Mountain Pointe safety Jalen Brown set the tone to the season on the first defensive possession of the year with a big hit to force a three-and-out by Bishop Gorman.

By Jason P. Skoda, AFN

Somehow, someway it has already been 10 weeks since the Mountain Pointe football season started with a boom and bang.

On Aug. 23 the Pride served notice to Arizona, even though they were in Las Vegas, that 2013 was going was to be special when Jalen Brown lowered the boom on Bishop Gorman’s highly-touted tight end Alize Jones to force a three-and-out, and Paul Lucas was off the races (bang) on the first offensive play from scrimmage.

Eight games and 10 weeks later, Mountain Pointe is one win away from posting its second undefeated regular season in school history as the Pride travels to 2-7 Dobson.

“Once you are in a season it flies by,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “The question what do you do with that time. Every team should be better at the end of the year, if not, that’s on the coaching staff.

“We have been working hard since August and even before that really, to put ourselves in a good position for the playoffs. We are more experienced and we have taken the right steps to get better.”

A win secures the top seed for the Pride for the second year in a row and matches the 2009 squad as the only Mountain Pointe team to go 10-0.

While the ’09 season was a bit of a surprise in Vaughan’s first year after taking over a program that went 2-8 the year before, expectations have been high for this team from the start.

And it has only grown after taking care of Gorman, Chandler and Hamilton in the early portion of the season.

“The coaches don’t let us think like we are a lot better than everyone else,” senior wide receiver Emmanuel Butler said. “We have to go out and win every game. If we don’t play our best we can lose so we know we can’t let anything go to our heads.”

It’s been evident throughout this season the players have bought into the team first-mentality that all coaches seek.

The Pride’s offensive players aren’t making headlines with huge statistical numbers because they’ve really only played a full four quarters in three games this season. If they had played all 36 quarters, the record books, most of which is already dotted with current players, would be completely re-written.

Yet, there hasn’t been any visible sign of push back from the players.

“It’s about trust,” said Butler, who has only 13 catches despite being an impact player. “It’s about the team. The only thing that matters is the wins and that’s what we are doing.”

Junior offensive lineman Clayton Dry is enjoying winning for the first time after transferring from Wyoming where his team never experienced a season like this.

“Winning makes you tighter as a family,” he said. “When I got here (during the summer) I didn’t know who to trust but they accepted me and I could tell everyone was about the team. We’ve been even more of a family since the season started.”

Vaughan has positioned the Pride for a historic run with the idea of one-upping last season’s state runner-up finish, but he also knows they’ve only laid the foundation in order to brace for what’s to come.

“We had a great year, and we’ve probably been the best team,” he said. “All it takes is a turnover and some penalties to change that. A 10-win season is always something special and we are not there yet.

“There are two seasons and we are about to finish one. The next one is only four games and those have to be our four best games of the season.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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