Mesa Mountain View wanted its East Valley Region title back, and the Toros’ performance Friday night was evidence.
Second-ranked Mountain View scored three touchdowns in a span of 2:49 late in the first period and early in the second and went on to dismantle Mesa Red Mountain, 49-6, in a 5A-I grudge match at Toro Stadium.
Mountain View improved to 9-0 on the year and 3-0 in the region. The Toros are now the lone unbeaten team in 5A-I and are officially region champs with Mesa Dobson left on their schedule next week. Red Mountain fell to 5-4, 2-1 in region.
“This was our most complete game of the season,” Mountain View coach Tom Joseph said. “This team has so many guys that contribute in small but important ways. There are no stars on this team.”
Some examples of Joseph’s words came in the form of 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior Cameron Clark and linebacker Sam Liechty. Clark burst through Red Mountain’s punt protection early in the second period after the Toros had grabbed an 8-0 lead less than a minute before and blocked a punt by Colton Sheley.
Mountain View recovered at the Red Mountain 8, and two plays later quarterback Blake Decker scored on a 5-yard run to improve the margin to 14-0 with 11:11 left before halftime.
Later in the second period, starting defensive lineman Taylor Kleinman, who stands 6-3 and weighs 240, turned an ankle. The much smaller Clark ended up replacing Kleinman on the defensive line for the rest of the night.
Two minutes later Toros Liechty smelled out a Red Mountain passing play. He stepped in front of a Lions receiver in the flat and returned a Derek Mendoza pass 35 yards for a TD, the first of three Mountain View interceptions on the night. The Toros took a 20-0 lead to the half thanks to Liechty’s play. Red Mountain’s only chance would be to get some quick momentum to start the second half.
“We thought we had a good plan for the second half, but we couldn’t get into it,” Red Mountain coach Jim Jones said. “They got the momentum right away.”
The momentum buster was Toro running back Jacom Brimhall, who was stymied in the first half. Brimhall carried five times for 13 yards the first 24 minutes. But two plays into the second half, Brimhall sped 74 yards for a TD to make it 27-0 just 63 seconds into the third period. Brimhall finished with 158 yards on 15 carries and added a second TD later in the third period on a 49-yard run.
“That first touchdown of (Brimhall”s) hurt,” Jones said. “We stunted and they ran right at the open space. We got one right back, but they answered it again quickly. It was a butt-whipping, pretty plain and simple.”
Red Mountain’s standout running back Derek Molina rushed for 124 yards on 18 carries and scored the Mountain Lions’ only TD on a 60-yard run in the third period.
With the exception of the long TD run, Mountain View kept Molina from hurting them to the outside, where his speed does damage.