The final game of the season for Mountain Pointe brought with it plenty of drama, as the Pride fell to Corona del Sol in double-overtime, 34-33 on Friday night.
This was it for Mountain Pointe. Win or lose, the Pride's season was coming to an end after a rough season.
Still, they fought to the finish.
“Our theme all week has been we started with a 'W' and let’s end with one," Mountain Pointe coach Rich Wellbrock said. "It’s for these seniors. We wanted to take them out on a winning note."
The Pride’s defense has been their strong suit all year, and this week they had to deal with the dynamic Aztec duo of sophomore running back Anyale Velazquez and junior quarterback Quade Swearingen.
Velazquez finished the game carrying the ball 22 times for 59 yards and two touchdowns, while Swearingen finished completing 12-of-28 passes for 138 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“They’re really multidimensional," Wellbrock said. "Their quarterback’s such a great threat as well as their running back. It’s gonna be about our run fits and making sure we’re in the right gaps, in the right running lanes that they want to run to and dialing some stuff up at some point."
The first half was quiet, as the score was 7-7. The Aztecs scored their only first-half touchdown on a blocked punt return by junior linebacker Jake Schmitt, while the Pride scored theirs on a 1-yard run by senior running back Rashion Hodge.
In the third quarter, the Aztecs went up 14-7 off of a 1-yard run from junior running back Scott Musgrave.
The Pride immediately answered as sophomore quarterback Landen Powell connected with junior tight end Kevin Sawitzke to tie the game on a 37-yard touchdown pass.
Then, madness ensued.
The Pride drove all the way downfield only for senior kicker Cameron Rasmussen to miss a 36-yard field goal with 4 minutes left to play.
The Aztecs then got the ball back, but they were unable to go anywhere with a minute left to play.
On a key third down, Corona dialed up a familiar trick play. Similar to last week at Desert Vista, Velazquez took the handoff and threw a screen pass back to Swearingen who took it 40 yards to go up 20-14. Junior kicker Jasper Schineller missed what could have been a crucial PAT.
Mountain Pointe got the ball back and on fourth down with 17 seconds left, Powell connected with Sawitzke once again on a 47-yard touchdown pass.
Powell turned in one of his best games of the year as he completed 6-of-11 passes for 97 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception.
The game should’ve ended as all Mountain Pointe had to do was make the extra point attempt, but the Mountain Pointe players got penalized for celebrating. In turn, this caused the PAT to be moved back 10 yards where what could’ve been the game-winner was missed.
In both overtimes, both teams scored on all four of their possessions, but once again it came down to a PAT by Mountain Pointe.
The Pride started with the ball in the second overtime and scored on a 5-yard run from senior running back Resi Shank, but yet another missed PAT gave the Aztecs the opportunity to win the game if they scored.
That is exactly what they did as Velazquez once again came through in the clutch and punched in a 5-yard run. Schineller hit the extra point.
Even though the loss could, in essence, boil down to missed extra points and field goals, Shank said that the team never lost faith in Rasmussen.
“All this team is about is trust," Shank said. "We all trust each other. We all family, so we gotta have that behind us and behind our back and in our head that we always trust each other.
"I’m so happy and proud to be able to play with this team. I love my brothers and I would never switch any other team for this one.”
Shank finished the game with 22 carries for 156 yards and one touchdown.
Even though they lost, Wellbrock was proud of how his team fought till the end.
“Once again, they played their tails off, gave us everything they had, we just didn’t make a couple plays when we needed to and we actually made a couple plays that we haven’t made all year," Wellbrock said. "We got better tonight, especially on the offensive side of the ball and unfortunately our season comes to an end."
Now that the season is over, coach Wellbrock is immediately looking forward to putting together a winning Pride team next year.
“It’s going to be a big offseason for us," Wellbrock said. "We’ll kind of see who steps up as we move forward and that starts on Monday."
Mountain Pointe: 0 7 7 6 13 –33
Corona Del Sol: 0 7 7 6 14 –34
CDS - Schmitt blocked punt (Schineller kick), 8:49
MP - Hodge 1 run (Rasmussen kick), 0:34
CDS - Musgrave 1 run (Schineller kick), 9:58
MP - Powell 37 pass to Sawitzke (Rasmussen kick), 7:18
CDS - Velazquez 40 pass to Swearingen (Schineller missed kick), 1:14
MP - Powell 47 pass to Sawitzke (Rasmussen missed kick), 0:17
CDS - Swearingen 5 pass to Blackwell (Schineller kick)
MP - Powell 5 pass to Hodge (Rasmussen kick)
MP - Shank 5 run (Rasmussen missed kick)
CDS - Velazquez 5 run (Schineller kick)