After Mountain Pointe defeated Dobson 57-3, the players shook their opponents’ hands, sang the fight song with the band and smiled at the fans’ signs reading “10-0.”
The players celebrated their undefeated season only for those couple minutes. By the time coach Norris Vaughan finished his postgame speech, their minds were focused on the playoffs.
“We’ve had a great season,” Vaughan said. “Now that season’s over so all that we just played doesn’t count for anything. Now we got to go on and get ready for the next season.”
Senior quarterback Antonio Hinojosa said the earned their undefeated record annd expected No. 1 seed in the Division I playoffs.
“I feels weird,” Hinojosa said. “I’ve never been here before. But it feels really good. It feels like we definitely deserve to be here. We’ve worked hard enough to be here and it’s a much deserved record, 10-0.”
The player wearing number 10 was the main reason the Pride got their 10th win this season.
Mountain Pointe came out flat to start the game. The offense turned the ball over on its opening drive after a Dobson defender popped the ball out of senior wide receiver Jalen Brown’s hands after a catch. The defense stopped Dobson on the ensuing drive.
Hinojosa used his arm to get the team back on track.
On Mountain Pointe’s second drive, Hinojosa stepped back and heaved the ball deep down the field to Brown. Hinojosa trusted his receiver and Brown came down with the ball for a 58-yard catch.
“It was close,” Hinojosa said. “I couldn’t really see where the safety was. He rolled over from the opposite side so once I let it go, I was kind of scared that he was going to get to that ball, but I knew Jalen was going to get there first.”
The bomb to Brown set up a 26-yard touchdown pass from Hinojosa to senior wide receiver Timmy Hernandez. It was only the beginning for the lefty quarterback.
He finished the night 11-of-16 for 253 yards, four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. The offense utilized the air attack early and Hinojosa threw for the team’s first three touchdowns to take control of the game.
“We’ve always known that our passing had success,” Hinojosa said. “Today our running game struggled for the first couple plays and then we realized our pass game was on point. So Coach Vaughan is willing to do whatever it takes to win and the passing game was there tonight.”
Dobson did not have as much success throwing the ball as Mountain Pointe only achieving 25 total yards through the air.
The Mustangs came into the game as a run based team. When they were forced to pass they were met and stopped by Pride senior defensive end Mitchell Fraboni.
Fraboni applied relentless pressure to the Dobson offense.
He recorded one and half sacks and intercepted Dobson junior quarterback Joshua Jaramillo on a screen pass. He would have also added another solo sack but it was called back because of a Mountain Pointe penalty.
Fraboni said he tried to take advantage when the Mustangs decided to pass.
“I just noticed that they weren’t very fast, their tackles, so I tried to use my speed to beat them,” Fraboni said. “But I had to get physical because we did need to get tough because they kept trying to run inside.”
Mountain Pointe’s undefeated record only gives them the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Fraboni said the seeding makes the road to a championship even tougher because puts a target on the team’s back.
Now the Pride only have one game guaranteed.
“We treat every game like it’s the state championship from now on,” Hinojosa said. “We win or go home so there’s no mentality like that when you’re on a football field.”
Hubbard is a senior at Arizona State and freelance writer.
Mountain Pointe 57 Dobson 3
CDS 22 21 7 7-57
DV 0 3 0 0-3
MP – QB Antonio Hinojosa 26-yard pass to WR Timmy Hernandez (Ryan Sheehan kick) 3:48
MP – Hinojosa 8-yard pass to WR Jalen Brown (Sheehan kick) 3:31
MP – Hinojosa 19-yard pass to Brown (2 point conversion - Hernandez pass to Keondre Churchwell) 0:25
D – Kicker Anthony Reyes 37-yard field goal 6:44
MP – RB Paul Lucas 27-yard run (Sheehan kick) 5:49
MP – RB Wesley Payne 4-yard run (Sheehan kick) 1:59
MP – Hinojosa 2-yard pass to Hernandez (Sheehan kick) 0:05
MP – Hinojosa 3-yard run (Sheehan kick) 4:48
MP – RB Brandyn Leonard 2-yard run (Sheehan kick) 5:32
First downs 10 / 6
Rushing 30-208-4 / 31-165-0
Passing 11-16-4-273-0 INTs / 2-10-0-25-2 INTs
Fumble-lost 2-2 / 4-2
Penalties 14-135 / 5-50
MP – Lucas 5-28, Payne 9-32, Townsend 3-60, Leonard 3-13, Hinojosa 4-25, Ellis 3-16, Alston 1-6, Shivers 1-12, Banks 1-4 D – Chatman 9-50, Collins 4-8, Jaramillo 13-91, Douglas 2-10, McGriff 1-6, Riddle 1-3, Baker 1-(-3)
MP – Hinojosa 11-16-4-273-0 INTs D – Jaramillo 2-9-0-25-2 INTs
MP – Brown 6-158, Hernandez 3-43, Leonard 1-43, Butler 1-29 D – Ford 1-(-2), Chatman 1-27