Mountain View quarterback Albert Duarte wasted little time capitalizing on the Guards mistakes, hitting Jaime Deleon for a 41-yard touchdown pass to give his team a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Trailing by seven at the half, Bell-Jeff Coach Rolando Aguirre made adjustments on both sides of the ball, which led to a dominant performance from his team in the second half.
“We tweaked our offensive line blocking schemes, as well as switching from our base 6–2 defense to a 4–3, with more blitz packages to put pressure on the quarterback” Aguirre said.
The halftime changes made all the difference, as Bell-Jeff rallied to score 23 second-half points behind the bruising running back tandem of Elliot Dennis and Bronson Ketchum.
A Viking turnover set up Dennis for the first of his two touchdowns. A six-yard run and a nifty catch for the two-point conversion gave Bell-Jeff an 8-7 lead late in the third quarter.
A muffed snap on a punt attempt by Mountain View (0-2) on its next drive gave the Guards the ball at their opponent’s 30-yard line. Dennis once again capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run, set up by a punishing block from senior right tackle Christian Torres.
Dennis had a game-high 108 yards in 21 carries, while Ketchum added 71 yards in 17 carries.
Bell-Jeff added another touchdown on a five-yard scamper by quarterback Daniel Radoccia late in the fourth quarter, making it 23-7.
“It’s all about the line” Dennis said. “They made some mistakes that hurt us last game, but they stepped it up big time this week. I love those guys.”
After giving up six sacks in their season opener, the offensive line surrendered only two sacks, while paving the way to 209 yards on the ground.
“I told my guys, we have to show them what we are made of and fight till the end” Aguirre said. “The second half was the best half of football I have seen us play in a long time.”
The Guards travel to Malibu High (1-0) for a 2 p.m. nonleague game Saturday.