The focus of the Mountain Pointe passing game has definitely changed since last year.
Jalen Brown is the man still, but last season the second leading receiver was running back Garette Craig, who seemingly had at least one big-play reception up the seam after swinging out of the backfield ever game.
This year, Brown (17 catches, 387 yards, 4 TDs) is backed by fellow receivers Timmy Hernandez (11, 262, 3) and Emmanuel Butler (8, 115, 3) heading into Friday's big match-up with Hamilton.
“We’ve had guys step up at the receiver position,” associate head coach and offensive coordinator Eric Lauer said. “Craig was a beast so we got the ball in his hands, now we can go to the wide receivers and let the running backs do their thing. They can catch the ball, but we have some guys on the outside that are hard to match up with.”
Butler scored the first touchdown against Chandler on a jump ball and Hernandez is the tough, possession guy who has become the No. 2 receiver.
Then there is quarterback Antonio Hinojosa, who was the state’s least talked about quarterback despite outperforming most of the other big names.
He was off to start the game against Chandler – the bad interception on the first drive and a couple of high throws – but continues to grow. His size will keep him out of the Division I college game, but he is a very good student who will probably ended up a great university where he can continue his career.
“He’s really been on point,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “He’s really good and our receivers are really good. He is more accurate on the long ones. He is a guy who can throw it down the field and we do.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.