Brown derby
Mountain Pointe freshman Jalen Brown has helped the Mountain Pointe offense in recent weeks in addition to his play as a defensive back where he was named All-East Valley Region. By Ron Sill, Special to AFN

It’s the one thing that the coaches cannot control – the postseason schedule.

Nothing like throwing a bye in the middle of a postseason run, but that is what Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista, along with opponents Chandler Hamilton and Mesa Desert Ridge, are dealing with this week.

“We’ll be OK,” Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds said. “We will be able to get it going. We can’t give them four days off and remain sharp but I am confident it won’t disrupt our momentum.”

The Thunder have won eight straight so it is pretty clear they are on a roll. They took Thursday off and will do the same Friday.  They’ll resume Saturday and pick up again on Monday.

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Mike Ingrassia doesn’t care if they practice every day during the holiday. Just the fact that they are not turning in their jersey and pads is good enough for him.

“Two more weeks of football – that’s all I wanted,” he said after last week’s win over Tucson Salpointe. “It’s a good thing to know that we’ve got a lot of football still ahead of us.

“At this point, the team’s physical condition is fine, but we don’t need to be pushing like that. … But it’s all mental. So the extra week is really good to prepare, make sure we’re ready.”

The No. 3 Thunder (10-2) will play No. 10 Desert Ridge (9-3) on Dec. 3 at Gilbert Mesquite High. No. 3 Mountain Pointe (10-2) takes on No. 1 Hamilton, winners of 38 straight, including two 5A I state title games, at Chandler High.

“It gives us time to, hopefully, get healthy, and prepare for a very good football team,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “We are going to need it.”

The Huskies are 13-0 and ranked seventh nationally by USA Today’s Super 25. They have more leftover talent than your grandma has turkey. Hamilton’s second team would probably be good enough to be a top 10 seed.

But that doesn’t mean they are invincible. As long as the Mountain Pointe bus shows up next Friday and the ball is put in the air on the opening kickoff the game will be played. At that point history shows it is anyone’s ballgame.

“You have to beat the best to be the best,” senior offensive lineman Chris Carl said. “If you are competitive you want to play someone like Hamilton. I’ve wanted to play against them my whole career. It shows you how good you really are.”



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