MP vs Cesar Chavez

Mountain Pointe quarterback Nick Wallerstedt sneaks around the side and heads for the goal line to score the Pride's second touchdown.

Arizona doesn’t adhere to the Daylight Savings time change like the rest of the country, but don’t tell Nick Wallerstedt there isn’t something going with the clocks around here.

He went from the new player in the program, to being unable to play for five games, to being backup quarterback to becoming the starting signal caller for an undefeated and top 10 team in the nation.

The hands on the clock were spinning just as fast as he head.

“It felt like it took two seconds,” Wallerstedt said.

Everything certainly happened quickly for the Mountain Pointe sophomore but he said he is starting to feel a comfort level this week against No. 8 Desert Ridge that wasn’t there in his first career start, which happened to come against the Jaguars on Oct. 14.

“It was a little overwhelming, but I was ready to play,” Wallerstedt said of the first game against Desert Ridge, a 27-13 win. “When you have all of these guys around you, you don’t have to do a lot.”

It was clear that the play calling for Wallerstedt, who played mostly in the shotgun at Corona but is now under center at Mountain Pointe, was more conservative and why not with the offensive line and stable of running backs the Pride have to tote the ball.

“They just wanted me to manage the game,” he said. “We have a lot of great players.”

The last few weeks the passing game has opened up a little bit as the 6-foot-3, 180 pounder got more comfortable.

He has increased his passing attempts each week – from four against Desert Ridge to 14 in the season finale against Gilbert to 15 last week against Cesar Chavez – and the results have been solid.

On the year, Wallerstedt has 30 of 51 passes for 548 yards with four touchdowns with five interceptions. He also has rushed for 160 yards with two touchdowns.

“He has really come along,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “At first we wanted him to manage the game, and that’s all was needed, but now he getting more chances to throw the ball.”

Wallerstedt’s time at starting quarterback might come to end soon if the smile on Noah Grover’s face Monday was any indication.

He was put through a battery of tests last week and didn’t have any setbacks. His availability this week at this point is unknown, but should the Pride advance Grover, who broke his leg on Oct. 7, could very well take back the reigns of the offense.

“If I am ready to go and if I’m cleared, you better believe I will be ready play,” Grover said.

Until then Wallerstedt will continue to develop as quickly as he can.

“I’ve developed a lot,” he said. “I know the system better. I had to get used to it with a lot of snaps.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatkee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda

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