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Under the tutelage of Head Coach Norris Vaughan, 30 Mountain Pointe football players have signed with Division One schools over the past eight years.

 

2010

Alex Lewis  –  Nebraska
Ben Demarr   –  Air Force
Davon Jones   –  Mississippi Valley State

2011

Izzy Marshall  –   Arizona State
Jose Romero   –  Arizona
JR Plote   –  South Dakota State

2012

RJ Hollis  –  Hawaii

2013

Kenny Lacy  –  UCLA
Tre Campbell  –  Georgia State
Landry Payne  –  Oregon State
Thair Blakes  –  UAB

2014

Jalen Brown  –  Oregon/Northwestern
Wesley Payne  –  Oregon State
Timmy Hernandez  –  Oregon State
Markell Simmons  –  TCU
Natrell Curtis  –  UAB
Dominique Fenstermacher  –  UNLV
Mitchell Fraboni  –  ASU
Emmanuel Butler  –  NAU
Deontay Townsend  –  Sam Houston State
Xavier Cochrane  –  Colorado

2015

Nick Carman  –  Utah
Davis Perrott  –  Washington State
Paul Lucas  –  Oregon State
Brandyn Leonard  –  New Mexico State

2016

Jack Smith  –  Arizona State

2017

Isaiah Pola-Mao  –  USC
Eddie Rivas  –  NAU
Jaydon Brooks  –  Navy
Rashie Hodge  –  South Dakota State

Congrats to Jaydon Brooks on being honored as one of the top scholar athletes in Arizona by theNational Football Foundation.  Pictured with Coach Norris Vaughan at the 36th Annual Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet on April 8, 2017.  

 

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State championship: Fast start, first-quarter psyche key in 6A finals

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2016 6:11 pm

The first quarter of a football game is anything but sudden death.

The 6A Conference state title game on Saturday just might the closest thing to it.

The first 12 minutes, or even less, for that matter, could very well be critical in determining the outcome between No. 1 Mountain Pointe and No. 2 Chandler.

Usually the first couple of drives involve a feeling out process for a long back-and-forth battle.

This one just might be different when they kickoff at 7 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Pride (13-0) absolutely trounced Chandler 52-7 on Sept. 8. It means a fast start by Mountain Pointe could very well put the Wolves in a here-we-go-again mode.

Then again if Chandler (11-2) grabs the early lead and momentum it is a continuation of one of the more dominant stretches in recent memory.

If that is the scenario it squarely puts the Pride in a position of unknown.

“We can’t panic if we get behind early,” Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. “We will do what we do and stay the course.”

Mountain Pointe hasn’t trailed all season and until last week’s 21-14 squeaker against No. 13 Red Mountain, the Pride only had one opponent have a fourth quarter drive that could have tied the game.

And that was over with 10 minutes left.

“Getting off to a fast start is going to be so important,” Chandler coach Shaun Aguano said. “Especially from a psyche standpoint.

“For us if we get down, do we think about the first game? For them they haven’t been behind early, and we haven’t been much either. We want to get off early and see how they react to it.”

Mountain Pointe feels like last week’s game – losing a 14-0 lead and having to dig deep for a little extra to win a tie game in the fourth quarter – came at the perfect time.

“That just happened last week,” senior offensive lineman Eddie Rivas said. “We were tested and we pulled it out. We know that’s something we can do after winning all of our games pretty easy.”

It was the surprise game of the week as senior quarterback Noah Grover, who returned after a six week layoff, was out of sorts and came at a cost as four starters, including Rivas, came out of the game dinged up. Vaughan is hopeful all will be ready to go as the Pride tries for the program’s second title in four seasons, but was unsure as of Tuesday’s media day.

“To win a state championship you have to be lucky and healthy,” he said. “Hopefully we will be really lucky because we are not very healthy.”

The Pride has one of the top defenses in the state, and has the size and speed to match up with Chandler. The Wolves haven’t faced much a challenge since losing to the Pride, outscoring opponents 508-156 over the last nine games.

It all adds to feeling that the Pride comes into the game reeling a bit and the Wolves, who looked to win their second title in three years, playing better than just about anyone in the state.

“I think our kids are more focused than they were the first time,” Aguano said of his players, who held a meeting without the coaches early in the week. “We are playing better football right now. Mountain Pointe is a physical and fast football team, and very athletic. They match up well against us all across the board.”

