If the pasture-high grass on Casa Grande’s football field was intended to slow down Mountain Pointe’s running game, it didn’t work.
Pride running back De’Andre Currie ran for 198 yards and four touchdowns as Phoenix Mountain Pointe (5-0) beat the Cougars (0-5), 69-14, in their Fiesta Region opener Friday night.
“The grass didn’t bother me at all,” Currie said.
PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Check out images from the Pride's region opener against Casa Grande The victory was the fifth straight for the Pride who ran for a total of 415 yards and passed for another 132 yards against the Cougars.
Although Mountain Pointe opened up a 28-7 lead in the first quarter, Pride coach Norris Vaughan felt his team was “flat” in the first half against 0-4 Casa Grande.
“I wasn’t happy with the way we played in the first half,” Vaughan added. “We did pretty good on offense but the defense was a little flat, but they had some pretty good players too. The second half we played better.”
Davon Jones got the Pride going with an easy 4-yard run for the first touchdown four minutes into the game and Currie went 44-yards through the tall grass for his first score if the night three minutes later.
The Cougars closed the gap on a 78-yard pass from quarterback JR Elliott to Tramel Jones, but Currie came back with another touchdown run, this time for 43 yard.
The Pride got their second passing touchdown of the season when quarterback Austin Blom hit Chase Blackwell on a 34-yard scoring play to end the fist quarter.
Casa Grande’s John Beighley recovered a Cougar fumble in the end zone to keep the game close at 28-14, but from there on out it was all Mountain Pointe.
Jones skimmed over the ankle-high turf on a 90-yard TD run and Currie came back with a 28-yard run, giving the Pride a 42-14 lead at the intermission.
Currie capped his night with a 50-yard TD run to early in the second half and when Blom found Blackwell on another TD pass, this time for 50 yards, the Pride were had enough of a point spread to keep the game clock running in the football equivalent of a “mercy rule.”
But the Pride reserves weren’t ready to call it a night.
Kameron Robinson, who usually plays on defense, scored on a 5-yard run and junior Zach Deitchman finally got to show his speed on a 78-yard run to close out the Pride scoring with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Mountain Pointe had too much of a lead for it to make much difference, but the Pride were whistled 10 times for 90 yards in penalties.
Blom, who has been selective in his passing this season, was 5-0f-9 fore 132 yards.
Elliott completed 3 of 17 passes for 122 yard and the Cougars gained 135 yards on the ground.
Mountain Pointe will host Mesa Skyline in its second East Valley Region game of the season on a Homecoming Friday night at Karl Kiefer Stadium.