Mesa Skyline started the ground-and-pound offense early and rode it until the end in an impressive 25-0 Division I win over visiting Mesa Dobson.
Skyline (3-1) was coming off a demoralizing 42-0 loss to Mountain View but came out motivated and focused. It rushed for 159 yards in the first half, including 17 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown from junior running back Francisco Avitia.
He would finish with 22 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns after a second half 49-yard touchdown.
This was just the second win for Skyline in its history over another Mesa school. Next week it hosts Mesa Desert Ridge in a game that Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi is cautiously awaiting.
It’s Paffumi’s first year at Skyline as he came over from Desert Ridge.
“I coached those guys,” he said. “I know those guys. They’re fast, they’re 300 pounds up front and we just have to be optimistic and look for small victories.”
Adding to the rushing attack was senior running back Dakota Howard, who rushed six times for 28 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown.
Junior quarterback Michael Amado wasn’t tasked with much as he threw just six times, completing three, for 42 yards. He also had a nice 30-yard scamper to put his team in position to score.
Dobson (0-4) just couldn’t get it going on offense and couldn’t get off the field on defense. The first half saw it gain just 30 yards en route to four consecutive three-and-outs. Senior quarterback Gabe Martinez wasn’t helped by drops and a key holding penalty that stalled any progress they could build.
It showed signs of life on defense with a couple of excellent stops at the line, including a defensive stand at the end of the first half that held Skyline to a field goal. Dobson would come out of the half strong with an 11-play drive of its own, but would be stuffed on fourth down and would come away with no points.
Another 13-play drive ensued for Dobson, including a key pass interference call against Skyline on third down, but drops were a killer as it came away with no points again.