Mountain View entered the 2019 season looking to secure the program’s 400th victory after ending last season just one shy of the mark.
It may have taken the Toros three weeks to capture the milestone, but it came in a big way on Friday night against Mountain Pointe.
Mountain View battled back from an 18-point deficit, scoring 25 unanswered points to defeat Mountain Pointe, 35-28, at Jesse Parker Field in Mesa.
“This win turns everything around,” Mountain View senior wideout Cash Clark said. “I think it shows that we can be contenders. We want to make a deep playoff run and shock the world.”
Both teams started slow on offense, trading punts through the most of the opening quarter. Finally, the Toros broke through thanks to a 30-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Nito to Clark.
The Toros would add to their lead in the second quarter with a 28-yard field goal from Jesus Garcia.
That’s when Mountain Pointe started firing on all cylinders.
The Pride defense forced back-to-back turnovers with less than five minutes to go in the first half. The first turnover, a forced fumble by Jaylous Horton, led to a 90-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Landen Powell to senior wideout Dominique Davis.
After forcing Mountain View to punt, senior running back Resi Shank found the end zone from a yard out to give Mountain Pointe the lead. Another forced fumble on the Toros’ next drive led to yet another touchdown by Shank, this time in the form of a 5-yard pass from Powell.
“We thought we were really going to start getting it rolling in the second half,” Wellbrock said.
The fumble recoveries were just two of four total turnovers Mountain Pointe’s defense forced on the night, as they continuously pressured Nieto and the rest of the Toro offense.
After Shank’s third touchdown, a 30-yard burst up the middle to give Mountain Pointe a 28-10 lead, Mountain View coach Mike Fell replaced a banged-up Nieto with sophomore quarterback Willy Roberts.
“Willy is quite a talent,” Fell said. “Brandon is one of our captains, he’s our leader. He just got dinged up there and wasn’t feeling it. We went with Willy and he made some plays.”
The switch at quarterback sparked Mountain View’s offense, as the Toros went on to score 25-unanswered points led by Roberts’ 180 yards through the air. He also got it done on the ground, rushing for 40 yards and a score.
He immediately found chemistry with Clark, who ended the night with 13 receptions for a staggering 203 yards. Deshaun Jackson, Mountain View’s speed back, also contributed with 90 yards on the ground and a score of his own.
“When our defense clicks, we are really hard to beat,” Roberts said. “I think we have one of the most explosive offenses.”
Both defenses struggled to contain the opposing offense, as both teams combined for 740 total yards – 498 of which from Mountain View.
Mountain pointe was without starting guard Will Haire, who is expected to miss several weeks with a lower leg injury he suffered against Pinnacle. But even in Haire’s absence, Powell managed to find comfort in the pocket, finishing 17-of-32 for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
Shank replicated his standout performance against Faith Lutheran in Las Vegas in Week 1 with 150 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns against Mountain View. Davis, meanwhile, was Powell’s top target, hauling in 10 passes for 193 yards and a score.
“We just have to keep feeding those guys when other teams will let us feed them,” Wellbrock said. “I was really happy with both of their efforts and execution.”
Mountain Pointe (1-2) will have a week off before it looks to end its two-game losing skid on the road at Hamilton (3-0) on Sep. 20. Meanwhile, Mountain View (1-2) looks to carry on the momentum from the program’s 400th win next Friday as they host Queen Creek (2-1).
But for now, the Toros are going to celebrate their 400th win.
“We are going to enjoy this one,” Fell said. “This game will help going forward, that’s for sure. But I’m not going to worry about that right now.”
MP 0 21 7 0 -- 28
MV 7 3 13 12 – 35
MV – Nieto 30 pass to Clark (Garcia kick), 1:58
MV – Garcia 23 field goal, 9:21
MP – Powell 90 pass to Davis (Rasmussen kick), 4:23
MP – Shank 1 run (Rasmussen kick), 2:04
MP – Powell 5 pass to Shank (Rasussen kick), :27
MP – Shank 30 run (Rasmussen kick), 8:19
MV – Robert 17 run, 6:24
MV – Roberts 63 pass to Clark (Garcia kick), 1:18
MV – Safety, 11:19
MV – Jackson 1 run (Garcia kick), 8:41
MV – Garcia 18 field goal, 2:31