If resiliency and a killer instinct are marks of a great football team, then it might be time to start calling Phoenix Pinnacle great.
Pinnacle withstood several second-half attacks from Phoenix Horizon and pulled away late for a 38-17 home victory in a non-divisional matchup on Friday night.
After needing just three offensive plays to score two touchdowns toward the end of the first half, Pinnacle (5-0) went into the break up 23-10. Locker room adjustments paid off for No.6 Horizon (4-1), however, as it went on a seven-play scoring drive to cut the lead to six with 2:38 left in the third quarter.
Horizon had other chances, but Pinnacle’s defense held firm, forcing two turnovers. Its offense kicked back into gear, scoring two touchdowns in the last nine minutes.
“It says a lot about their belief,” Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke said. “Our kids don’t panic, and I think that’s the biggest thing. They don’t panic on the sideline. They were calm, and we were able to make our own adjustments and overcome that pressure.”
Pinnacle junior running back Josh Hoekstra continued his stellar season, rushing for 203 yards on 19 carries.
He ran for two touchdowns, from 80 and 29 yards, each one putting Pinnacle up by two scores and giving it breathing room.
“He does it every week,” Zupke said. “They key on him, they scheme for him, and he still ends up making plays. He’s just a special kid.”
Horizon was playing at a disadvantage, as it was without senior quarterback Victor Quinn, who fractured the collarbone on his throwing shoulder during last week’s game.
Horizon coach Doug Shaffer said Quinn is expected to miss four to six weeks, but added that it was not quarterback play that cost his team the game Friday.
“Big plays killed us,” Shaffer said. “And Hoekstra’s a stud.”