A week later the student body stayed put, the Mountain Pointe starters spent most of the second half enjoying a 2-0 start and the Pride treated the school’s second hall of fame class to a laugher over Mesa.
The drama level at Kiefer Stadium was dialed down quite a bit from Week 1’s win over Hamilton, but Mountain Pointe still executed, performed and Garette Craig had a field day in a 56-7 win Friday over the Jackrabbits.
“We came in and did what we had to do to get ready for the big one next week,” senior two-way linemen Kenny Lacy said, referring to the Ahwatukee Bowl at Desert Vista. “We didn’t have a letdown and got up early so we could rest.”
It was clear from the start the Pride (2-0) was going to make sure the momentum created by beating Hamilton wasn’t going to be lost on an undersized and less talented, but hard working Mesa squad.
It was 13-0 after the first two possessions, barely enough time for the Hall of Fame ceremony held before the end game to end in time, as the Pride drove 80 yards to open the game.
Craig scored the first of his four touchdowns on 3-yard counter play. Mesa lost 19 yards on its first two plays and was forced to punt from the 5-yard line and when the snap went high Mountain Pointe’s Thomas Warren recovered it in the end zone for the two-touchdown lead.
After Mountain Pointe’s Travonn White muffed a punt following Mesa’s next possession, the Jackrabbits (0-2) managed to score, but made it hard on themselves with penalties until the Pride bailed them out with a pass interference penalty in the end zone.
“We sputtered there, too,” Mesa coach Kelley Moore said. “That’s the name of our game right now.”
Mesa’s Marquette Johnson finished off the 15-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge to close within 13-7 with 11:03 left in second quarter.
Mountain Pointe scored on its second possession of the game, which didn’t start until 10:55 of the second quarter, when Craig broke loose for a 43-yard touchdown.
Craig finished with 10 carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns, five catches for 68 yards and a score and in the second half he took over at quarterback for one drive and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to David Jackpor.
“We just wanted to get the second team in the game as fast as we could to get the second team some reps,” said Craig, who has two straight 100-yard games. “I never thought I’d score four times, but it just worked out that way.”
The Pride defense played another good game giving up only three first downs and the lone 15-yard scoring drive in the first half. A year after allowing the second least amount of points in school history, Mountain Pointe appears to be in position to have one of Division I’s top unit’s again.
It was 42-7 at halftime and the Pride sat most of their starters to start the second half.
Mountain Pointe junior quarterback Antonio Hinojosa finished 8 for 14 for 113 yards with two touchdowns, while Jalen Brown had three catches for 25 yards and a score.
Mesa (0-2) struggled for the second week in a row – the Jackrabbits lost 48-6 in Week 1 to Desert Vista – and Moore knows there is a better team in their locker room than they’ve showed so far.
“We got eight more games to play,” Moore said. “They have two choices - either quit or come back. So we will find out what kind of character we have. I think I already know that so we will get back to work on Saturday.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.
Mountain Pointe 56, Mesa 7
Mesa 0 7 0 0--7
M. Pointe 13 29 7 7--56
First downs 7 20
Rushing 22-31 29-187
Passing 3-8-1-14 10-16-0-153
Fumbles/lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties 5-35 9-34
MP - Craig 3 run (Sheehan kick), 6:16
MP - Warren fumble recovery in end zone, 5:11
M - Johnson 1 run (kick good), 11:03
MP - Craig 43 run (Brown pass from Hinojosa), 8:58
MP - Craig 15 run (Sheehan kick), 6:07
MP - Brown 9 reception from Hinojosa (Sheehan kick), 1:17
MP - Craig 38 pass from Hinojosa (Sheehan kick), 5.3
MP - Jakpor 18 pass from Craig (Sheehan kick), 2:45
MP - Townsend 1 run (Abercombie kick), 2:56.
Rushing: Mesa - Moen 13-25, Carassco 5-12, Nix 1-0, Johnson 2-(-)4, Baptiste 1-(-)1. MP - Craig 10-116, Townsend 10-40, Warren 3-19, Edwards 2-7, Hinojosa 1-4, W. Payne 1-2, L. Payne 1-16, Mayelzadeh 3-1.
Passing: Mesa- Moen 3-8-1-14. MP - Hinojosa 8-14-0-127, Craig 1-1-0-18, Mayelzadeh 1-1-0-8.
Receiving: Mesa - Johnson 1-6, Nix 1-6, Bellorin 1-2. MP - Craig 4-8, Brown 3-25, Blakes 1-34, Jakpor 1-18, Butler 1-8.