against The King's Academy, suffered an upper-torso injury against Mitty. In his absence Min Kant rushed for over 100 yards against Mitty and sophomore Dillon Daniels did the same against Los Altos.

"With Leo out it's kind of running back by committee,'' Smith said. "Dillon proved he can play at this level. It's really a tribute to the offensive line.''

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Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, SHS is a Catholic, independent, co-ed day school for students in preschool through grade 12