It took a little longer than he had hoped, but Chad DeGrenier got his first win as the new Mountain View coach on Friday.
After being on the wrong side of two routs to open the season, the Toros righted the ship with a balanced attack that resulted in a 27-14 win over Skyline in Division I play.
“Now that we have won the first one, it’s going to pop for us,” said running back Jeff Castillo. “We are going to keep rolling.”
Sophomore quarterback Chase Funk threw for 170 yards and Castillo led a successful ground game with 86 yards and two touchdowns for Mountain View, giving DeGrenier his first win at the storied Mesa school.
The weather only played a bit of havoc. The game was delayed 30 minutes with 7:23 left in the third quarter and Mountain View leading 7-0. But it didn’t affect the Toros. Already deep in Coyote territory, on the second play after the restart, Castillo scored from the 8. Funk erased most of the doubt when he found Joe Clark behind his defender on an 80-yard pass play to give the Toros a 19-0 lead with 4:25 left in the third.
“They punched us right in the mouth on the runs,” said Skyline coach Peter Jonovich. “(They) hit their little hitches and we just didn’t respond well to it. We just can’t leave the defense out on the field like that.”
The Toros had been outscored 82-13 in their losses to Desert Mountain and Desert Ridge but on Friday found a way to slow down Skyline's attack while Funk, Clark and Castillo found a rhythm. Funk continually found Clark in the flat – nine times all told out of 11 completions. And Castillo – even at 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds – found holes and ways to gain ground in his 17 carries.
“Tonight we were a lot more disciplined,” Castillo said. “Focused, no mental mistakes.”
Skyline quarterback Michael Amado – who threw for seven touchdowns in routs of Kingman and Phoenix Carl Hayden – drove his team a bit but had nothing to show for it until an early fourth quarter drive ended in a Vern Farmer 7-yard run.
“They played really well on defense,” Jonovich said of the Toros. “At times, I don’t think my play-calling was that good. That’s not the kids’ fault, we just didn’t execute the way I wanted.”
Amado got Skyline in position for a 22-yard scoring strike to favorite target Braedon Bowman to cut the lead to 27-14 but with 58 seconds left, but it was too late. When Mountain View’s Jake Thomas recovered the onside kick at his 44, the two coaches decided to call it a night a minute early with the impending weather.
Mountain View grabbed the early momentum when it forced Skyline – on its opening drive – to go for it on fourth-and-4 at the Toro 30. But Thomas hit Amado as he tried to throw, he fumbled and Brandan Banker scooped it up and went 57 yards for the first score.