Mountain Vista High School’s football players are given a brick at the start of the season as a symbol of what they’re expected to contribute.
It goes with them everywhere. Practice, bus rides, games.
It’s a symbol for each player being responsible to do their part to build something special.
Senior quarterback Judd Erickson left French Field Thursday night with just one brick in hand, but it seemed as if he was carrying much more of the team’s foundation.
He did more than enough to contribute to the team Thursday as the Golden Eagles lit the scoreboard on fire with a 67-37 win over Poudre.
“It was just incredible,” Erickson said.
Before Erickson took over, things started perfectly for the Impalas (1-1), who looked set to have a coming-out party against one of the top teams in Class 5A.
Poudre jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter, with solid defense, excellent special teams and an offense clicking behind junior quarterback Troy McFadden.
Then Judd happened.
Mountain Vista’s quarterback is somehow a secret in the recruiting ranks, entering his senior season without a college scholarship. He won’t be a secret for long if he plays like he did Thursday. The 6-foot-5, 204-pound quarterback made all the throws.
Early it was quick slants and screens to his athletic receivers. Then he was throwing bombs, seeming to hit everyone in stride.
Poudre simply had no answer for Erickson and his squad of talented playmakers. The quarterback had more than 300 passing yards at half as Mountain Vista (1-0) used a 33-point second quarter to take control of the game.
When the scoreboard finally stopped sizzling, Erickson had put up one of the best games in French Field history. He finished with 450 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air. He also rushed for a 19-yard score.
“We love what we’re doing,” said Erickson, who threw for more than 2,100 yards last year. “It’s unreal, there’s no feeling like playing under the lights out here and getting your stuff going and having everything work for you.”
Poudre’s excellent start was stifled when Mountain Vista’s up-tempo offense started wearing down the Impalas plethora of two-way players on the hot night.
McFadden, who engineered several strong drives, left with what appears to be a serious knee injury late in the second quarter. He finished with 104 passing yards and a touchdown to Bryce Ramler.
He was replaced by senior James Campbell, the Impalas’ starter the previous two seasons. Campbell had a second-half 28-yard touchdown strike to Zach Leal.
While the loss stings, the Impalas will be encouraged by an offense that looked explosive, with talented playmakers on the outside and an Erickson of their own: a battering ram of a running back named J.T. Erickson.
The junior rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns, his second 100-yard game of the young season.
Poudre will look to regroup with a game against Fort Collins next week.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
MOUNTAIN VISTA 67, POUDRE 37
MVHS 7 26 20 14 — 67
POUD 17 0 13 7 — 37
POUD — Austin Davis 45 kick, 8:10.
POUD — JT Erickson 2 run (Davis kick), 7:08.
MVHS — Tristan Smith 50 catch from Judd Erickson. (Mason Folz kick), 4:56.
POUD — Bryce Ramler 23 catch from Troy McFadden (Davis kick), 00:01.
MVHS — Kellen Parker 28 catch from Erickson (Folz kick), 9:22.
MVHS — Parker 9 catch from Erickson (Folz kick), 6:18.
MVHS — Snap out of end zone for safety, 5:14.
MVHS — Colton Whiteside 14 run (Folz kick), 4:43.
MVHS — Folz 31 kick, 00:06.
POUD — Erickson 2 run (kick blocked), 10:32.
MVHS — Erickson 19 run (Folz kick), 8:24.
POUD — Zach Leal 28 catch from James Campbell (Davis kick), 6:44.
MVHS — Michael Rizzo 1 run (Folz kick), 3:13.
MVHS — Jacob Reese 19 catch from Erickson (PAT missed), 00:00.
MVHS — Rizzo 32 run (Folz kick), 10:34.
POUD — Erickson 2 run (Davis kick), 7:26.
MVHS — Colton Whiteside 32 run (Folz kick), 2:54.