The Pride have imposed their will up front on teams all year long as the offense averages 310.4 yards a game on the ground and the defensive line often spikes a running back behind the line of scrimmage.

The Wolves, however, are similar in size and physical play on both sides of the ball. The close encounters up front are going to go a long way in determining who ends up on the stage at midfield Saturday night.

“I think we have to posses the ball and limit Chandler’s snaps,” Vaughan said. “Defensively, we are really good and we think we can do some things. They have been playing with the chains in their favor. We have to be able to get first downs and not turn the ball over.”

The Chandler offense, which has been led by sophomore quarterback Jacob Conover all year long, is ready for the challenge of Mountain Pointe’s defense, which has held opponents to two touchdowns or less nine times.

“We never panic and just get ready for the next play,” senior wide receiver Johnny Johnson said. “I think we are rolling a lot more as a team. The work we put in has us prepared, and we have believed all along (since the Mountain Pointe game) we were never going to lose again.”

One team has to come Saturday night when the 2016 season comes to end.

“At this time of the year the season is kind of like life,” Vaughan said. “You go through this journey and you have ups and downs all of the time. You lose people in your life. It is a long journey.

“And it is defined by one more game.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@evtrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda

By the numbers

                            C             MP

Avg. rush yards      265.3       310.3

Avg. pass yards      257.1       139.8

All-purpose yards    545.9       556.2

Total TDs               77             80

Points per game      48.3         44.5

Pts allowed avg.      22.3        12.3

Tackles for a loss     61           63.5

Sacks                    29            32

QB hurries              82           82

INTs by defense      13            21

State championship: Opposing coaches weigh-in on 6A title game

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2016 1:10 pm

By the time a 10-week regular season and a handful of playoffs games are played there is a pretty good log book of the tendencies of each team.

Leading up to a state title game Hudl is run on a continuous loop as the coaching staffs try to gain any advantage.

Sometimes an outside perspective can provide some insight that those too close to the game can’t see or won’t say.

We talked to two 6A coaches who played either Mountain Pointe and/or Chandler this year. They’ve had common opponents and seen enough film on both teams to have an idea of what to expect in Saturday’s title game.

Here some of their perspectives:

* “Mountain Pointe puts everything on their offensive line. There are games where they throw the ball five or six times, and when they do pass they just do it for show. It’s a big line and they have been great, but if you stop the run then are they ready to get it done with the pass?”

* So what do you do? Do you load the box and make you beat with the pass? No. 6 (Jaydon Brooks) and No. 9 (Isaiah Pola-Mao) are going to win most one-one-one matchups.”

* The Mountain Pointe offense changed with the young quarterback (Nick Wallerstedt), and they kept winning. That’s pretty impressive. How much do they use him?”

* You have to establish the run against that Mountain Pointe defense. You are not going to beat them with the pass, at least not consistently. They are too good.”

* Chandler’s offense is the best in the state. Their skills guys are great, but no one talks about the line enough. They give the skills guys a chance because they good and physical. They are one team that matches up well up front with Mountain Pointe.”

* The Chandler defense is beatable, but they are playing better. They are getting to the ball carrier in groups. They are playing with big leads so they can take chances and their mistakes are hidden a little bit.”

* “The Chandler offense has so much momentum. Their confidence has skyrocketed. They are doing all of their damage on first and second down. You have to get them in third and long or third and five. They haven’t faced that a lot lately. Make them earn and keep them from running wild on first and second down with (TJ) Green and (Ryan) Johnson.”

* “Chandler can get you so many ways it forces the defense to pretty vanilla because you can’t defend all of those guys, the running backs with (Johnny) Johnson and No. 18 (Gunner Romney) on the outside. No real weakness shows up on film.”

* “Mountain Pointe has to score early or Chandler just might roll them like they have everyone else. Mountain Pointe will get theirs, but man Chandler is explosive.”

* “If it is close at halftime, Mountain Pointe’s staff might be the best at making adjustments. They are very good at correcting things and taking advantage of any mistakes you’ve made.”

 
 

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Mountain Pointe’s Isaiah Pola-Mao attempts a diving catch agaisnt Pinnacle.  Photo by Kristin Grover, Special to Tribune

MP’s Pola-Mao named Central Region MVP

Posted: Monday, November 21, 2016 12:25 pm  |   By Jason P. Skoda, Prep Sports Director

The 6A Central Region selected its all region team.

