Mountain Pointe coach Eric Lauer raved about his team's ability to find a way to win against Corona del Sol in the season opener, avenging last year's rout at the hands of the Aztecs.
He aimed to have his team carry over the momentum from that game into their season opener against Brophy, a team on the rise under head coach Jason Jewell. But the Pride are also on the rise. That was made clear in their final offensive drive of the game when Mountain Pointe took the lead and the win, 26-23 over the Broncos.
It's the first time since 2016 Mountain Pointe starts the season 2-0. The Pride have already matched their win total from the last two years combined.
Ahead of the game, Jewell said while both teams had down years in 2020, “Mountain Pointe is Mountain Pointe.”
“Just like us last year, who cares what the record was. It’s 6A football,” Jewell said. “Their defense likes to smack people and they’ve got plenty of team speed.”
Mountain Pointe’s defense was on full display Friday night, as they limited the Broncos to a mere 23 points just one week after Brophy put up 49 points in a win over Saint Mary’s.
Both teams traded multiple drives in the first quarter, but neither was able to get on the board.
To start the second quarter, Brophy senior kicker Marcus Lye got the Broncos started with a 45-yard field goal. Then, with just under five minutes left in the first half, Brophy senior quarterback EJ Warner connected with senior running back Taj Hughes for the first touchdown of the night.
But, with under two minutes left in the half, the Pride suddenly found their stride. Junior quarterback Chris Arviso hit senior receiver Jordan Huff for a 38-yard touchdown.
Just 42 seconds later, senior defensive back Amier Boyd intercepted Warner and returned it for a touchdown. The Pride converted their only two-point conversion of the night and took a 14-9 lead into halftime.
Mountain Pointe head coach Eric Lauer believed that interception by Boyd changed the course of the game.
“The pick definitely changed the momentum, but our tempo was to push and push and push regardless,” Lauer said. “The more we see hands on hips and guys asking for a break, we turn it up even more.”
Much like in the first, it took Mountain Pointe a quarter to adjust to the tempo of the game. The Pride could not get it going in the third quarter, while the Broncos were able to muster up seven points on another touchdown pass from Warner to Hughes.
Hughes did it all for the Broncos on offense as he finished with 8 carries for 45 yards and 13 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Mountain Pointe opened up the fourth quarter with a three-minute drive that ended in a quarterback sneak for a touchdown from Arviso to take back the lead. Just over a minute later Warner led the Broncos to their last touchdown of the night on an eight-yard pass to junior receiver Layton Duncan.
With just over seven minutes left in the game, the Broncos intercepted Arviso for the second time, but squandered an opportunity to add to their lead as Lye missed a 39-yard field goal.
Aviso then led the Pride down the field and capped off the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Boyd.
“I was seeing that the defense was tired,” Arviso said. “We had time to just move the ball and keep making positive gains.”
Arviso finished the night passing for 317 yards and two touchdowns alongside one rushing touchdown.
The Broncos got the ball back with the chance to drive down the field, but an interception from Mountain Pointe junior defensive back Timmy Allen sealed the game.
Lauer emphasized his belief that Mountain Pointe’s “culture is changing quicker than we thought.”
“It’s about embracing the chase and they’re buying into that,” Lauer said. “We bent, we wiggled a little bit but we didn’t break.”
Next week, Mountain Pointe (2-0) will face off against Perry (1-1). Lauer said the Pride will immediately move their focus to their next opponent.
“(They are a) Well coached team. They’re sound in everything they do,” Lauer said. “We’re gonna have our hands full.”