Pinnacle left no doubt which team owns this rivalry.
A stout defense and star running back Josh Hoekstra were the differences Friday night as the host Pioneers remained undefeated with a commanding 38-17 win over cross-town rival Horizon in Division I play.
“We lived on the big play tonight,” Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke said. “We were able to make plays when it mattered.”
The rivalry between Pinnacle (5-0) and Horizon (4-1) has gone the way of the Pioneers as Zupke has a perfect 6-0 record against the Huskies dating back to 2007.
“It is important and I am proud of that, but at the end of the day, it is just another game,” Zupke said. “With all due respect to Horizon, we need to move on to bigger and better things.”
Pinnacle is looking forward, and that may be easier after Hoekstra and Co. diced up the Horizon defense.
“Big plays killed us, and that Hoekstra kid is a stud,” Horizon coach Doug Shaffer said. “He is a hell of a running back, and we couldn’t tackle him tonight.”
Hoesktra put Pinnacle in control in the second quarter when he bounced a run to the outside and outran the Horizon secondary for an 80-yard score to put Pinnacle ahead 17-10.
“The holes were closed up front, so I tried to do what I could with the ball, and it opened up around the outside,” said Hoesktra, who finished with 200 yards on 19 carries.
Following a Horizon three-and-out, the Pinnacle offense struck quickly when Michael Sanders found Cules Rose streaking down the sideline for a 51-yard TD pass, giving the Pioneers a 23-10 lead going into halftime.
Horizon battled back in the third quarter, as sophomore Dalton Sneed led a nine-play drive that culminated with an 18-yard TD pass to Spencer Marciniak, cutting the deficit to 23-17 with 2:38 left in the third.
Sneed was subbing for injured senior quarterback Victor Quinn, who suffered a broken clavicle in last Friday’s win over Glendale Deer Valley.
“Sneed did a great job tonight,” Shaffer said. “He is the quarterback of the future.”
Sneed finished 12 of 23 for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
But Pinnacle wouldn’t let Horizon get any closer, as Jared Moreland intercepted Sneed early in the fourth quarter and, two plays later, Hoekstra provided the backbreaking play when he snaked his way in for a 29-yard TD run.
"Hoekstra is a special kid," Zupke said. "He does it every week. They key and scheme on him, and he still ends up making plays."
Sanders finished 8 of 15 for 125 yards, while Tyler Townsley had a 93-yard kick off return for a Pinnacle touchdown in the first quarter.
Pinnacle 38, Horizon 17
Horizon 7 3 7 0 – 17
Pinnacle 7 16 0 15 – 38
First Downs: Horizon 14, Pinnacle 17
Rushing: Horizon 23-38, Pinnacle 33-240
Comp-Att-Int: Horizon 12-24-1 , Pinnacle 8-15-0
Passing Yards: Horizon 181, Pinnacle 125
Fumbles-Lost: Horizon 2-1, Pinnacle 1-1
Penalties-Yards: Horizon 3-35, Pinnacle 6-70
H – Bishop 32 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
P – Townsley 93 kickoff return (Sweet kick)
H – McAtamney 31 FG
P – Sweet 20 FG
P – Hoekstra 80 run (Sweet kick)
P – Rose 51 pass from Sanders (kick failed)
H – Marciniak 18 pass from Sneed (McAtamney kick)
P – Hoekstra 29 run (Pass good)
P –Krupp 19 pass from Sanders (Sweet kick)