While Mountain Pointe offense has been setting records the last few weeks, the defense continued its usual level of dominance.
It was on display again Friday night in a 51-6 win over Mesa Mountain View at Karl Kiefer Stadium to keep the Pride in contention for the top seed in Division I with one week left in the regular season.
The Toros (6-3) came in as one of the hottest team in the state, knocking off three straight top 10 teams, behind an offense that averaged 38 points during the win streak and about 360 yards.
Other than the first drive when Mountain View got four of its five total first downs that led to a field goal, the Toros had about as much chance as one of those drivers that try to make it across a flooded wash.
Before they know it they are water is rushing in, the engine is reacting well to the surge and everything shuts down.
Mountain View basically stalled out.
“We played a great defensive game and what I liked was how disciplined we were in the secondary,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “When we play like that we can be hard to beat.”
Mountain View, already playing without top receiver Clark Brown, lost the running portion of its dual-quarterback system when Chase Funk was knocked out with a concussion on the opening drive.
Funk had five carries for 18 yards on the initial drive and found ways to move the chains (along with two Pride penalties) but as soon as he went down the Toros were deflated.
“Anyone watching this game could see he had something going,” Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier said. “When we lost him it was a big loss and we have to handle that better. The sidelines lost something and we never recovered. We can’t have that.”
Mountain View ended with 111 total yards as John Clark, who came in with 1,430 yards passing and 13 touchdown passes, took full control of the offense. The Toros never found the end zone despite Mountain Pointe subbing liberally.
“When they lost him you could see them physically slump their shoulders,” Pride safety Jalen Brown said. “We had them after that.”
While the defense did its job, the offense had plenty to say about the outcome as well to help Mountain Pointe improve to 8-1 with a road game at Westwood remaining before the postseason.
Garette Craig (247 total yards, including 161 rushing) scored three times to give him 22 total touchdowns on the season with backbreakers coming late in the second quarter.
He scored on a 23-yard pitchout to the left with 1:39 remaining in the second half only to score just over a minute later on a 82-yard pass from Antonio Hinojosa (8 of 14 for 181 2 INTs, 2 TDS) for a 30-3 halftime lead.
“That was a great checkdown by Antonio,” Vaughan said. “They were double and triple teaming Jalen and he made the right call.”
Brown opened the Pride’s scoring in the second half with his school-record 11th touchdown reception of the year on a gorgeous run after the catch for the 43-yard score.
“It felt great to get the record,” said Brown, who had three catches for 71 yards. “It’s nice but the most important thing was making sure we won this game.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.
Mountain Pointe 51, Mountain View 6
MtV 3 0 3 0 – 6
MP 9 21 14 7 – 51
MtV – Bustillos 33 FG, 5:08
MP – Craig 18 run (Sheehan kick), 3:03
MP – Safety, MtV punt snap over head
MP – Hinojosa 20 run (Sheehan kick), 9:26
MP – Craig 23 run (Sheehan kick), 1:39
MP – Craig 82 pass from Hinojosa (Sheehan kick), :20.9
MtV – Bustillos 28 FG, 10:12
MP – Brown 43 pass from Hinojosa (Sheehan kick), 10:12
MP – W. Payne 18 run (Sheehan kick), 2:59
MP – L. Payne 41 run (Sheehan kick), 5:13
First downs 5 20
Rushing 29-39 33-356
Passing 8-20-0-72 8-14-2-181
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties 2-15 10-100
MtV – C. Funk 5-18, Birtcher 7-17, Nielsen 6-12, Clark 6-3, Flores 4-4. MP – Craig 16-161, Warren 7-42, L. Payne 1-41, Townsend 1-39, Hinojosa 2-34, W. Payne 2-21, Edwards 3-16, Ellis 1-2.
MtV- Clark 8-20-0-72. MP – Hinojosa 8-14-2-181.
MtV – Montalvo 2-34, Millward 2-19, Birtcher 3-15, Nielsen 1-4. MP – Brown 3-72, Craig 2-86, White 2-14, Edwards 1-10.