GameNight: Pride win third straight to keep hopes alive - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Game Day

GameNight: Pride win third straight to keep hopes alive

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Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 11:42 pm | Updated: 12:45 am, Sat Oct 22, 2011.

It was one of those games that could substantially cut the years off the career of a coach like Norris Vaughan.

Considering Vaughan's coaching career extends back to 1984, the Mountain Pointe mentor only has so many years left and when Friday's game was still a one-possession late in the fourth quarter, the frustration had to be wearing on him.

The game should have been long over, but that was hardly the case.

The Pride ended up with a 28-14 win at Mesa Mountain View in Division I action to keep the Pride's playoff hopes alive with a week left in the regular season, but the outcome was still in doubt last in the fourth quarter somehow.

Mountain Pointe (5-4) dominated the time of possession, nearly doubled the amount of first downs (20-12) and outgained the Toros (unofficially) 377 to 150.

"We had good effort, but did some things - penalties, dropped passes, kickoff returns for touchdowns, bad passes - that kept it close," Vaughan said. "We played hard. They played hard. We probably should have scored 50 but we didn't."

The Pride's Dillan Johnson made sure the game went their way as he scored four times while totaling more than 300 yards, including 245 yards on 27 carries.

The final carry and touchdown came with 39 seconds left as he went around the left end for 45 yards to seal the victory. He has 1,116 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year.

"Dillan was sensational," Vaughan said.

He had to be because the Toros still had a chance to tie it on its second to last possession of the game when they took over on their own 14 with 8 minutes and 38 seconds left.

Mountain View (3-6) scored on a 91-yard kickoff return by Patrick Glover and double pass in the final seconds of the first half to keep it close. With three minutes left, the Toros got a few first downs to move into Pride territory, but a reverse half-back pass and pass down the seam on third and fourth down, respectively, with went incomplete.

"We had opportunities late and we have to take advantage," Toros first-year coach Chad DeGrenier said. "We have to keep fighting and we are learning. We are getting a little better each week."

Mountain View may be in a bit of a transition and trying to define its identity but the Toros toughness still remains.

They were clearly the smaller team per usual, could have been run off the field but yet had a chance to possibly force overtime behind the play of the two quarterbacks Tyson McDaniel and Chase Funk.

"We were trying to give us the best opportunity to win," DeGrenier said. "They both competed hard (Friday) and did a good job."

One stumbling block was turnovers - three by McDaniel and one by Funk as the Pride's Jordan Leal recovered a fumble and Jalen Brown, Luis Sharpe and Landry Payne had interceptions.

The odd but important win gives Mountain Pointe a shot at the postseason with a home game against Westwood left.

"Winning is all that matter right now, especially for the seniors," Sharpe said. "We have to take care of our last game and see what happens from there."

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



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Jason P. Skoda
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