Football: DV vs Mesquite

Mesquite senior quarterback Payton Haslam, right, has done well in his first full year as a starter after leaving Mountain Pointe after his sophomore year.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

The Mountain Pointe football team has been helped the last several years by players who started at different schools and this year is no different.

Half of the defensive backfield – Dominique Fenstermacher and Markell Simmons – are new to the program this year.

But it works the other way as well as other programs have benefitted from those who have defected from Mountain Pointe.

Mesquite senior quarterback Payton Haslam left program after it became clear Antonio Hinojosa was going take control of the Pride huddle the last two years.

Haslam has helped the Wildcats (11-1) to the Division II state semifinals with 25 touchdown passes (6 interceptions), 2,216 yards passing while completing 63 percent of his passes (165 of 262). He also has rushed for 356 yards and six touchdowns.

He’s made huge strides after completing 46 percent of his attempts with 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in seven games last year for Mesquite.

Chandler (10-2) has benefited from defensive back Marloshawn Franklin, who has 49 tackles (37 solo), two interceptions, four passes defended and two caused fumbles, and junior running back D.J. Ware, who has 27 carries for 213 yards with five touchdowns in a secondary role, is more known for his track skills.

If Mountain Pointe and Chandler, as I suspect, meet in the state title game both programs will get additional transfers from other programs.

It’s just the way it is – the top programs getting targeted by athletes on the move - in Arizona.

If the powers that be would only do something about it, oh I don’t know, maybe like passing a 35-mile radius rule where athletes have to sit out a year if they do move from one school to another.

Oh, wait…..

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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