High expectations come with a heavy burden, especially for a team missing its starting quarterback and one of its defensive stars along with 10 other players.
However, for Mesa Mountain View, depth and tenacious play on both sides of the ball can overcome any obstacle. The second-ranked Toros were missing quarterback Blake Decker to a high ankle sprain and defensive back Alex Salas to a knee injury, yet dominated Glendale Deer Valley 40-0 in a 5A-I non-region game at Mountain View on Friday night.
The Toros (5-0) used 10 players to rush for 319 yards on 44 carries and were led by the diminutive, yet allusive, Jacom Brimhall. Brimhall ran 10 times for 100 yards and two scores, blocked two punts, and added a sack on a fake punt. On the first offensive play after foiling the fake punt, Brimhall took the ball and scampered 40-yards for his second touchdown.
Brad Heap made his first career start at quarterback in Deckers place and managed the offense perfectly. He completed 5-of-9 passes for 68 yards and ran for a touchdown.
“All of my brothers played here at Mountain View,” said Heap. One of those brothers was current Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve been dreaming about this moment. I felt a little sick, my stomach was in knots.”
Several other players stepped up in the absence of their ailing teammates, a list that grew when starting offensive lineman Jack Hutchins injured his knee and starting running back Preston Richardson sat out the final three quarters with dizzy spells. Casey Mack ran for 29 yards, two touchdowns, and added an interception on defense while Sam Liechty recovered a fumble and broke up two passes.
The Toros defense as a whole played tough, allowing just 138 yards of total offense, intercepting Deer Valley (2-3) twice, forcing two fumbles, and blocking two punts.
“We did a good job moving and controlling the ball,” said Mountain View Tom Joseph, “but we need to improve on everything, especially our mental mistakes.”
Up next for the undefeated Toros is the start of their brutal region schedule with a game at rival Mesa High.