THORNDIKE — After last week’s gut-punch blowout loss, the Mount View High School football team earned a gut-check win over Ellsworth Saturday afternoon.

Down eight points to Ellsworth in the final minute of the fourth quarter, Mount View scored the game-tying touchdown and 2-point conversion with 31 seconds left. Then, in the first overtime, the Mustangs converted on fourth down to take the lead. A goal line interception cemented the 43-35 win over the Eagles, the first of coach Rick Leary’s career at Mount View.

“We went back to basics this week. I’ve got a hell of a group of kids. They’re coming. They don’t quit. I’ve got some athletes here,” Leary said.

In overtime, on fourth and goal from the 5, the Mustangs (1-1) went with a bootleg to the left. Quarterback Rayno Boivin ran it perfectly, getting to the corner and the pylon for Mount View’s first lead since late in the second quarter. The point after was a fake kick, with kicker Jordan Brown throwing a pass to Jack Valleau in the back of the end zone for an eight-point lead.

“It was a new play we just decided to go with, and we executed perfectly,” Boivin said of the fourth-down bootleg call.

The game ended three plays later, when Ellsworth quarterback Connor Crawford was intercepted by Theo Dodge at the goal line on third and 10. The pick set off a wild celebration on the Mount View sideline.

The Mustangs’ overtime heroics were made possible by their fourth-quarter drive to tie the game. Down 35-27, Mount View took over on its own 25-yard line with 2:18 to play. With 42.6 seconds left, the Mustangs had worked the ball to the Ellsworth (0-2) 40. On third and 1, Boivin scrambled to his left, hitting Kyle Noble with a pass. Noble broke a tackle, and sprinted down the sideline for the touchdown. Boivin added the tying 2-point conversion on a bootleg to the right. The touchdown pass to Noble was another play the Mustangs just learned.

“It was a lot of heart. We really wanted that. We came together, and saw we could do this,” Boivin, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more, said. “I don’t really know if it was how we planned it out, but it worked, I guess.”

Added Leary: “We had to draw up a few plays in the dirt. I’d seen some holes, and I asked the kids to execute it, and they pounded it, and I’m proud. I’m proud to be out here coaching.”

One thing the Mustangs never had an answer for was Eagles receiver Javon Williams. While Ellsworth alternated Crawford and Williams at quarterback, the Eagles were most explosive when Williams lined up at receiver. The junior caught seven passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns. The final one came on a quick slant midway through the fourth quarter and went for 63 yards, giving Ellsworth a 35-27 lead. Williams also had touchdown catches of 25, 40, and 15 yards. Whether the Mustangs used single coverage on Williams or doubled him up, he still managed to catch the ball.

“(Williams) is tough. We have to do a lot of work on the secondary, but we’ll get there. We tried to get some pressure on (Crawford) up the middle, on the sides. They were getting there, but just a couple seconds off,” Leary said.

Late in the second quarter, the game was delayed 30 minutes for lightning. When play resumed with 1:31 left in the half, Mount View had the ball second and goal at the Ellsworth 6. On fourth and goal from the 8, Boivin hit Brown with a touchdown pass for a 13-8 lead. The lead was short-lived. On the final play of the half, Williams caught his 40-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 14-13 halftime lead.

With 8:44 left in the fourth quarter, Crawford hit Williams for a 15-yard touchdown pass and a 28-19 lead, Ellsworth’s largest cushion of the game. Mount View answered with a two-play, 58-yard drive, ending with a Justin Landers 33-yard touchdown run. James Thompson took a Boivin pitch to score the 2-point conversion, cutting the Eagles lead to 28-27.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM