66-13…Mountain Pointe destroys Reed High at Sollenberger

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                </div>  It’s pretty obvious they had the wrong teams matched up in the Sollenberger Kick-off Classic this year. After Nevada’s Bishop Gorman stomped on Brophy Prep, 44-0,in the opening game […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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It’s pretty obvious they had the wrong teams matched up in the Sollenberger Kick-off Classic this year.

After Nevada’s Bishop Gorman stomped on Brophy Prep, 44-0,in the opening game Friday night, Arizona’s other representative, Mountain Pointe High School, racked up 66 points in the main event and totally dominated the other Nevada representative, Reed High School.

Had organizers switched the pairings, the fans who showed up at Gorman’s Fertitta Field might have had a couple of games worth watching.

But Bishop Gorman and Mountain Pointe met last year in what has become the traditional opener to the high school football season.  So to avoid a repeat, this year the reigning Division I state champion Mountain Pointe drew Reed, which was last year’s Nevada big-school runner-up to Gorman.

It didn’t take long to realize that Reed was going to be no match for Mountain Pointe, which finished the 2013 season undefeated and wearing the Division I state crown.  The Pride took just a couple of minutes to get on the board when speedy senior Paul Lucas pulled in a pass from quarterback Garvin Alston and converted it into a 47-yard score on just the fourth play from scrimmage.

It was 21-0 by the end of the first quarter and 35-0 before halftime mercifully arrived.  But Mountain Pointe didn’t take its foot off the gas, going on to cap the evening with a 66-13 victory to open the 2014 season.  The Pride had accumulated 45 points before Reed managed its first score late in the third quarter.

Lucas was the point man on the destruction, adding a 57-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and then returning a kick-off 84 yards for yet another score in the third quarter.  He finished the night with 91 rushing yards on nine carries and added 53 more yards on two pass catches.

Alston, the senior who has filled the void left by the graduation of two-year starter Antonio Hinojosa, passed for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Brandyn Leonard contributed 78 yards on 10 carries and scored once.

Even the kicking game for the Pride was spot on, as John Ambercrombie gave Reed few opportunities to run the ball back on kick-offs, and nailed a 50-yard field goal just after halftime to help pile on the momentum.

And the defense was solid and consistent throughout the night, forcing two fumbles – one of which was returned 42 yards for a touchdown – and controlling the line of scrimmage while punishing Reed’s runners in the secondary with Mountain Pointe’s patented brand of physical play.

Since 2009, when Norris Vaughan took over the program and the Pride went 12-1, they have developed into a title favorite on a consistent basis.  This season they are the only high school team in Arizona ranked among the USA Today Top 25 (No. 21) and just made their case about being deserving of the ranking.

And that’s particularly bad news for North High, the next opponent on the schedule.  The Mustangs have managed just two wins in each of the past two seasons and have brought in Bernie Busken, who won three state championships at Mountain View High School where he compiled an 82-9 record in seven years, to take over the inner-city program and begin re-building a once-competitive program.

That game on Friday will do little to help Mountain Pointe prepare for the remainder of the schedule.  And, unfortunately, will do even less to begin building the confidence of the kids at North.