Mountain Pointe’s Isaiah Pola-Mao was named MVP for this play at wide receiver and safety.

Desert Vista quarterback Nick Thomas was named Offensive MVP and Desert Vista linebacker Lelon Dillard was named Defensive MVP.

Here is a look at the full team:

6A Conference All-Central Region

MVP: Isaiah Pola-Mao, Mountain Pointe

Offensive MVP: Nick Thomas, Desert Vista

Defensive MVP: Lelon Dillard, Desert Vista

Offense

RB

First team

Rashie Hodge Mt. Pointe

Cameron Brice Corona Del Sol

Tyrese Allen Desert Ridge

Second team

Delano Salgado Mountain Pointe

Kohner Cullimore Highland

Gary Bragg Mountain Pointe

QB

First team

Jack Plummer Gilbert

Offensive Line

First team

Eddie Rivas Mountain Pointe

Myles Wilson Desert Vista

Rudy Rauls Mountain Pointe

Uriah Medder Corona Del Sol

Mason Honne Mountain Pointe

Second team

Mckenzie Potterf Desert Vista

Dallin Clement Highland

Matt Fick Corona Del Sol

Nick Omitt Desert Ridge

Ian Baxter Desert Ridge

WR

First team

Keishaud White Desert Vista

David Morales Gilbert

Jake White Desert Vista

Second team

Jared Zimmerman Highland

Dawson Tanner Gilbert

Ricky Pearsall Corona Del Sol

TE

First team

James Stagg Desert Vista

Second team

Garrison Turcotte Gilbert

Defense

Secondary

First team

Antwaun Woodberry Mountain Pointe

Kenny Churchwell Mountain Pointe

Steven Gomez Desert Ridge

Donjae Logan Desert Ridge

Second team

Alijah Gammage Desert Vista

Corvan Otanez Gilbert

Caleb Humphrey Desert Vista

Brad Beaver Desert Ridge

Interior Line

First team

Ashton Dana Highland

Dylan Conner Corona Del Sol

Matthew Pola-Mao Mountain Pointe

Shomari Hayes Mountain Pointe

Second team

Christian Medeiros Desert Ridge

Noah Evan Highland

Garrett Fulton Gilbert

Brett Johnson Desert Vista

End

First team

Jalen Harris Desert Ridge

Khalif Ravenell Mountain Pointe

Second team

Trey Bussler Corona Del Sol

Dylan Bryan Gilbert

Linebacker

First team

Christian Allen Desert Ridge

Chad Porter Desert Vista

Jacob Clemens Corona Del Sol

Second team

Xaiver Cota Mountain Pointe

Michael Washington Mountain Pointe

Tate Stevens Highland

Kicker

First team

Riley Erickson Desert Vista

Second team

Tony Decozio Desert Ridge

Punter

First team

Kaden Riforgiate Corona Del So

Second team

Austin Mcnamara Highland

Returner

First team

Jaydon Brooks Mountain Pointe

Second team

Connor McKernan Gilbert

Long Snapper

First team

Adam Bay Desert Ridge

Second team

Conor Egan Desert Vista

Honorable Mentions

Desert Vista

Tristin Flores, OL

Joe Money, TE

Larry Davis, LB

Nick Lopez, OL

Jared Ostendorp, OL

Highland

Sean McCord DB

Braiden Williams DL

Jake Ohara

Hunter Short DB

Jacob Wood LB

Jalen Johnson DB

Tyler Johnson DL

David Fabok DL

Noah Newburgh DB

Danial Castillo WR

Tyler Johnson WR

Jacob Wood RB

Brydon Horne RB

Connor Williams OL

Davis Brown OL

Cody Bartz OL

Jake Kersting QB

Riley Bond OL

Mountain Pointe

Noah Grover Qb

Sky Hinojosa WR

Justice Hudson OL

Alex Vogel OL

Marshawn Gibson DB

Donte Lindsey DB

Jacob Olsen LB

Daniel Pena DT

Dakota Fey P

Gilbert

Garrison Turcotte LB

Tyler Turcotte OL

Garrett Fulton OL

DJ Ruhl DB

Corona Del Sol

Griffin Baker TE

Alex Purcell C

Kaden Riforgiate LB

Jason Staples DE

Brian McCluskey DB

Kobee Marion DB

Desert Ridge

Kylar Day

Khris Broom

Tyler Mcleve

Jason Harris

Connor Goetz

Robert Mancha

Mountain Pointe WR Jaydon Brooks threw the go-ahead touchdown to lift Mountain Pointe over Red Mountain and into the 6A Conference final. (Jake Rill/azcentral sports)

Watch Jaydon’s post-game interview here:  Jaydon Brooks’ trick TD pass leads Mountain Pointe into 6A final

East Valley Tribune | Varsity Extra

GameNight: Red Mountain nearly knocks off No. 1 Mountain Pointe

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 11:45 pm | Updated: 12:19 am, Sat Nov 19, 2016.

