Trey Lauer is not a hesitator.
It is kind of a prerequisite to be a member of the Mountain Pointe defense and the Pride senior outside linebacker put that style to good use in the second quarter of Friday’s 37-27 win over No. 2 Hamilton.
With Mountain Pointe up 17-6, Hamilton needed to answer but when Huskies quarterback Sam Sasso came around the edge on an option play, Lauer stayed disciplined, lowered his center of gravity and attacked almost instantly.
Sasso’s pitch went wide of the running back because of the collision, and the Pride’s Mitchell Fraboni recovered it at the Hamilton 17. Five plays later, Brandyn Leonard scored from 3 yards out for a 24-6 lead.
“They told me all week to be ready for it,” Lauer said. “I went down, and the quarterback hesitated because he didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t hesitate. I hit him and the rest of the team did their job.
“I told our scout quarterback Alston Garvin that I was going to get that ball in the game and that’s what we did.”
The play epitomized the game. The Pride (6-0) almost always struck first. It hasn’t happened much to Hamilton (4-1) over the years, considering the Huskies have lost only 18 times in its history since 1998.
Most observers couldn’t recall the Huskies, even in its initial year in 1998 when they went 7-2, being in a position where it looked a bit pedestrian AND outmuscled (being without highly-regarded 6-foot-7, 283-pound linemen Casey Tucker because of an ankle sprain didn’t help) in a single game.
“They got after it,” Hamilton coach Steve Belles said. “I thought we competed like heck, but we’d have to play a heck of a lot better to beat them.”
People will pile on the Huskies and put Desert Ridge ahead of them, but Hamilton is always better at the end of the year. Its coaching staff will make sure it continues to work and they’ll be better prepared now that they know just how fast Mountain Pointe truly is on both sides of the ball.
The Pride, however, seemed to take the win in stride, realizing it is September, but the schedule doesn’t have many landmines – Desert Vista (3-2) and Brophy (1-4) pose biggest problem – left.
Don’t expect a letdown, like the one in Week 6 last year against Brophy.
“We have to keep grinding until the bye week,” defensive back coach Zac Griffin said. “It was a good win, but there are bigger things ahead. We can’t lose sight of that before we get to the bye week (in week 9).”
About the only mistake the Pride came just before the half with the team up 24-6 and possession deep in their own territory.
There was barely one minute left and Hamilton didn’t have any timeouts left. It seemed clear a couple of running plays would end the half with the Pride up by 18 points.
Instead Hamilton got an incredible play from AJ Greathouse, who snagged a one-handed interception and took it back 35 yards for a touchdown just before half.
“It kept them in the game,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “That was my fault. I shouldn’t have called the play.”
In the end, it didn’t matter as the Pride never hesitated in responding to whatever Hamilton tried to do to get back into it.
“Everyone is going to say it doesn’t matter until we win (a state title), but you take ’em when you can get them,” Pride offensive coordinator Eric Lauer said. “I’m sure they have a lot to clean up and so do we. Neither one of us would be surprised to see each other again.”
Contact writer: (480) 8989-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.