Mountain Pointe’s game plan heading into its matchup against Mountain View was simple: Score points.
It’s a task that the Pride were unable to accomplish for the first time in eight years last week against Pinnacle in a loss Mountain Pointe coach Rich Wellbrock called “humbling.”
Despite a 21-point second quarter, Mountain Pointe was unable to fend off a furious rally by Mountain View, as the Toros beat the Pride 35-28 on Friday night at Jesse Parker Field in Mesa.
“I thought we came out little lackadaisical, especially coming into the second half,” Mountain Pointe coach Rich Wellbrock said. “But that’s on me for not having them ready to go. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
Both teams started slow on offense, trading punts through the most of the opening quarter. Finally, the Toros broke through thanks to a 30-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Nito to wideout Cash Clark.
The Toros would add to their lead in the second quarter with a 28-yard field goal from Jesus Garcia.
That’s when Mountain Pointe started firing on all cylinders.
The Pride defense forced back-to-back turnovers with less than five minutes to go in the first half. The first turnover, a forced fumble by Jaylous Horton, led to a 90-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Landen Powell to senior wideout Dominique Davis.
After forcing Mountain View to punt, senior running back Resi Shank found the end zone from a yard out to give Mountain Pointe the lead. Another forced fumble on the Toros’ next drive led to yet another touchdown by Shank, this time in the form of a 5-yard pass from Powell.
“We thought we were really going to start getting it rolling in the second half,” Wellbrock said.
The fumble recoveries were just two of four total turnovers Mountain Pointe’s defense forced on the night, as they continuously pressured Nieto and the rest of the Toro offense.
After Shank’s third touchdown, a 30-yard burst up the middle to give Mountain Pointe a 28-10 lead, Mountain View coach Mike Fell replaced a banged-up Nieto with sophomore quarterback Willy Roberts.
“Willy is quite a talent,” Fell said. “Brandon is one of our captains, he’s our leader. He just got dinged up there and wasn’t feeling it. We went with Willy and he made some plays.”
The switch at quarterback sparked Mountain View’s offense, as the Toros went on to score 25-unanswered points led by Roberts’ 180 yards through the air. He also got it done on the ground, rushing for 40 yards and a score.
He immediately found chemistry with Clark, who ended the night with 13 receptions for a staggering 203 yards. Deshaun Jackson, Mountain View’s speed back, also contributed with 90 yards on the ground and a score of his own.
“When our defense clicks, we are really hard to beat,” Roberts said. “I think we have one of the most explosive offenses.”
Both defenses struggled to contain the opposing offense, as both teams combined for 740 total yards – 498 of which from Mountain View.
Mountain pointe was without starting guard Will Haire, who is expected to miss several weeks with a lower leg injury he suffered against Pinnacle. But even in Haire’s absence, Powell managed to find comfort in the pocket, finishing 17-of-32 for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
Shank replicated his standout performance against Faith Lutheran in Las Vegas in Week 1 with 150 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns against Mountain View. Davis, meanwhile, was Powell’s top target, hauling in 10 passes for 193 yards and a score.
“We just have to keep feeding those guys when other teams will let us feed them,” Wellbrock said. “I was really happy with both of their efforts and execution.”
Mountain View (1-2) looks to carry on the momentum from the program’s 400th win next Friday as they host Queen Creek (2-1).
Meanwhile, Mountain Pointe (1-2) will have a week off before it looks to end its two-game losing skid on the road at Hamilton (3-0) on Sep. 20.
“All of us need to look in the mirror to see what we can do to get better,” Wellbrock said. “We know we are going to get worn down a bit but that’s our schedule, it is what it is.
“We will have to take a look at film and see what we can fix.”
MP 0 21 7 0 -- 28
MV 7 3 13 12 – 35
MV – Nieto 30 pass to Clark (Garcia kick), 1:58
MV – Garcia 23 field goal, 9:21
MP – Powell 90 pass to Davis (Rasmussen kick), 4:23
MP – Shank 1 run (Rasmussen kick), 2:04
MP – Powell 5 pass to Shank (Rasussen kick), :27
MP – Shank 30 run (Rasmussen kick), 8:19
MV – Robert 17 run, 6:24
MV – Roberts 63 pass to Clark (Garcia kick), 1:18
MV – Safety, 11:19
MV – Jackson 1 run (Garcia kick), 8:41
MV – Garcia 18 field goal, 2:31