Another thrilling victory for Desert Vista. Another strong second half making it happen. Another playoff game next week.
The term "second-half team" can be overplayed, but the Thunder proved it again Friday with a 31-28 postseason victory in double overtime against Mesa Mountain View as the Thunder once again thrived in the latter stages of the game.
Desert Vista (9-2) has now outscored opponents in the second half 10 out of 11 games.
"It's a psyche thing with this team in the second half," coach Dan Hinds said.
The Thunder have come back from halftime deficits four times this year and even in their two losses they outscored their opponents in the second half.
"When we are in the locker room at halftime everybody is psyched," said running back/linebacker Mike Arredondo. "We love the second half."
Trailing 13-7 at half against the Toros (5-6), the Thunder came roaring back with defensive stops and a huge defensive touchdown by Ryan Wagner, whose 55-yard interception return for a score ignited the comeback.
Desert Vista outscored Mountain View 24-15 in the second half and OT. Whether it's simply having its back against the wall or flipping a switch, Desert Vista seems to find ways to get the job done in the second half.
"I think we definitely thrive on the pressure," Arrendondo said.
Coming off last year's disappointing 2-8 season, Desert Vista learned to win the close games that previously escaped them. The Thunder have outscored opponents by a whopping 150-52 in the second half this year.
"Earlier in the season we were able to make adjustments and the kids were able to execute those, but at this point, now it's just the kids going ‘the second half is ours' and they believe it," Hinds said.