October 1, 2004
Sole possession of first place is on the line for fifth-ranked Red Mountain and defending region champ Mountain View as 5A East Valley Region teams collide the second week of region play this evening at 7 at Toro Stadium.
Red Mountain coach Jim Jones isn’t all that interested, in one respect.
‘‘I don’t care about winning the region, it’s about getting in the playoffs,’’ Jones said. ‘‘If you keep winning, the other things will follow.’’
Red Mountain has had limited success in the rivalry. The Mountain Lions have beaten Mountain View twice since the schools began playing in 1989. Both victories came in the 2000 season, the first of back-to-back title years for the Mountain Lions. Red Mountain has never won an East Valley Region title in football.
Red Mountain enters the game a rare favorite on paper based on the first four games. But Jones knows the history of the rivalry and how capable the current Toros are of knocking off the Mountain Lions.
‘‘Their record is not indicative of how good they are,’’ Jones said. ‘‘They’ve been hurt by turnovers mostly. They’ve made more than they usually do. Their defense is still real tough, and everyone they’ve played is good.’’
Mountain View coach Tom Joseph was relieved to see his team leave Dobson victorious last week, due in good measure to the final period, with both sides of the ball contributing.
‘‘We played well enough to win,’’ Joseph said. ‘‘The defense got a big turnover. They’ve played tough all year. Then we were able to put together a drive that took about 7 1 /2 minutes off the clock late in the game.’’
Mountain View had its best offensive night of the season, rushing for 215 and passing for 177. Seven backs have carried the ball this season for the Toros, including last week’s top rusher Mike Parra (80 yards on 11 carries).
Quarterback Tyler Mack has been the steadiest performer overall, throwing for 642 yards and five touchdowns.
Joseph doesn’t see many if any chinks in Red Mountain’s armor.
‘‘They’ve played well on both sides of the ball and their linemen are physical,’’ Joseph said.
Red Mountain running back Channing Trotter is averaging better than two TDs and 115 yards rushing a game. The Mountain Lions also boast wide receivers Greg Bird and Nick Miller as well as tight end Tanner Roberts. Roberts caught a pair of TD passes last week in the victory over Skyline. Bird and Miller have three TD catches apiece.