Jaydon Brooks has been Mountain Pointe’s emergency quarterback the last couple of the years.

An emergency cropped up Friday.

While he technically didn’t come in at quarterback, the Pride offense was in dire need of rescue as top-seeded and heavily favored Mountain Pointe was deadlocked in a tie in the fourth quarter of the 6A Conference against No. 13 Red Mountain.

Brooks, a wide receiver by trade, took a handoff on a reverse, pulled up on the right side and hit a streaking Isaiah Pola-Mao for a 59-yard touchdown with 6:55 left in the game for a 21-14 win.

“I don’t know if I’d call it an emergency, but we needed something big happen,” Brooks said. “I have never completed that pass, and when I saw Isaiah that open I knew I had to get it to him somehow.”

The ball – according to Pola-Mao – seemed to be in the air forever, but he caught to give the Pride (13-0) the margin of victory back in order to return to the state championship game for the third time.

“It was a great call by the coaches,” Pola-Mao said. “They noticed the (Red Mountain) corners were crashing line of scrimmage. When you are that open you can over think it, but there was no way I was going to drop that one.”

The win gives the Pride a chance to win its second state title in four seasons when they play No. 2 Chandler (11-2) on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“It don’t even know what to say about it,” Brooks said. “It’s not real yet.”

And it almost didn’t happen thanks to a valiant effort by Red Mountain (8-5).

The Mountain Lions trailed 14-0 at halftime, but went into the intermission on a high after the Pride failed to score in the final moments of the second quarter despite getting down to the Red Mountain 3-yard line.

A false start, a dropped pass by Brooks on a difficult catch in the end zone and then a missed 19-yard field kept it at 14-0 at the half.

Red Mountain scored on its first two possessions of the second half as Austin Duffy started to heat up in completing a 25-yard score to a wide open Mack Klafter and a 33-yard acrobatic catch Josh Daniels with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

While the Mountain Lions will always remembering pushing a team ranked in the top 10 nationally to the brink, what will hurt was the missed opportunity to take the lead.

Duffy connected with Daniels again, this time for 43 yards, plus a personal foul on Mountain Pointe’s Pola-Mao for unnecessary roughness, to put the ball to the Pride 6.

The Pride defense stepped up – especially when running back Lance Lawson pulled up to throw a pass and no one was open he was tackled for a loss.

It led to an eventual 32-yard field by that was no good. Wide left.

“We had to get points on that third trip down there,” Red Mountain coach Ron Wisneiwski said. “It’s easy to look at plays after they don’t work, but we thought what we had was the right play in that moment. We still had a chance there and didn’t get anything out of it. It’s a different game if we take the lead there, but we didn’t.”

Two drives later, Brooks found Pola-Mao for the go-ahead score and then the Mountain Pointe defense, including a tipped ball by linebacker Rashie Hodge on the second-to-last drive and a sniffing out of a screen play on fourth down on Red Mountain’s final drive, closed out the game.

“We did some uncharacteristic things, missed wide open receivers, dropped touchdowns and missed kicks,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “Give Red Mountain credit it, they played hard. We won and advanced and that’s all that matters.”

It was the first time all year Mountain Pointe didn’t have a lead to start the fourth quarter and just the second time all year an opponent had a chance to tie the game in the final 12 minutes.

