Brantley leads quick-start Red Mountain in rout - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Brantley leads quick-start Red Mountain in rout

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Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 11:48 pm | Updated: 9:24 am, Sat Oct 22, 2011.

Skyline should have known that Red Mountain can score quickly.

Red Mountain scored three times on its first four plays from scrimmage and never looked back in a 53-10 Division I win Friday night against visiting Skyline.

"I actually don't even know what happened," said running back Marcus Brantley, who scored on runs of 53 and 20 yards on the Lions' first two plays from scrimmage. "On the first one, I thought it was going to be a fumble and I just broke out. It was just a good game all around."

Brantley was humble. He also scored on a 47-yard fumble return and a 25-yard interception return. He ended up with 100 yards rushing - on three carries.

"We were fortunate to get out to a good start and scored," Red Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski said.

With some college scouts in the stands, there could have been more jitters, but you couldn't tell as the Lions built a 19-0 lead in the first eight minutes.

Brantley showed just how explosive he has become. After a short Skyline punt, Red Mountain took over on its 47. Brantley took a handoff to the left, broke through the line and went the distance. After Tanner Vanmoorlehem intercepted a pass by Bowman at the Skyline 35 and ran it back 15 yards, Red Mountain had it again.

Brantley broke tackles to get into the end zone again from 20 yards out.

A three-and-out by Skyline and Red Mountain had it on its 42. Mason Thorman hit Drake Pierre on a 9-yard pass and then set up for a screen to Billy Freeman. The all-purpose receiver caught the ball right at the line of scrimmage, manuevered around and went 49 yards to give Red Mountain a 19-0 lead.

"This year I haven't been nervous, being a senior, I have more confidence," Brantley said. "But this game, I was really nervous. I felt like there were more eyes here. The coach said there were scouts here so I felt like there was a lot of pressure."

For the fourth-ranked Lions, it was their sixth straight win while the Coyotes lost their seventh straight, though they might have found a backup for starting quarterback Michael Amado.

Amado hurt his neck against Gilbert last week and was carted off the field, but it turned out to be a muscle injury. Skyline coach Pete Jonovich said Amado, a sophomore, would also sit out the season finale against Phoenix Trevor Browne.

Justin Brown moved the team and threw for 109 yards in the first half in place of Amado. Wide receiver Braedon Bowman played quarterback in the second half.

"It was giving them both experience," Jonovich said. "Brown's our guy. But we had a few scouts here tonight and we wanted to show them that Braedon is a pretty athletic kid and I think he did just that."

Bowman engineered the lone touchdown drive of the game for the Coyotes after the Coyotes converted a fourth down out of the punt formation to set up a touchdown run.

The Lions have won six in a row since stumbling against Mesquite and Brophy early in the year and have a balanced run-pass attack that has produced five lopsided wins and a come-from-behind victory over talented Desert Ridge.

For the streaking Lions, a win in next week's finale against Highland could further improve their ranking in the power points coming and possibly earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 4.

"That's what we are playing for next week," Wisniewski said. "We're playing Highland and they are coming in here on a four-game winning streak and they will play their butts off, and we need that going into the playoffs."



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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]