A week ago Norris Vaughan was wondering how his players were going to react to arguably the worse loss in his tenure at Mountain Pointe.
Vaughan got the response he wanted.
Mountain Pointe had one of its best weeks of practice since Vaughan took over before the 2009 season and finished it off with a 69-0 win Friday night over undermanned and road-weary Sierra Vista Buena.
"That's more like the Mountain Pointe team we know," Vaughan said. "I know the opponent wasn't like we've been facing, but it was still an opponent and we played well. The main thing is we executed on both sides of the ball."
The Pride (2-2) had its way with Buena (0-4) in one of its two "freedom" games. The Colts, who have been outscored 203-32, played without six players, including four starters, after a three-and-half hour bus ride.
It wouldn't have mattered if Buena was completely healthy and next door neighbors as Mountain Pointe, which broke out a different offense, took control from the start and kept it going even after letting up.
Mountain Pointe running back Thomas Warren (3 carries, 113 yards) scored on runs of 47 and 63 yards, while Dillan Johnson had a 55-yard score and Jalen Brown (4 catches, 157 yards) had touchdown receptions of 80 and 36 yards to build a 35-0 lead with 10 minutes and 45 seconds left in the second quarter.
"This is exactly the kind of game this team needed," said Johnson, who finished with five carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns. "We had a great week practice, refocused some of energy and got some things figured out."
One thing was clear the offense needed a change and the coaching staff turned to its preseason plan of starting junior Caleb Buck at quarterback with the elusive Johnson returning to tailback. The latter had been shouldering much of the offense in an Oregon/wildcat version of their offense.
It led to the third most points scored in team history, tying marks set in 2009 and 1996, but falling short of the record of 83 set in 2005 against Alhambra.
The offense piled up 374 yards on the ground on 19 rushes with seven touchdowns, but the key was getting Buck some reps.
He played some in previous games, but failed to start as was expected prior to the opener against Hamilton. Buck finished 7 of 14 for 211 yards with two touchdowns.
"It was great to get out there and have the coaches believe in me," Buck said. "I played OK and we moved the ball. The most important thing was getting reps and gaining some confidence."
The Pride's Landry Payne added two scores on runs of 1 and 67 yards, while Garette Craig had an 81-yard punt return for a score and senior running back Chad Rosell had a 35-yard touchdown run.
The Pride subbed in plenty of reserves and even punted on first down late in the game to do what they could to keep it from getting even more out of hand.
Defensively, the Pride played without at least three starters with defensive lineman Raynon Blackshire and Mark Fraboni and linebacker Jordan Leal out for various reasons.
The defense forced seven punts and limited Buena to about 160 total yards.
Contact the writer at (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com . Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.
Buena 0 0 0 0 - 0
MP 28 20 14 7 - 69
MP - Warren 47 run (Sheehan kick), 11:05
MP - Johnson 55 run (Sheehan kick), 7:55
MP - Brown 80 pass from Buck (Sheehan kick), 4:56
MP - Brown 36 pass from Buck (Sheehan kick), 2:13
MP - Warren 63 run (Abercrombie kick), 10:45
MP - Craig 81 punt return (no kick), 6:07
MP - Johnson 11 run (Sheehan kick), 1:49
MP - Payne 1 run (Abercombie kick), 8:06
MP - Rosell 35 run (Sheehan kick), 3:10
MP - Payne 67 run (Sheehan kick), 9:44
First downs 12 17
Rushes-yards 32-121 19-374
Passing yrds 40 211
Comp-att-int 10-21-0 7-14-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties 5-50 9-90
Mountain Pointe took out some frustration against undermanned and road-weary Buena by grabbing a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
Pride senior running back Chad Rosell, who missed essentially two years because of a non-football knee injury, broke loose for a 35-yard touchdown.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mountain Pointe junior quarterback Caleb Buck completed 7 of 14 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start.
The Pride had 19 rushes for 374 yards and seven scores.