“We needed something like this,” said junior running back Delano Salgado, who had 166 yards rushing including a 68-yard touchdown in the first quarter. “We know a team can play with us and push us. We really haven’t had that situation and we were able to respond.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda

Box score

Mountain Pointe 21, Red Mountain 14

RM 0 0 14 0–14

MP 7 7 0 7–21

Scoring

First

MP-Salgado 68 run (Abercrombie kick), 2:15

Second

MP- Hodge 34 fumble return (Abercrombie kick)m 10:34

Third

RM – Klafter 25 pass from Duffy (Huffman kick)

RM – Daniels 33 pass from Duffy (Huffman kick), 5:37

Fourth

MP – Pola-Mao 59 pass from Brooks (Abercrombie kick), 6:55

Team stats

                    RM               MP

First downs     11               14

Rush-yards    32-159        29-262

Comp-Att-INT  6-17-0        4-10-0

Pass yards      129               97

Total yards     288              359

Fumbles/lost    2/2             3/1

Penalties         6-33            4-30

Individual stats

Rushing

RM – Lawson 22-104, Romero 3-7, Duffy 4-26, Rappoport 1-2, Moore 2-20. MP – Hodge 10-46, Salgado 12-166, Woodbury 1-5, Stephens 3-25, Wallerstedt 3-20.

Passing

RM – Duffy 6-16-0-98, Lawson 1-1-0-(-)1. MP – Grover 3-9-0-35, Brooks 1-1-0-59.

Receiving

RM – Daniels 3-87, Klafter 1-25, Pereira 2-3, Moore 1-14. MP – Pola-Mao 1-59, Brooks 1-23, Hodge 1-15.

Missed FG

RM -Huffman 39, 32. MP – Abercrombie 19.

 
 

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Mountain Pointe holds off Red Mountain for 6A title game berth

Jake Rill, Special for azcentral sports10:35 p.m. MST November 18, 2016

Senior wide receiver Jaydon Brooks is the emergency quarterback for Phoenix Mountain Pointe. On Friday night, there was an emergency.

It wasn’t because of an injury, but rather offensive inefficiency. Top-seeded Mountain Pointe was tied with No. 13-seeded Mesa Red Mountain late at Tempe McClintock High. And worse yet, it hadn’t scored since early in the second quarter – which was a defensive touchdown.

Brooks came to the rescue.

With 6 minutes, 55 seconds to go in the 6A Conference semifinal, Brooks received an end-around handoff, then threw a go-ahead, 59-yard touchdown bomb to senior receiver Isaiah Pola-Mao, lifting Mountain Pointe to a 21-14 win and pushing his team into next Saturday’s state championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“I was looking at him, I was like, ‘Wow, he’s wide open, there’s no one there. I can’t mess this up,’ ” Brooks said. “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

RELATED: Updated high school football playoff schedule

And he did exactly what he needed to.

While Red Mountain (8-5) scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to tie the game, Mountain Pointe (13-0) struggled on offense. It punted on its first three possessions in the second half, picking up only a pair of first downs.

But on the second play of a 74-yard drive, it all changed. Brooks’ pass spiraled through the air toward the right sideline, looking much more like a quarterback’s throw than a wide receiver’s. All Pola-Mao had to do was catch the pass in stride, running it in for the easy go-ahead score.

“To be honest, couldn’t have been any better timing from our coaches,” Brooks said. “I’m just glad they had the faith in me to get it down there to Isaiah to make him do his thing.”

Red Mountain opened the second half with touchdowns on two consecutive drives. Junior quarterback Austin Duffy threw a 25-yard touchdown to junior fullback Mack Klafter, then a tying 33-yard score to senior receiver Josh Daniels. Duffy had completed just one pass in the first half.

Mountain Pointe had lost momentum, while Red Mountain seemingly was gaining steam toward perhaps another improbable victory.

MORE: Complete high school football playoffs coverage

“We couldn’t catch a ball; we couldn’t throw a ball,” Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. “It was one of those nights where we couldn’t do anything right.”

Yet, it will be Vaughan’s team in the state final against Chandler High next Saturday.

When Vaughan addressed his team after the game, he pointed at his squad being able to make a big play. There were a few even before the go-ahead touchdown.

Junior running back Delano Salgado broke off a 68-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, finishing with 167 yards on 12 carries. In the second quarter, senior linebacker Rashie Hodge Jr. returned a fumble 39 yards for a score.

Because of that trio of big scoring plays, Mountain Pointe has a chance at a second undefeated season in four years next weekend.

“Our kids played hard, and we just made some adjustments,” Vaughan said. “And they did a good job there in the end on defense.”

