MEMORIAL FIELD – So the saying goes in football, speed kills.
Mountain View High tailback Josymar Ulloa knows all about what speed can do to an opponent after Saturday night’s game against Bellarmine-Jefferson, so too do the Guards, who had a heap of trouble slowing down the trailblazing scoring machine.
Ulloa’s first rush netted just two yards, but on his second hand-off, he bolted through the Bell-Jeff defense for 37 yards, dialing up an extra gear that the defense struggled mightily to contain. From there, Mountain View showed no qualms of rushing the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Ulloa unrelentingly, until the game was beyond reach.
At the end of the rushing spectacle, Ulloa’s numbers were nothing short of sensational: 27 carries, 322 yards and six touchdowns. He had five runs of 20 or more yards, including 65-yard and 50-yard touchdown surges in the fourth quarter, which sealed the Vikings’ 49-21 nonleague win, ruining homecoming night for Bell-Jeff.
“You have a kid that’s potentially a weapon like that and you run a tight double wing — he’ll kill you,” Bell-Jeff Coach Rolando Aguirre said. “He outran us.”
Ulloa, a senior, eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in just five games for Mountain View (3-2). Against Bell-Jeff (2-4), he also had two interceptions of Guards quarterback Chris Issakanian, while playing defensive back.
“We knew he was fast,” Bell-Jeff outside linebacker Mitchell Kellogg said. “We knew he could do this. I had no idea that their [offensive] line was going to be this explosive and this fast. That kind of caught us off guard.”
Ulloa scored his first touchdown of the night, a four-yard run, six minutes into the game, on Mountain View’s initial offensive possession.
He struck again midway through the second quarter, on a three-yard touchdown run, as the Vikings took a 14-0 lead.
With 2:18 to go before halftime, Kellogg spurred life into Bell-Jeff by intercepting Mountain View quarterback Jerry Ponce just inside Guards’ territory near midfield. Ponce attempted only two passes and didn’t gain a yard through the air.
Kellogg returned the pick to the Mountain View 10-yard line, setting the offense up with a chance to cut the deficit in half.
“I think that was one of the spark plugs that got us going,” Kellogg said. “It just seemed I ran forever. The end zone wasn’t getting any closer.”
On a third-down-and-goal situation, Issakanian threw a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Micah Shirley, who ran an out route to the left side of the end zone. The Guards brought the score to 14-7, with 1:23 to go in the first half.
However, on the Vikings’ next offensive play, running back Diego Ortiz showed that Ulloa wasn’t the only home-run threat in Mountain View’s double-wing backfield. Coming on his lone carry of the game, Ortiz breezed 60 yards for a touchdown down the right sideline.
Nine running backs carried the football for the Vikings during the contest.
Mountain View owned a 21-7 advantage at halftime.
The Vikings quick-striking offense hit again just 3:39 into the second half when Ulloa scored on a five-yard rush.
Shirley countered for the Guards with a 36-yard touchdown run on the next Bell-Jeff possession, but Mountain View remained ahead, 28-14.
Shirley registered 10 carries for 87 yards, along with two receptions for 21 yards.
Ulloa added another touchdown, on a two-yard run, with 1:03 left in the third quarter, and Mountain View went up, 35-14.
Bell-Jeff did not go away though, as it answered with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Issakanian to wide receiver Kevin Yuenyongsakul on the final play of the third quarter.
Issakanian went six of 14 for 107 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions and one lost fumble.
The Guards trailed, 35-21, but then Ulloa’s wizardry flashed again on the first play of the Vikings’ ensuing drive. He thundered 65 yards off left tackle for a touchdown and Mountain View took a 42-21 lead.
“They’re men up front did a great job shutting us out,” Kellogg said. “He just found the hole.”
Aguirre agreed: “Their line was excellent. No one touched [Ulloa].”
Ulloa intercepted Issakanian with 8:06 left in the game, then on offense he parlayed his sixth and final score, this one coming on a 50-yard touchdown run.
“They came out, hit, followed with their hits. They’re aggressive and they deserved to win,” Aguirre said of the visitors.
Aguirre said his team had only one day of practice last week, due to rain, and that Saturday marked the first time he has lost to Mountain View.
Bell-Jeff opens Santa Fe league play Saturday against St. Anthony at Burroughs’ Memorial Field.
“Priority now is working on defense,” Aguirre said. “If we get it tight, we’ll be OK in league [play]. I haven’t been 2-4 in I don’t know how many years, but I got to come out of it.”