Two plays was all it took to put the brakes on Mountain View's otherwise-relentless night.
The Toros kept coming back on Desert Mountain, but the fourth quarter belonged to Desert Mountain as the Wolves hit the road and beat the heat and Toros in a 49-28 shootout victory.
Time and again, Mountain View appeared on the brink of losing its way, only to rebound, but a couple big-time players for Desert Mountain hit on a big pass, and a defensive touchdown turned the night for good.
The Wolves' 'A' players - quarterback Kyle Allen and receiver Mark Andrews - used a pump fake and a subsequently easy pitch-and-catch for a 67-yard score down the sidelines to grab a 35-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.
On Mountain View's next play from scrimmage, Joe Duran returned an interception 16 yards and in a flash it was 42-21 in favor of the Wolves (1-0).
Until that 30-second (game time) sequence, the Toros wouldn't relent. They trailed 14-0 in the first quarter because of Allen-to-Andrews and Desert Mountain's running game with Adam Cooper (135 yards rushing and three touchdowns), something which excited the Wolves mightily after it struggled mightily in 2011.
Part of those struggles was attributed to Cooper missing all of last season with injury, and a then-young offensive line.
But back came the Toros (0-1) as junior quarterback Chase Funk found a rhythm, Mountain View ran the ball effectively at times and got a defensive touchdown of their own when Caleb Nicoll picked up a fumble and ran it back 30 yards.
"I told our team that we're going to make mistakes and bad things are going to happen," Wolves coach Tony Tabor said. "It's how you recover. I knew we weren't going to roll. (Mountain View) is going to be good."
It was 21-21 at halftime when Cooper scored his second touchdown of the night for Desert Mountain and then the 14-point, 30-second sequence made it 42-21. But again Mountain View quickly moved the ball downfield and Weston Birtcher's second touchdown of the night on a pass from Chase Funk made it 42-28 with eight minutes left in regulation.
But Desert Mountain ran enough clock and stopped the Toros from creeping closer yet again.
"We can't turn the ball over, that was 14 points," Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier said.
Allen, a Division I college prospect threw for 190 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Andrews, who caught seven balls for 142 yards.
Meanwhile, the Toros' passing game effectively moved the ball for about 2 1/2 quarters as they used some balance and intermediate passing game against the Wolves. Funk threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
Penalties and the two turnovers, however, made a difference on this night. The Toros saw positives, but there's still a journey to be had in trying to close games the way Desert Mountain did to them.
"We're right there, we just have to learn and be able to take the next step," DeGrenier said. "We'll be where we need to be by the end of the season."
Desert Mtn. 14 7 0 28 -- 49
Mountain View 14 7 0 7 -- 28
First Downs: DM: 13. MV: 12
Rushing: DM 31-185. MV: 19-94
Passing: DM 12-23-190-0. MV 14-30-225-1
Fumbles-Lost: DM: 1-1. MV: 1-1
Penalties: DM: 5-50. MV: 8-70
DM: Andrews 25 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)
DM: Cooper 28 run (Taylor kick)
MV: Birtchter 14 run (Bustillos kick)
MV: Nicoll 30 fumble return (Bustillos kick)
DM: Waltman 10 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)
MV: Montalvo 20 pass from Funk (Bustillos kick)
DM: Cooper 2 run (Taylor kick)
DM: Andrews 67 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)
DM: Duran 16 INT return (Taylor kick)
MV: Birtchter 10 pass from Funk (Bustillos kick)
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.