SNELLVILLE — When Shiloh made mistakes, Mountain View capitalized.
Locked in a defensive battle for most of the night, the Bears offense took advantage of short fields twice and did just enough to open the football season with a shutout victory on the road 17-0.
The victory gives Mountain View's John Poitevint his first career win as a head coach.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” Poitevint said. “They fought for 48 minutes. Shiloh’s got a really good football team. Our offense found a way to finish the game.”
Scoreless with under two minutes remaining in the first half, a punting miscue gave the Bears (1-0) offense its best starting field position of the night at the Shiloh 15.
On first-and-15, junior running back Jergotti Wilcox burst through the middle and broke a tackle en route to a 20-yard score to give the Bears a 7-0 lead with 1:10 left before halftime.
Shiloh (0-1) was held to just 70 yards of offense in the first half and 18 yards in the second quarter. Making his first career start at quarterback for the Generals, sophomore Isaiah Mideau struggled in the first half, completing just five passes for 25 yards and an interception.
The Generals’ best scoring opportunity in the first half came on their opening possession after marching on a 9-play, 43-yard drive deep into Mountain View territory. The offense eventually stalled out at the 23-yard line following a failed fourth down conversion attempt.
After another rough series for Mideau to start the second half, the sophomore was subbed out for junior Xavier Wright. The decision nearly turned to gold for the Generals.
Providing instant offense with his legs, Wright broke free down the left sideline and raced into the end zone on a 63-yard run. However, the play was brought back by a holding penalty charged to the Generals.
The Generals failed to score on the drive and saw it come to an end after a Wright fumble inside Mountain View territory.
Mountain View’s offense responded with arguably its best drive of the night, a 12-play, 61-yard drive.
The Bears converted two third-down conversions and marched to the Shiloh 5-yard line, later grabbing a 10-0 lead following a Carson Van Horne 21-yard field goal with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter.
Mideau re-entered the game for the Generals trailing by two scores and the home team was quickly forced to punt again. A bad snap on their punt attempt led to another short field for the Bears, who again capitalized with a touchdown.
This time it was senior quarterback Nathan Payne connecting with senior wide receiver Mossiah Carter on an 11-yard score to give the Bears a commanding 17-0 lead with 1:50 remaining in the game.
Payne ended his night with 129 yards passing while Wilcox chipped in with a game-high 75 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Robert Shumake paced the Generals with 61 yards rushing on 16 carries while Mideau finished his night with 34 yards passing on eight completions.
“Shutouts are hard to come by nowadays,” Poitevint said. “We’re really young on defense and we made a lot of mistakes, but our effort was so good. I just love our kids. This is the first game and we have some things to correct, but we’re excited about moving forward.”
Disappointed with the loss, Shiloh head coach Tino Ierulli chopped their loss up to a lack of execution when the game mattered the most.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Ierulli said. “We had penalties that cost us points. We were in the red zone a couple of times and got multiple penalties that pushed us back. Dropped passes, missed tackles. This game could have easily gone our way had we executed when we were supposed to.”
Ierulli gave credit to his defense who held the Bears offense in check for most of the night.