Mountain View looked rather vanilla on film. An athletic quarterback and a disciplined defense - but nothing Salpointe Catholic coach Dennis Bene didn't feel his team couldn't handle.
Still, there's just something about facing a team with an undefeated record.
"You go into this game almost nervous," Bene said after his Lancers had rolled Mountain View 34-7 on Friday night.
Storming out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter certainly helped squash any nerves that may have existed.
Salpointe sophomore Cameron Denson was the catalyst for an offense that hung more points on visiting Mountain View in the first quarter (21) than the Mountain Lions had allowed in their first three games combined (16).
First, Denson scored on a 24-yard pass from fellow sophomore Andrew Cota on the Lancers' opening drive.
On Salpointe's third possession, he caught a pass from Cota over the middle, absorbed a bone-rattling hit, and sprinted 55 yards for a touchdown, putting the Lancers up 14-0.
Denson would finish with six catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns. That puts him at 416 yards and nine touchdowns through four games.
"Any place I put the ball up, he'll go get it for me," Cota said of Denson.
Friends since sixth grade at Utterback Middle School, they call themselves "the duo."
For a fourth straight game, Cota failed to throw an interception. He improved to 53 for 75 with 806 yards and 11 passing scores on the season. He also ran one in on Friday, from 13 yards in the second quarter, putting Salpointe up by four touchdowns at half.
Then there's the workhorse, junior running back Johnny Peña, who carried it 22 times for 110 yards, bringing his season total to 357.
With Salpointe (3-1, the only loss by one point to Scottsdale Chaparral in Week 1) averaging more than 40 points per game, Bene believes his defense is "flying under the radar.
"They're allowing our offense to make plays," he said.
"(Mountain View quarterback Cris Thorson) is a really special athlete back there and I thought our kids made it hard on him tonight."
That's putting it lightly. Thorson is a scrambler; he came in with 161 rushing yards through three games. His rushing total against Salpointe: minus 28.
"They were big up front and they had a great game plan," Thorson said.
Mountain View (3-1) managed just 65 yards of offense in the first half. The Mountain Lions finished with 154, thanks largely to a 13-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter that munched nearly eight minutes from the clock.
"We got out of our game plan because we fell behind so early," Thorson said. "That drive in the second half was our game plan. We marched right down the field, but we just didn't have enough time to keep it going."
Thorson finished 12 of 24 for 128 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.
"We know their quarterback can make plays on his feet so we had to contain him," Denson, who had an interception, said.