Host Phoenix Pinnacle got six touchdown passes from junior Brian Lewerke and came away with a 55-40 victory over Mesa Mountain View Friday night in the first round of the Division I state playoffs.
Pinnacle will meet third-seeded Chandler Hamilton in next week’s quarterfinals.
Pinnacle’s defense stuffed Mountain View’s dynamic duo of John Clark and Clark Brown not allowing them to get going in the game.
Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke said the key to the victory was sticking to their game plan and making Mountain View adjust to them.
“We did some things that got us out of what we did for a little bit for that game,” Zupke said. “I think we’re going to go back to doing what we do where we feel confident that we can play with anybody just playing our game.”
For its defense, Zupke said the key was containing Brown and the other weapons on the Mountain View side.
“It starts with Clark Brown, I mean he’s a phenomenal kid but No. 6 (Robby Millward) is right behind him, those two guys are tough and we have our work cut out for us,” Zupke said.
The defense for Pinnacle kept Mountain View’s offense from getting to the outside, keeping them from exploding for big gains.
Seniors Josh Hoekstra and Daniel Galindo made sure the last game on Pinnacle’s home field was a memorable one, as Hoekstra ran for 183 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns and Galindo added 157 yards receiving with three touchdowns.
Mountain View had no answer for Pinnacle’s meticulous game plan that involved mixing in runs with short passes that frustrated the Mountain View defense all night.
Lewerke was efficient in his throws, completing short passes and letting his receivers use their quickness to make plays, finishing with 342 yards on the night.
Clark could not get Mountain View (6-5) his team in a rhythm as the Pinnacle defense swarmed the ball at every opportunity; effectively shutting down one of the top offenses in the division.
Pinnacle (9-2) didn’t allow the Mountain View offense or Brown to get going, and forced Mountain View to look to Millward, who had 71 yards on eight catches and one score on the night.
After a long bomb from Lewerke to Cules Rose, Pinnacle was up 48-25 with a little under eight minutes to go. The Mountain View offense was out of sync in the second half and fell too far behind to recover.