In a game filled with miscues and turnovers, Mesa Red Mountain prevailed over host Mesa Skyline 35-14 Friday night in a Division I game.
Red Mountain took the lead without its offense even touching the ball, when linebacker Diego Hernandez scooped up a Skyline fumble and rumbled 15 yards for a touchdown.
“We didn’t line up in the right position, so the exchange was off by a yard and the back of his elbow hit it,” Skyline coach Angelo Paffumi said. “That’s what it comes down to is the details and we didn’t execute. That’s puts you right behind the 8-ball.”
Hernadez and his fellow linebackers would force Skyline into five fumbles on the night.
Red Mountain’s defense answered the call all night long. Even when Skyline quarterback Michael Amado led his team to the doorstep, the Red Mountain defense held. With a first and goal on the 3-yard line, the Red Mountain defense stopped Skyline cold on three straight runs and kept Skyline out of the end zone when Amado’s fourth down pass fell incomplete.
“Our defense played real well and were a stone wall at the beginning,” Red Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski said. “That (goal line stand) was huge.”
While Mason Thorman and the Red Mountain offense moved the chains through the air it was running back Adarian Limbs that did the damage on the scoreboard rushing for two first half touchdowns.
With a 21-0 halftime lead, Red Mountain (7-2) brought out the reserves to start the second half, and Colton Plourd barreled in the end zone for a 1-yard score on its first drive, however the backups would struggle the rest of the quarter.
After a pair of interceptions by two different Red Mountain backup quarterbacks, the starters returned for one drive to start the fourth quarter. Thorman drove the first team down the field and hit Plourd for a 5-yard score.
“I’m disappointed in our ball handling,” Wisniewski said. “Too many turnovers, made some poor decisions, missed some wide open throws. We were not happy with the way our skill guys played in the first half. We need to improve on those things or we’re not going anywhere.”
Skyline (4-5) would answer with an Amado 27-yard touchdown pass to Truman Tucker, the only signs of life for the offense all night.
Skyline defensive end Albert Houston capped off the scoring when he scooped up a Red Mountain fumble and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.