Pride clobbered by Pinnacle backups

Mountain Pointe High receiver Dominique Davis rips off another big play in Friday's football game at Pinnacle. Davis, with five catches for 211 yards and a touchdown, was among the few bright spots for the Pride in their 56-34 season-opening loss to the Pioneers.

Mountain Pointe High’s secondary was bitten but not by a Rattler on Friday night.

Pride coach Rich Wellbrock’s debut was spoiled by a Pinnacle High quarterback who was not expected to play at all, J.D. Johnson, who was superb replacing injured Spencer Rattler as the top-ranked Pioneers rolled, 56-34.

Rattler left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury. By halftime, top-ranked Pinnacle’s starting running back, Matt Goodlow, also was injured and on the sideline.

It didn’t seem to matter. The third-ranked Pride (0-1) defense was just as flummoxed by the backups. Johnson led Pinnacle (2-0) with Oklahoma-bound Rattler, among the best high school football players in the country, watching from the sideline. Rattler came into the game 0-3 against Mountain Pointe.

Johnson took advantage of his opportunity, passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns, completing 13 of 17 passes.

“I was a little nervous,” Johnson said. “But, I was just ready to step up.”

Pinnacle jumped to a 14-0 lead before Mountain Pointe gained a first down. However, two big plays by Pride quarterback Nick Wallerstedt, a 61 yard completion to Dominique Davis to set up a 17 yard touchdown run by Jakim McKinney, and then a Wallerstedt 54-yard touchdown run, pulled Mountain Pointe even at 14.

Then Wallerstedt threw an interception on his second pass of the second half and that ended his night. He was replaced by Ahmen Williams.

“That first drive was so critical and getting that interception and getting short field and getting that score right on, I think that took a little wind out of their sail,” said Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke. “I think that really got us control of the second half right away.”

Wallerstedt completed five of 10 passes for 118 yards and had the interception. He also rushed for 108 yards. Williams threw a pick as he completed only three of nine passes, but they gained 118 yards.

Davis had five catches for 211 yards and a touchdown.

Rattler completed his first five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown before he was injured. He was confident that his teammate could carry the team to victory when it became evident that he was not going to make it back into the game.

“I compete with him every day and it makes us both better,” Rattler said. “I knew once he got up he would do his thing. I’m real happy for him.”

It was a tough introduction to Mountain Pointe football for Wellbrock, the 2015-16 coach of the year at Desert Edge, but coming off a two-win record in his only season at Basha.

Mountain Pointe hosts Mountain View (1-1) on Friday.

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