D.V. romps Pinnacle to set up meeting with Basha - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

D.V. romps Pinnacle to set up meeting with Basha

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Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:45 pm | Updated: 12:41 am, Fri Nov 11, 2011.

The Desert Vista "Senior Walk" tradition was conducted Thursday night as more than 30 seniors locked hands, walked the distance of the football field and back again.

They drew it out as long as possible, almost to the point of loitering, after playing the last home game of their careers.

It was about the opposite of the game itself, an outcome that was hardly drawn out.

The third-seeded Thunder were in control from start to finish in a 52-7 win over No. 6 Pinnacle in the Division I quarterfinals.

Desert Vista (11-1) advances to face No. 7 Basha (9-3) at Mesquite High School next Friday with a berth to the state title game on the line.

If the Thunder play as well they did on against Pinnacle (9-3) they could be playing in the championship game for second time since 2007.

They were that good.

"That was exactly what we wanted to do," senior Mike Arredondo said. "We came out and took control and never let up. It gave us a chance to kind of take in and enjoy our last time on this field."

Desert Vista never punted in racking up 444 yards of offense without as they scored on four of five possessions in the first half with the lone non-scoring possession being a one-play kneel down to end the half up 24-0.

"One of the major goals was to play four quarters and we emphasized it all week and they came out and did that," Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds said. "We wanted to start strong and finish strong."

The Desert Vista defense made sure the Thunder reached their second straight semifinal as it forced five turnovers, including two first-half fumbles that led to 10 points for Desert Vista.

"We can't afford to make mistakes against team like Desert Vista as they were really costly," Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke said. "But it probably really wouldn't have mattered because we couldn't stop them."

Pinnacle came out with a different defensive look - a 4-3 front - after playing a 3-5 nearly all season.

It forced Desert Vista quarterback Hunter Rodriguez to make a lot of reads at the line, checking to plays and the senior put the offense in the right spot time after time.

The Thunder rushed for 249 yards, led by Dominic Kereluk (10 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD), but it was Rodriguez's precision passing that came up with the big plays.

He completed 11 of 13 passes for 182 yards with two touchdowns while seven different players had a reception. Kaleb Germinaro (87 total yards, 2 TDs) was on one end of the receiving touchdowns and Matt Geranen (3 catches, 59 yards) had the other.

About the only downer for the Thunder was the fact that it couldn't set the school record for shutouts (4) in a season when Pinnacle scored on a 75-yard pass from Matt Mercurio to Jason Neill on a fake punt in the fourth quarter.

While technically it was the special teams that gave up the score, it still wiped out the chance, but the defense still played at its peak.

Junior Nick Farina, who had a sack, and senior Chandler Kimball had  an 87-yard interception return for the final score of the game.

"It was in the back of my mind that I had to score," said Kimball, referring to the fact that he was the lone defensive back without a return for a score. "It was a great way to finish our last game here."

 

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