The Mesa Red Mountain football team dominated every facet of its trip to north Phoenix Friday night.
From the start the Mountain Lions didn’t let up as they pounded North Canyon 65-0 in the 5A-I nonregion matchup.
The game on Friday was a far different experience than Red Mountain’s nail-biting 14-12 win over Tempe Corona del Sol last weekend.
“The theme of the week was 'step it up a notch’ and our kids did it,” Red Mountain coach Jim Jones said. “I just feel bad it turned out the way it did.”
One group that clearly shined for Red Mountain was its starting defensive line.
Seniors Anthony Smith and Aaron Klienpeter and junior Josh Lundsford spent most of the first half in North Canyon’s backfield, terrorizing freshman quarterback Dominic Portacererro.
Smith said the Mountain Lions were prepared for Portacererro, who lined up in the shotgun most of the game, and the defensive line had been licking its chops in anticipation of rushing the passer all week.
“This week we really tightened it up,” Smith said. “We went basics and just played real football.”
In the first half alone, the Mountain Lions registered four sacks and held North Canyon to 19 yards passing.
Senior Jarison Johnson led the Red Mountain offensive attack, rushing for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Kelvin Pruitt added two more rushing TDs from 9 and 5 yards out.
The passing game also was in sync. Mountain Lions quarterback Taylor Perkins completed 5 of 8 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown — all to senior wide receiver Aaron Ellsworth.
The Mountain Lions’ special teams also were crisp.
Junior kicker Evan Engvall was 7-for-8 on extra point attempts, kicked an 18-yard field goal, and also booted an onside kick that was recovered by teammate Patrick Donohue in the second quarter.
Vitals: Red Mountain (2-0) def. North Canyon (1-1) 65-0 in a 5A-I nonregion game Friday at North Canyon.
Highlight: Early in the second quarter, senior defensive back Patrick Donohue recovered an onside kick that the Mountain Lions converted into a touchdown a minute later.
Player of the game: Red Mountain senior wide reciever Aaron Ellsworth- five catches for 126 yards and a touchdown.
Key stat: The Red Mountain defensive line combined for 4 sacks in the first half.