In the limelight
Mountain Pointe handled Upland 41-22 at Norco High in California.
Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2016 12:43 am | Updated: 12:55 am, Sun Aug 28, 2016.
NORCO, Calif. – It’s no wonder Mountain Pointe heads out of state on an annual basis these days.
The Pride won an early season out-of-state battle for the fourth straight year in impressive fashion as Mountain Pointed handled Upland 41-22 Saturday at Gary Campbell Field at Norco High as part of the Brothers in Arms showcase.
“We are representing the whole state, not just our school or our city,” senior cornerback Antwaun Woodberry said. “We want to show everyone that Arizona is a great football state every time we play.”
Mountain Pointe scored three of its first four drives and punted just once in the first half to jump on Upland 20 in just over a quarter of play.
Quarterback Noah Grover connected with three different receivers for touchdowns as Gary Bragg scored on a 10-yard swing pass out of the back field, Isaiah Pola-Mao took advantage of single coverage when the safety was late reacting for a 48-yard score and Jaydon Brooks split two defenders at the 10-yard line with a spin move on the way to a 31-yard score.
“We saw their safeties came in hard so we knew we had some good matchups on the outside,” said Grover, who finished 9 for 14 for 276 yards and four touchdowns. “We work a lot on that in practice, the timing with the deep ball and where (Pola-Mao) likes it.”
Pola-Moa added a 77-yard touchdown in the second half on a third-and-17 from the 23 to finish with five catches for 215 yards, two scores and an interception on defense.
“He’s a great, great player,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “Our quarterback had a great game, and he found Pola a few times for big plays.”
Meanwhile the Pride defense stuffed the run and the Upland quarterback David Baldwin wasn’t accurate enough to take advantage of open receivers.
“We saw on film if he felt pressure, he got rid of the ball in a hurry,” Woodberry said. “Our D-Line and linebackers were going to get after him and the DBs were ready for the ball came out quick.”
The second half was about the Mountain Pointe offensive line wearing down Upland as Bragg and Rashie Hodge, who had a 72-yard touchdown run, finding themselves in the second level of the defense time and again.
Bragg finished with 160 yards and Hodge had 98 as the team cranked out 303 yards on the ground.
“We wore them out in the second half,” senior guard Rudy Rauls said. “The coaches said we wanted to hit them in the mouth, and we didn’t hit hard enough in the first half. The second half we really went after them.”
The Pride have now topped Bishop Gorman and McQueen from Nevada, Bakersfield and Upland from California in recent years.
“I don’t why,” Vaughan said of their out-of-state success. “I guess we are just better than most teams we’ve faced. When our guys are challenged they met it.”
Mountain Pointe will now get a bye before facing Chandler, which lost 56-49 in the second game of the double header, on Thursday, Sept. 8.
“We’re in a good spot,” Vaughan said. “We’re 2-0, have some time off and can get ready for Chandler. That’s going to tell us a lot about where we are at against a very good team.”
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Mountain Pointe 41, Upland (Calif.) 22
MP 13 7 14 7 –41
U 0 3 6 13—22
MP –Bragg 10 pass from Grover (PAT blocked), 8:05
MP- Pola-Mao 48 pass from Grover (Abercrombie kick), :15
MP- Brooks 31 pass from Grover (Abercrombie kick), 10:03
U – Mojarro 23 FG, :32
U – Mojarro 30 FG, 12:15
MP – Pola-Mao 77 pass from Grover (Abercrombie kick), 7:38
MP – Hodge 72 run (Abercrombie kick), 3:59
U – Potts 34 pass from Baldwin (2 point failed), 1:55
MP-Bragg 36 run (Abercrombie kick), 3:04
U – Unknown touchdown, 1:44
Rush-yards 31-303 18-10
Att-comp-int 9-14-0 9-30-1
Pass yards 276 135
Total yards 579 145
First downs 17 8
Fumbles/lost 2/1 4/2
Penalties 11-110 4-29
MP – Bragg 20-160, Hodge 6-98, Brooks 1-(-)1, Grover 1-(-)1, Salgado 3-45. U – Seymore 9-21, Jones 3-10, Baldwin 6-21.
MP – Grover 9-14-0-276. U- Baldwin 9-29-1-135, Potts 0-1-0-0.
MP – Pola-Mao 5-215, Brooks 1-31, Bragg 2-23, Smallwood 1-7. U – Sweet 4-101, Ratliff 1-12, Parker 3-17, Rojas 1-5.
MP – Abercrombie (33).