At this rate, the Red Mountain football record books will be littered with Mason Thorman's name inside.
The senior and two-year starting quarterback started a bit sluggish, as did the Lions, but he finished three quarters of action with a flurry as he set a couple career passing records at the school in Red Mountain's 38-0 victory against Mesquite on Thursday night.
Thorman didn't go crazy like last week against Avondale Westview in the season opener, but his 308 yards passing set a new career yardage record at the school, and his two touchdown passes tied another.
Alan Grantham previously held those records, but Thorman has 749 yards passing and seven TD passes through two games this season.
"It's cool, that's for sure, but it wasn't the goal," he said. "Winning next week is the new goal."
That would be at Brophy next Friday night, and even Lions coach Ron Wisniewski noted it will be a matchup of top-notch quarterbacks in Thorman and Brophy's Tyler Bruggman.
Thorman hit six different receivers as Red Mountain (2-0) continued its early-season aerial assault. A bubble screen to Drake Pierre (four catches, 143 yards) up the middle went 64 yards for a touchdown. Aeron Carr had seven receptions for 105 yards and is expected to be fine after an injury scare when his lower leg collided with a Mesquite defender after his 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Lions' Colton Plourd helped his team run the ball more effectively than last week, and though a second consecutive slow start annoyed Wisniewski, the Lions were encouraged as they compiled 6-, 7- and 8-play drives against Mesquite's undersized but scrappy defense.
The Lions' coach felt his defense "bent but never broke, and it's always better to only bend on 'D'" as Conrad Burnap was everywhere at linebacker and defensive end Nick Beiberdorf returned a tipped pass 23 yards for a touchdown.
The Lions also claimed possession on a pooch kickoff for the second consecutive week. But Thorman's efficiency after two early interceptions allowed Red Mountain to seize control immediately after halftime.
"It's a huge deal having a second-year guy back there," Wisniewski said. "So much is on his shoulders."
Mesquite (0-2) hasn't scored yet this season after being shutout by Highland last week, but it wasn't from a lack of opportunity early. The Wildcats forced two Red Mountain turnovers in the first half when Red Mountain was deep in Mesquite's territory, and Payton Haslam drove Mesquite downfield with success in the air and on the ground.
But Mesquite fumbled on one drive. Another ended when a fourth-and-1 conversion of a 20-yard pass was negated by a penalty. Another ended when Burnap recovered a fumble inside the Red Mountain 10. Another saw a 59-yard touchdown pass erased on an illegal shift penalty, and that was promptly followed by Beiberdorf's interception return on a tipped screen pass attempt.
Still, the execution was "like night and day in six days" according to Wildcats coach Matt Gracey. He noted his undermanned, undersized defense forced a couple Red Mountain turnovers (interceptions by Joshua Davis and Jonathan Iwanowicz), often made the Lions sustain drives and his offense moved the ball with some success for the first three quarters.
But reality reeks for the Wildcats: Chandler, Gilbert and Hamilton are next on the schedule.
"Right now we can't catch a break with turnovers, injuries, penalties," he said. ".....Once we score we'll start scoring in bunches.
"I feel bad for our kids because they're playing their guts out."
Red Mountain 38, Mesquite 0
Mesquite 0 0 0 0 --- 0
Red Mtn. 0 14 10 14 --- 38
First Downs: Mesquite: 11, RM: 20
Rushing: Mesquite: 21-81, RM: 26-108
Passing: Mesquite 8-19-75-1, RM: 19-28-308-2
Fumbles-Lost: Mesquite: 2-2, RM: 0-0
Penalties: Mesquite: 8-50, RM: 9-80
RM: Murray-Thomas 1 pass from Thorman (Duran kick)
RM: Plourd 1 run (Duran kick).
RM: Duran 35 FG
RM: Pierre 64 pass from Thorman (Duran kick)
RM: Carr 3 run (Duran kick)
RM: Beiberdorf 23 INT return (Duran kick)
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.