Mountain Pointe’s Isaiah Pola-Mao pulls down an interception intended for Red Mountain’s Dominic Pereira in second quarter play. By Cheryl Haselhorst, Staff photographer

GameNight: Mountain Pointe has scare, but heads back to title game

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 11:15 pm | Updated: 11:45 pm, Fri Nov 18, 2016.

Jaydon Brooks has been Mountain Pointe’s emergency quarterback the last couple of the years.

An emergency cropped up Friday.

While he technically didn’t come in at quarterback, the Pride offense was in dire need of rescue as top-seeded and heavily favored Mountain Pointe was deadlocked in a tie in the fourth quarter of the 6A Conference against No. 13 Red Mountain.

Brooks, a wide receiver by trade, took a handoff on a reverse, pulled up on the right side and hit a streaking Isaiah Pola-Mao for a 59-yard touchdown with 6:55 left in the game for a 21-14 win.

“I don’t know if I’d call it an emergency, but we needed something big happen,” Brooks said. “I have never completed that pass, and when I saw Isaiah that open I knew I had to get it to him somehow.”

The ball – according to Pola-Mao – seemed to be in the air forever, but he caught to give the Pride (13-0) the margin of victory back in order to return to the state championship game for the third time.

“It was a great call by the coaches,” Pola-Mao said. “They noticed the (Red Mountain) corners were crashing line of scrimmage. When you are that open you can over think it, but there was no way I was going to drop that one.”

The win gives the Pride a chance to win its second state title in four seasons when they play No. 2 Chandler (11-2) on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“It don’t even know what to say about it,” Brooks said. “It’s not real yet.”

And it almost didn’t happen thanks to a valiant effort by Red Mountain (8-5).

The Mountain Lions trailed 14-0 at halftime, but went into the intermission on a high after the Pride failed to score in the final moments of the second quarter despite getting down to the Red Mountain 3-yard line.

A false start, a dropped pass by Brooks on a difficult catch in the end zone and then a missed 19-yard field kept it at 14-0 at the half.

Red Mountain scored on its first two possessions of the second half as Austin Duffy started to heat up in completing a 25-yard score to a wide open Mack Klafter and a 33-yard acrobatic catch Josh Daniels with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

While the Mountain Lions will always remembering pushing a team ranked in the top 10 nationally to the brink, what will hurt was the missed opportunity to take the lead.

Duffy connected with Daniels again, this time for 43 yards, plus a personal foul on Mountain Pointe’s Pola-Mao for unnecessary roughness, to put the ball to the Pride 6.

The Pride defense stepped up – especially when running back Lance Lawson pulled up to throw a pass and no one was open he was tackled for a loss.

It led to an eventual 32-yard field by that was no good. Wide left.

“We had to get points on that third trip down there,” Red Mountain coach Ron Wisneiwski said. “It’s easy to look at plays after they don’t work, but we thought what we had was the right play in that moment. We still had a chance there and didn’t get anything out of it. It’s a different game if we take the lead there, but we didn’t.”

Two drives later, Brooks found Pola-Mao for the go-ahead score and then the Mountain Pointe defense, including a tipped ball by linebacker Rashie Hodge on the second-to-last drive and a sniffing out of a screen play on fourth down on Red Mountain’s final drive, closed out the game.

“We did some uncharacteristic things, missed wide open receivers, dropped touchdowns and missed kicks,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “Give Red Mountain credit it, they played hard. We won and advanced and that’s all that matters.”

It was the first time all year Mountain Pointe didn’t have a lead to start the fourth quarter and just the second time all year an opponent had a chance to tie the game in the final 12 minutes.

“We needed something like this,” said junior running back Delano Salgado, who had 166 yards rushing including a 68-yard touchdown in the first quarter. “We know a team can play with us and push us. We really haven’t had that situation and we were able to respond.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda

Box score

Mountain Pointe 21, Red Mountain 14

RM   0   0   14   0–14

MP  7    7    0    7–21

Scoring

First

MP-Salgado 68 run (Abercrombie kick), 2:15

Second

MP- Hodge 34 fumble return (Abercrombie kick)m 10:34

Third

RM – Klafter 25 pass from Duffy (Huffman kick)

RM – Daniels 33 pass from Duffy (Huffman kick), 5:37

Fourth

MP – Pola-Mao 59 pass from Brooks (Abercrombie kick), 6:55

Team stats

                  RM                 MP

First downs   11                 14

Rush-yards    32-159          29-262

Comp-Att-INT 6-17-0         4-10-0

Pass yards      129              97

Total yards      288             359

Fumbles/lost   2/2             3/1

Penalties        6-33            4-30

Individual stats

Rushing

RM – Lawson 22-104, Romero 3-7, Duffy 4-26, Rappoport 1-2, Moore 2-20. MP – Hodge 10-46, Salgado 12-166, Woodbury 1-5, Stephens 3-25, Wallerstedt 3-20.

