I went to the Mountain Pointe-Corona del Sol scrimmage and thought I’d share some quick thoughts.
First, the game was switched to Mountain Pointe after Corona was having some lighting problems, but I eventually found my way to the right place. Sorry for the incorrect info in Wednesday’s edition of the AFN.
Anyway, let’s get the scoring out of the way for what it is worth in a scrimmage.
Mountain Pointe found the end zone three times and Corona came up short on all of its possessions.
The second most important factor is Mountain Pointe didn’t dress four starters including Izzy Marshall, who is ranked as the top linebacker in the state by scout.com, wide receiver Garrett Holle and lineman Chad Papineau.
Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan was generally pleased with the effort, energy and end result.
Vaughan did, however, get his blood pressure up more than a handful of times with most of that displeasure coming at the hands of Corona’s massive defensive front disrupting the Pride offense.
Defensive coordinator Jeff Decker liked the fact the D didn’t give up any points, but like all coaches wasn’t completely satisfied, citing the chunks of yardage allowed.
New quarterback Kyle Faunce, who was told not to run with the ball, looked steady in the pocket, seemed to deliver the ball on time and with accuracy even with the incoming rush in his face.
Faunce said he was happy with the offensive performance and it felt good to get belted around a bit after not playing since the first couple of weeks of last season.
The thing I was looking forward to the most was getting a glimpse of freshman wide receiver Jalen Brown. When I first met with Vaughan during pre-season camp week, he nearly came out of his seat and split lettuce from his Cousins’ sub when he brought up Brown.
The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder didn’t disappoint and had people on the Mountain Pointe sideline laughing, shaking their heads and making comments like “he is sick.”
It was the kind of reactions usually reserved for the best of the best. That tells what you Mountain Pointe thinks it has in Brown.
It is pretty clear that he has the athletic talent – just ask the Corona defensive backs that haven’t seen wiggle like that since the last time they squeezed an ice cube only to have it pop out - to compete at the varsity level.
He has fared well in underclassmen combines and will have an immediate impact on the offense.
Against Corona, he took a quick screen and made a couple of players miss while getting up field at the same time.
Later in the drive Faunce let a pass go to the left end zone that looked to be a bad decision, but Brown sliced between a couple of defenders to get the touchdown that had the Mountain Pointe sideline going nuts.
On that player, not only did Brown have the athletic skills to make the play, but he also showed some football instinct that comes with time not something a freshman usually posses.
“He is going to be a special player,” Faunce said. “I was on my back and all of a sudden he cuts in front of the defense and makes the big play. I can’t wait to get Holle back and get those two out there making plays.”
With Faunce, Brown and Holle it is pretty clear – at least in my mind – that Mountain will average more than eight attempts a game as it did last season.
Although the Pride did show a stable of small, but quick and strong running backs that broke off plenty of big runs.
There might not be a Davon Jones-type of breakout runner, but there might not be a need for it if the passing game produces big plays like I think it will.
Jason P. Skoda, Ahwatukee Foothills News