September 4, 2004
Any time you start the football season with a play that includes the word "pooch," it had better work.
In host Red Mountain’s 34-19 non-region win over Mesquite, it did.
On its opening kickoff, Red Mountain special teams coach James Fischer called "pooch left." Fill-in kicker Jake Cerqua pooched a lob-wedge of a kickoff that rainbowed to Mesquite’s 20-yard line. With no Mesquite players within five yards of the ball, Red Mountain’s Greg Bird caught the ball on a bounce.
Four plays later, quarterback Maurice Hector scored on a 1-yard run to give the Mountain Lions a 6-0 lead.
"No one was trying to catch it, " Bird said. "I was surprised about that."
In addition to the pooch recovery, Red Mountain also scored on an 82-yard punt return by Channing Trotter, building at 20-7 halftime lead.
The Mountain Lions pulled away in the third quarter. Two sacks by Brooks Wardrobe set back Mesquite a total of 32 yards in the quarter. Hector’s 19-yard touchdown to Bird gave the Mountain Lions a 26-7 lead.
Hector went 12-for-14 for 229 yards and two scores. Bird had five catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
Mesquite’s Erik Arcuately threw for 151 yards and two TDs.