Passing

RM – Duffy 6-16-0-98, Lawson 1-1-0-(-)1. MP – Grover 3-9-0-35, Brooks 1-1-0-59.

Receiving

RM – Daniels 3-87, Klafter 1-25, Pereira 2-3, Moore 1-14. MP – Pola-Mao 1-59, Brooks 1-23, Hodge 1-15. 

Missed FG

RM -Huffman 39, 32. MP – Abercrombie 19.

 
 

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Sudden impact: MP’s Brooks, DV’s Gammage break open games with big plays

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 2:20 pm

As it gets deeper into the football postseason, the separation of talent between teams becomes less with each passing week.

The margin of victory – in theory anyway – should lessen as the top teams keep advancing.

There are many off the field intangibles – coaching advantages, styles of play, momentum etc. – that can trump all of that to give an advantage to one side or the other.

One of the things on the field that can sway the game in a hurry is having a gamebreaker make one of those sudden change-type plays in the midst of a close and competitive game.

As top-seeded Mountain Pointe and 10th-seeded Desert Vista prepare for this week’s 6A Conference quarterfinals, each squad has a clear gamebreaker that just might make a difference.

If Mountain Pointe (11-0) finds itself in a battle with No. 8 Desert Ridge (8-3) on Thursday as the two squads square off for the second time in a month at Karl Kiefer Stadium, the Pride’s Jaydon Brooks might be the difference maker if he can get his hands on a punt.

The same can be said for Desert Vista junior cornerback Alijah Gammage as the Thunder (7-4) travel to Austin Field on Thursday to try and upset No. 2 Chandler (9-2).

Both of the local teams have plenty of playmakers, but Brooks and Gammage have had huge impacts on games with their game-breaking abilities as a return specialist and a knack for interceptions, respectively.

Brooks ranks second nationally in the MaxPreps’ punt return average at 25.9 yards on 19 attempts including four punt returns for scores, but here is the hard to fathom part – he’s had three punt returns and one kickoff return called back because of penalties.

Even if the 5-10, 165-pounder was able to get loose as a direct result of the penalty he still found the end zone on eight different occasions on returns in one season.

There are programs that might go a decade without four punt return for a score let alone eight.

“He’s been dynamic,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “He has great vision, can make people miss and he is fast. It’s everything you want back. He’s made good decisions most of time and when he breaks one it really changes the game.”

Brooks, who averaged 12.6 yards a return last year, relishes the opportunity to have the ball in his hands and the whole field in front of him.

“I like being able improvise and make something happen,” said Brooks, who had two punt returns for scores in one game against Gilbert. “Sometimes when the offense and defense is in a stalemate the coaches will look at me and say ‘Jaydon, we need something on this one.’ I make sure I catch it first and then I look for the crease.”

Brooks, who has more than 1,400 total yards on the year, only had two returns for six yards against Desert Ridge in the 27-13 win on Oct. 14.

“If I get a chance I hope I can get another one,” he said. “They did a good job last time, but this is a different game. This is the playoffs and big plays make a difference this time of the year.”

Gammage’s impact since becoming eligible in Week 6 after transferring from Valley Christian has coincided with Desert Vista’s late season surge.

The Thunder have gone 5-1 since the junior was inserted in the lineup and started getting interceptions in bunches.

Gammage has seven interceptions in his six games including two in last week’s 28-14 win over No. 7 Mountain View.

“Everyone was picking on me because I went to a small school,” he said. “As long as they keep testing me I will make a play.”

The first interception against the Toros came on a deep pattern where he out-leapt the wide receiver, but the second one showed his football instincts.

Mountain View was facing a third and five, and was looking to do a quick drop and throw to the outside to get the first down. Instead there was a lightening flash in front of the receiver for a diving interception.

“I saw the coach look at the quarterback, and the quarterback look at the wide receiver,” Gammage said. “I knew it was coming, and the situation in the game on that drive let me go for it.”

