Wakeup calls come in all shapes and sizes this time of year. For No.6-seeded Pinnacle, it came in the form of a 12-second deficit.
After coasting to a quick 13-0 lead over No. 11-seeded Mountain View on Friday night, the Pioneers let up and paid dearly for it. Mountain View quarterback Josh Clark’s second touchdown pass of the night, an 11-yard strike to wide receiver Clark Brown, gave the Toros a 14-13 lead with 11:16 to play in the first half.
It wouldn’t last long.
Twelve seconds later, Pinnacle quarterback Brian Lewerke found wide receiver Aaron Roland roaming free in the secondary for an 80-yard touchdown pass, and the Pioneers never trailed the rest of the evening.
Lewerke completed 14 of 23 passes for 321 yards and six touchdowns, as Pinnacle knocked off Mountain View, 55-40, in the first round of the Division I state tournament.
“A game like this is great for my confidence,” Lewerke said. “It’s great to come out here and be able to play behind a line that gives me time to make some plays. My running back Josh Hoekstra really helped me out and kept the defense off balance. I was able to throw freely. It was a relief to be able to play that way and get this one out of the way.”
Hoeskstra finished with 179 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while fellow senior Daniel Galindo caught six passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns.
The second half of Pinnacle’s 15-point victory, though, was defined not so much by any semblance of drama but rather by the team’s uneven play. While Mountain View never got closer than nine points over the final 24 minutes of play, the Pioneers did everything they could to keep the game close.
Pinnacle committed eight combined penalties in the third and fourth quarters, including two that extended drives on punting situations. Add on top of that a muffed punt, and it wasn’t the prettiest night for the Pioneers on special teams.
Although Mountain View only turned those mistakes into nine total points, Dana Zupke and Co. admitted that they need to be far more disciplined when they travel to Chandler to face No.3-seeded Hamilton next Friday in a rematch of their hotly contested regular season showdown.
“We played them tough the last time,” said Zupke in reference to Pinnacle’s 24-20 loss at Hamilton back on Sept. 12. “I know our team is excited to play them at their place in an atmosphere like that.
“I was proud of the way we battled tonight through a lot of adversity, the blown lead, the penalties and missed opportunities. I was proud that we fought through it, because it was tough. Hopefully we can carry that fight over to next week.”
Lewerke added that already playing in front of the Huskies’ hostile crowd should serve as an advantage for the Pioneers in their preparation for the quarterfinal contest.
“We know what kind of team they are and what it’s like to play there,” said Lewerke. “But they are a great team and will probably try to change some stuff up. Hopefully we’ll be able to come out with a win.
For Mountain View, Friday’s loss not only ended its 2013 campaign but the accomplished careers of John Clark (329 passing yards and four touchdowns) and Clark Brown (195 all-purposes yards and one touchdown) – a conclusion that was tough for coach Chad DeGrenier to swallow.
“They didn’t quit,” said DeGrenier. “They kept playing and were looking to try and make it a one-score game, but the clock just ran out on us tonight. This is just emotional for us and our kids. It’s hard to really put into words. It hurts.”
Pinnacle 55, Mountain View 40
First Downs: P – 13, MV - 27
Rushing: P – 28-193, MV – 34-114
Passing (Comp.-Att.-Yards-TD-INT): P – 14-23-321-6-0, MV – 32-61-329-4-1
Fumbles-lost: P – 2-1, MV – 1-0
Penalties-yards: DM – 11-101, MV 8-80
P: Hoekstra 10-yard run (Kick blocked)
P: Galindo 33-yard catch from Lewerke (Sweet kick)
MV: Millward 17-yard catch from Clark (Bastillos kick)
MV: Brown 11-yard catch from Clark (Bastillos kick)
P: Roland 80-yard catch from Lewerke (Larson kick)
P: Hatton 37-yard catch from Lewerke (Larson kick)
P: Hoekstra 56-yard run (Larson kick)
MV: Bastillos 34-yard kick
MV: Daniels 4-yard run (Kick blocked)
P: Galindo 36-yard catch from Lewerke (Larson kick)
P: Rose 37-yard catch from Lewerke (Larson kick)
MV: Ta’ase 13-yard catch from Clark (Bastillos kick)
P: Galindo 29-yard catch from Lewerke (Larson kick)
MV: Millward 15-yard catch from Clark (Bastillos kick)