Jones, Montclair Prep Humble Simi Valley With Easy 24-7 Win
At first glance, Saturday night’s contest between Simi Valley High and Montclair Prep seemed a mismatch.
After all, Montclair Prep, a Southern Section Division IX school, was facing a Division II school that had nearly 10 times as many students.
And a mismatch it was. Simi Valley never had a chance, not when one of Montclair Prep’s 250 students was Michael Jones.
Jones, a 6-1, 205-pound junior, outgained the entire Simi Valley team, rushing for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns in 24 carries as the Mounties (1-1) won the nonleague game at Pierce College, 24-7.
“We felt he was the best running back we saw last year,” Simi Valley Coach Dave Murphy said of Jones. “A lot of times we had guys all over him, but he broke the tackles, which good running backs do.”
Jones lined up 8 to 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage in an I formation, took pitchouts from quarterback Keyaan Cook and scanned the line for openings through which to pop.
“Our offensive line came off the ball and our backs were hitting the holes,” said George Giannini, who earned his first win in his third stint as Mountie coach.
The Mounties were not even daunted when Michael O’Brien’s scoring punt returns of 68 and 71 yards were called back because of penalties.
After going into halftime tied, 7-7, the Montclair Prep offense--meaning Jones--got into a groove. On the team’s first possession of the half, Jones carried the ball five times in seven plays, eventually blasting into the end zone from two yards.
On Montclair Prep’s next possession, Jones sprinted 62 yards down the right sideline to give the Mounties a 19-7 lead with 2:09 left in the third quarter. A two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Mounties later scored on a 22-yard field goal by Chris Anderson and a safety when the Simi Valley center snapped the ball over the punter’s head and out of the end zone.
The Pioneers (0-2) scored their touchdown on a fake punt in the second quarter when quarterback-punter Jeff Sommer hit Mike Jenkins for a 32-yard completion. Montclair Prep tied the score when Cook passed 24 yards to Tom Kilby with 1:21 left in the half.