This week brings a much different challenge with Chandler’s athletes including wide receivers Johnny Johnson and Gunner Romney.

“Chandler is really good,” Gammage said. “I was brought up to step up to a challenge and this is the next one.”

– Contact Jason Skoda at 480-898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

– Check us out and like the Ahwatukee Foothills News on Facebook and follow @AhwatukeeFN on Twitter.

 
 

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Mountain Pointe’s Jaydon Brooks breaks free of attempted tackles by Cesar Chavez’s Tavion Allen (3) and Corey Brown (10) before scooting across the goal line for a third quarter touchdown.  By Cheryl Haselhorst, Staff photographer

GameNight: Pride moves 11-0 with win over No. 16 Chavez

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2016 10:27 pm

Mountain Pointe football continued its campaign for a perfect season on Friday night with a 52-14 win over Cesar Chavez in Ahwatukee.

The Pride offense couldn’t be contained, as the unit torched the Champions for 255 yards rushing. But for head coach Norris Vaughn, success in the pro style offense is nothing new.

“The other teams could dominate like that if they wanted to run it,”he said. “We just do what we’ve got to do, and right now, that’s what is working for us. We wanted to go out there and pound it and end the game early, and we did. Rashie (Hodge) is a good player, and he can run with it, and he did tonight.”

Hodge carried the ball 12 times for 65 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 46-yard receiving touchdown in the second quarter.

Mountain Pointe’s defense, meanwhile, was nearly perfect tonight, holding the Champions to just 73 yards of offense in the first half, and 165 yards for the game.

“They have two really talented guys, Rogers and Allen, and we covered them well. I was upset we had a punt blocked, but we played really well,” he said.

Cesar Chavez scored on the blocked punt, and would score its other touchdown two minutes later. However, the Pride defense didn’t give a up a play for more than 30 yards in the game, even with their starters on the bench for most of the second half.

“(The second team) came in and did a good job. They’re a little green and had to play something they’re not used to because they’re JV guys, but they held them.”

They were able to force three turnovers in the second half, including a fumble recovered by Shomari Hayes near the end of the third quarter.

“I saw an opportunity and I took advantage of it. Coach told us if we stay focused and do our jobs, we’d get those opportunities,” Hayes said.

Top-seeded Mountain Pointe will have another opportunity to extend its perfect season on Thursday when they host No. 8 Desert Ridge in the quarterfinals.

* Argeros is a Ahwatukee-based freelancer.

Box score

Mountain Pointe 52, Cesar Chavez 14

CC 00 14 0 0 – 14

MP 14 28 7 3 – 52

Scoring

First

MP – Salgado 30 run (Abercrombie kick) 7:40

MP – Wallerstedt 23 run (Abercrombie kick) 0:29

Second

MP – Hodge 2 run (Abercrombie kick) 8:36

MP – Hodge 5 run (Abercrombie kick) 4:13

MP – Cota 28 fumble recovery (Abercrombie kick) 4:05

CC – Thomas 15 punt block (Ritchie kick) 2:06

MP – Hodge 46 pass from Wallerstedt (Abercrombie kick) 1:39

CC – Rogers 9 pass from Russell (Ritchie kick) 0:06

Third

MP – Brooks 30 pass from Wallerstedt (Abercrombie kick) 0:57

Fourth

MP – Abercrombie 33 Field Goal, 3:06

Team stats

                       CC           MP

First downs      11          17

Rush-yards     31-98    43-255

Comp-Att-Int 5-16-1     8-14-2

Pass yards       67          143

Total yards      165         398

Fumbles/lost    6-2        1-0

Penalties/yards 8-71     10-95

Individual stats

Rushing

CC – Thomas 1-5, Allen 2-2, Russell 15-19, Ritchie 1-6, Rogers 11-66, Skaff 1-0. MP – Hodge 12-65, Salgado 10-64, Brooks 1-(-2), Wallerstedt 3-8, Stephens 13-37, Woodberry 1-48, McKinney 3-35.

Passing

CC – Russell 5-15-2-67, Rogers 0-1-0-0. MP – Wallerstedt 8-14-2-143.

Receiving

CC – Allen 3-45, Rogers 1-9, Crain 1-13. MP – Hodge 2-68, Pola-Mao 1-10, Brooks 3-52, Churchwell 1-7, Hinojosa 1-6.

Missed FG

MP – Abercrombie (45).

 
 

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