GameDay: 6-0 Pride primed for Jags’ air-attack
Mountain Pointe’s Chase Blackwell goes up for the pass during the Prides’ win over Casa Grande last month. Blackwell caught a pair of touchdown passes in that game for the Pride.

Things have been looking up for the Mountain Pointe football team.

The Pride are 6-0 this season after an idle spot on their schedule last week.

But they may be looking up literally when they travel to Desert Ridge for an East Valley Region match-up tonight, Friday, Oct. 16.

The Jaguars, and particularly quarterback Kevin Pantastico, like to throw the ball a lot.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior has thrown for 1,620 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

When the Jaguars beat Skyline  34-11 last week, Pantastico completed 24 of 35 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

“He was the leading passer in the state last year,” Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. “He’s a great quarterback. But it’s nothing new to us. We’ve seen it. Everyone we’ve played this year except Highland and Skyline have been passing teams. We’ll be more adept at stopping the pass. If not we’re in big trouble.”

The Pride defense almost got “into big trouble” late against the Skyline two weeks ago.

Mountain Pointe had a comfortable 28-0 lead when the Coyotes scored two quick touchdowns on passes in the third quarter.

“All of a sudden we couldn’t cover a ghost in a graveyard,” Vaughan said.

The Pride righted themselves, picked off two interceptions and shut out the Coyotes the rest of the way to preserve the 35-13 victory.

Although Mountain Pointe quarterback Austin Blom has been gaining more confidence as his pass opportunities become more frequent as the season progresses, the Pride’s potent running game has done the most offensive damage.

Blom has thrown for 485 yards and four touchdowns, but senior running backs De’Andre Currie and Davon Jones have accounted for 1,729 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. Both are on the brink of having a 1,000-yard rushing season.

The Jaguars have a pretty decent running game, too.

Jordan Becerra, who has caught 26 passes for 447 yards and four touchdowns, has been equally impressive running. The 5-10, 160-pound sophomore has also been the workhorse for the Jaguars, carrying the ball 68 times for 488 yards and three touchdowns.

A new 5A-I regional alignment this season gives the Pride a chance to see the Jaguars for the first time.

 

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