The coaching staff at Monte Vista Christian School wouldn’t mind getting used to the sound of “Touchdown, David Hightower!” five times a game and on Friday night against Watsonville High the wide receiver did exactly that, even once on special teams.
The Mustangs (7-1, 3-1) outplayed their cross-town rivals in a 43-14 victory over the Wildcatz (3-5, 1-3) in front of friends and family on homecoming night and Hightower surely put on a show for his home crowd.
“I’m feeling good even with all the distractions of homecoming,” said Hightower about getting the victory on Friday night. “I thought we did good, it scared me a little bit in the first half but we got back focused and finished with the win.”
MVC averages 46 points per game and is the highest scoring offense in the MBL coming into Friday night’s game against Watsonville High. The Mustangs kept up the scoring pace after they racked up 29 points in the first half, 24 of those from Hightower alone.
He finished the game with 133 yards and 4 touchdowns (19, 38, 52, 13) on six receptions along with a fumble he recovered in the end zone after a bad snap for a punt attempt by the Wildcatz with 5:35 left in the second quarter.
“David’s just a gamer,” said MVC head coach David Reese about his stud receiver. “He’s matured and he’s a team leader for us. We got a lot of great players and your offensive lineman never get credit for anything, but our offensive line has been as good or has done as well any we’ve ever had since I’ve been here.”
There’s no doubt the offensive line did their part and kept quarterback Nick Matiasevich on his feet for most of the game, that was unless he was moving the sticks with his feet. Matiasevich finished the night with 47 yards on seven carries along with 176 yards and four touchdowns, all of them to Hightower.
The game started off with a bang after the two teams exchanged touchdowns in the first quarter. The first score was a 19-yard strike from Matiasevich to Hightower that gave MVC the early 7-0 lead.
A beautiful 80-yard kickoff return from the Watsonville High special teams set them up in great field position and was capped off on a 1-yard touchdown run by Michael Barcelo to even things out at 7-7.
The next Mustangs possession was a mirror image from the previous one after Matiasevich hit Hightower for another touchdown pass, this time for 38-yards to make it a 14-7 game.
Watsonville answered right back when running back Roger Contreras scored a touchdown on a 7-yard run to make it 14-14 after quarterback Eddie Mares drove his team down the field 73 yards in just two plays.
However, that was the last time the Wildcatz would find the end zone and head coach John Montante simply explained why they weren’t able to score after the first quarter.
“They’re better then us,” he said. “We had a couple of good plays, they had more.”
One play that came in mind was in the second quarter when Watsonville’s botched snap resulted in a fumble that rolled into the end zone and where Hightower snatched up the third his five total touchdowns on Friday night. This was easily the game changer of the night that eventually led to a Mustangs win.
MVC still has a long road ahead of them even though there are only two games left in the season. Next they travel to Salinas to face an underrated Alisal team on Friday and then come back home in two weeks to square off with North Monterey County for a chance to get in the playoffs.
“Momentum is huge and we’ll take that with us” said Reese. “Alisal is a really good football team and I don’t care what happened to them tonight. They played a great football team in Seaside and we all know that, so they’ll be ready for us. We’re expecting a war playing them over at their place, so we’re going to have to come out, be focused and ready to go.”