For the third consecutive year, Red Mountain emerged victorious over rival Mountain View for the Battle of Brown Road, 48-20, in front of a large crowd on Friday night.
After losing to the Mountain Lions by a score of 42-21 last year, Mountain View head coach Mike Fell said that to defeat this years Red Mountain team they would have to shut down their run game.
“We gotta play four quarters. You gotta shut down their run,” said Fell. “If you don’t shut down their run they’ll have the ball the whole game moving up and down the field. We spent a lot of time on that, whether we do it or not we’ll see. That’s what we’ve worked on all week.”
Red Mountain head coach Mike Peterson echoed Fell’s comments as he attributed his team’s hot start to this season to teamwork and to their dedication to running the ball.
“Teamwork. We’re staying together, we’re spreading the ball around, we’re unselfish, we’re playing as a team,” said Peterson. “We try and run a multiple offense so that we can highlight the most talented kids that we have, whether they be receivers or backs. This year we got three division one linemen on the offensive line, so we run the ball well.”
Even so, the Toros were able to effectively shut down Red Mountain’s senior running back combo of Ty McElroy and Deonce Elliot in the first half. The Mountain Lions longest run in the first half was for 12 yards and they only scored one of their three first half touchdowns by ground.
While this mentality of focusing on stopping the run worked in the first half it would not prove to be enough for the Toros as the game wore on.
The score was 20-6 at half time and each team’s offense came out in the second half looking completely different. Both teams came out focused on advancing the ball through the air.
Mountain View senior quarterback Brandon Nieto took shot after shot downfield as he finished the game going 16-for-29 for 366 passing yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Nico Remus had all three of his catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
On the other hand, Red Mountain’s senior quarterback Hyrum Boren completed 19-of-29 passes for 233 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Mountain Lion’s backup quarterback Evan Svoboda also came in for their last two drives completing 3-of-5 passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Boren picked up on the Toros' game plan as the game wore on. He said that he was able to move the ball so well because of how much they were focusing on their running backs.
“Definitely cause of our running backs," Boren said. "They were trying to key in on our running backs and leave the receivers man on the outside, so we were just taking what they were giving us."
McElroy and Elliot also picked up the pace in the second half as they combined for 128 yards and three touchdowns on only 16 carries.
“It feels great," Boren said of his team's win over their rival. "I mean, this is what we come to Red Mountain to do, to beat the Toros. To win the Battle of Brown Road is just amazing.”
Even though this was a rivalry game, this matchup meant more for Peterson as this win proved that Red Mountain is a legit contender for either a low seed in the open division or a high seed in the 6A tournament.
“It feels good. It was a big game like I said earlier. That has open eight playoff implications or high seed 6A championship implications, so it was important that we won the game,” Peterson said.
The Mountain Lions (7-1, 3-0) will face off against the Mesa Jackrabbits (5-2, 2-1) next week and they plan to prepare for this game the same as they do every week.
“We got two more games to take care of business on, we’re not done,” Peterson said. “We’ll do the same thing. We’ll break it down, we’ll find tendencies, we’ll find their weakness and we’ll exploit it on both sides of the ball.”
Mountain View (3-4, 2-1) will go back home next week to take on Skyline (2-6, 2-1).
Red Mountain 7 13 7 21 –48
Mountain View 0 6 0 14 –20
RM -- Elliot 12 run (Gardner kick), 7:36
MV -- Nieto 13 pass to Davidson (Bernal missed kick), 10:10
RM -- Boren 19 pass to Beecher (Gardner missed kick), 7:47
RM -- Boren 5 pass to Wilson (Gardner kick), 0:29
RM -- Boren 41 pass to Rivera II (Gardner kick), 4:31
RM -- Elliot 8 run (Garner kick), 11:00
MV -- Nieto 56 pass to Remus (failed two-point conversion), 8:52
RM -- Svoboda 9 pass to Beecher (Gardner), 6:42
MV -- Nieto 38 pass to Remus (Nieto to Remus two-point conversion), 4:31
RM -- Elliot 45 run (Garner kick), 4:14