For second-ranked Desert Ridge, the offense clicked early and often. While the new era at Mountain View showed some signs of success, it will need some time.
The Jaguars’ no-huddle offense was humming under Parker Rasmussen for a second straight week – at least early on – and Desert Ridge coasted to a 39-6 win at Mountain View in Division I play on Friday.
“We kind of knew what they were going to do, they are a base defense and our kids executed really well,” said Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock.
Rasmussen and quarterback-turned-wideout Jordan Becerra did most of the damage as they did in routing Gilbert a week ago.
Rasmussen threw for 269 yards and four touchdowns while Becerra ran for 89 yards and two scores and then caught a back-breaking 48-yard scoring play in the second half after Mountain View finally put points on the board.
“We’re learning," said Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier. "We’re learning a new system and we’re growing. We’re just trying to get better every week. It’s going to pop for us, it’s going to happen.”
But on Friday, it didn’t happen for much of the night. The Toros held the ball for nearly 10 minutes in the second quarter after Desert Ridge had taken a 26-0 lead. Mountain View drove 78 yards from its 18 – with a little help from a pair of pass interference penalties -- and then had a strange sequence at the end that included four timeouts and a penalty that left the Toros with a fourth-and-inches at the Jaguar 4. As the night seemed to go, Mountain View’s Jeff Castillo was caught behind the line of scrimmage and the Toros remained shut out until late in the third. Castillo was the Toro workhorse with 59 yards on the ground, including 29 on the one drive.
But it could have been worse for Mountain View. The Jaguars didn’t even have to use all three of their big weapons. Standout running back Joey Counts sat out a second week with a shoulder injury. Hathcock said his big back was ready to play – he even led the team out on the field for the final pre-game warmup. But with his teammates jumping out to a 26-0 lead a minute into the second quarter, Counts could afford to remain on the sideline.
“Next week we will be at full strength,” said Hathcock. “Our thinking was he just got cleared this week that if we needed him, we’d put him in. But we scored bam-bam-bam so we said, ‘take a seat.’”
As it was, they didn’t need him. Rasmussen needed just four plays to get on the board – a 31-yard scoring strike to Zach Davis. After a quick three-and-out for the Toros, Desert Ridge got the ball at midfield. A long pass to Davis brought the ball to the 14, and then Becerra ran it in on the next play.
Mountain View’s Seth Stapley gave his fans some hope by intercepting Rasmussen’s next pass. But the Toros couldn’t move the ball and Rasmussen engineered another drive, capped by another TD pass to Davis. Rasmussen led the Jaguars on an 89-yard drive for the fourth score.
Mountain View was blown out by Desert Mountain a week ago and is still reeling from its first losing season in school history in 2010.
“It’s growing pains, it’s adversity right now,” said DeGrenier, who was hired in the offseason to right the Toros' ship. “The kids are fighting. They are relentless. That’s going to be rewarded down the season.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still expectations.
“The expectations are awesome, I love the expectations, I expect that out of myself,” DeGrenier said. “That’s what we are all about here. That’s what we are about at Mountain View and that’s what I am about.”
About the only thing that Hathcock will have to work on with his team next week is penalties – they racked up 137 yards on 15 penalties, 10 of them in the second half.
“We just got to clean the little things but that’s part of being early in the season,” Hathcock said.