OREM Mountain View is finally getting some of its key players healthy enough to put back on the field, and Friday an improved performance saw the Bruins pick up their first win of the season.
Anthony Heimuli bounced back from a leg injury that sidelined him last week and rushed for 221 yards on 31 carries. That paced the Mountain View offense on its way to a 31-14 win over Payson.
T.J. Mounga, the Bruins' other featured back, was in the lineup for the first time since hurting his elbow in the first half of the season-opener, and the one-two punch in the backfield spent the better part of the night running all over Payson's defense.
"This obviously feels a lot better," said Bruins coach Teko Johnson. "We're better when we're healthy. Having both of those guys is big for our offense. It makes it easy when you've got two good running backs."
Payson didn't make the task any easier for itself, giving up a couple of early fumbles that left them in a deep hole.
Midway through the first quarter, Jacob Satuala pounced on a loose ball deep in Mountain View territory, and Heimuli ran 20 yards up the middle for a touchdown on the next play.
On the Bruins' next possession, the senior running back found a gap down the left sideline and raced almost untouched into the end zone from 73 yards out.
"Once we started to get a little success on defense, that frees you up for what you want to do on offense," said Johnson. "I think they were anxious to get a win. It's been a long time coming since we've won on this field."
The Lions fumbled the ball away again on their next possession when Chris Wright came through the line untouched and knocked the ball away from the quarterback. That led to a 38-yard field goal from Sam Hickman, making the score 17-0.
Payson showed some signs of life early in the second half. Christopher Robbins returned the opening kickoff 98 yards to put his team on the scoreboard.
Mountain View scored on its next possession to push the lead back to 17 points, with Nate Stroshine punching in a two-yard touchdown run.
The Lions got another big play on a 55-yard reverse run for a TD by Jeremiah Guzman, but Payson couldn't get any closer.
Bruins' quarterback Dustin Thacker put the final nail in the coffin early in the fourth quarter, scoring on a four-yard bootleg.
Neither Heimuli or Mounga were at 100 percent for the game, but the only thing that slowed them down was holding penalties. Mountain View had been called for holding only twice in its first three games, but was flagged 10 times on Friday.
"We've got to correct that," said Johnson. "As a former O-lineman I know there's probably holding on every play. I'd just like to see what our guys were doing."
Mountain View will look for its second win next week against Tooele. Payson will face Timpview.