Fast, physical Mountain Pointe shuts down Pinnacle

Fast, physical Mountain Pointe shuts down Pinnacle


Fast, physical Mountain Pointe shuts down Pinnacle


Mountain Pointe's Jack Smith tosses the ball to the referee after scoring a running TD against Pinnacle at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, AZ on September 25, 2015.

Mountain Pointe’s Jack Smith tosses the ball to the referee after scoring a running TD against Pinnacle at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, AZ on September 25, 2015.

Phoenix Mountain Pointe can’t go more than half a season under the radar.

In typical Mountain Pointe fashion, it dominated defensively, bringing Pinnacle freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler back down to Earth after consecutive 300-yards passing games, and cruised to a 27-7 Division I football victory Friday night at Karl Kiefer Stadium on the first Mountain Pointe coach’s birthday.

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“We love it because it just pushes us every day in practice and motivates us to make a name for ourselves,” said running back Macarious Blount, who ran for two touchdowns, on being one of the least-talked-about top-five teams in the first half of the season.

Pinnacle (3-2) climbed to No. 5 in the Division I rankings after Rattler passed for three second-half touchdowns in a 32-31 comeback victory over Phoenix Brophy Prep last week.

But Rattler was going up against one of those fast, physical, punishing southeast Valley schools again.

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Much like the Aug. 20 opener at Chandler, Rattler found little time and little space to maneuver with defenders chasing him and getting in front of his targets.

He was sacked five times, four times in the second half, twice by 5-foot-11, 194-pound senior defensive end Dillon Goulet, who now has 11 sacks in Mountain Pointe’s 5-0 start.

Fourth-ranked Mountain Pointe built a 17-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the half before Rattler completed his first pass.

Pinnacle’s first six plays resulted in a total of four yards and two punts.

“We were just playing 100 percent the entire time,” Goulet said. “Even when they went down the field, we got an interception.”

Mountain Pointe dominated the line of scrimmage. It used up more than five minutes of the first quarter just on the opening drive, before setting for Brandon Johnson’s 31-yard field goal.

The next time Mountain Pointe had the ball, senior quarterback Jack Smith took off with it, zigzagging the field for a 38-yard touchdown.

Blount, a transfer from Laveen Betty Fairfax, then capped a 10-play drive with a 1-yard scoring run and the score was 17-0 with Pinnacle running just six plays.

“We turned Jack Smith loose and threw the ball around great,” Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said.

Smith’s 47-yard pass to Isaiah Pola-Mao set up Blount’s 3-yard scoring run after Pinnacle dominated time of possession in the third quarter by pounding the ball and finally getting on the scoreboard with Dru Dixon’s 1-yard touchdown run.

“We kind of shut their quarterback down pretty good,” Vaughan said. “We played man, and we played zone. And we zone blitzed. He took a couple of shots down the field.”

One of those resulted in a Pola-Mao interception that he returned 30 yards from deep in his territory.

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This was Mountain Pointe’s first game against a top-10 Division I team.

It has relied mostly on the ground game with Blount having big game after big game. But Smith had maybe his best all-around game, passing and running, on Friday.

His quickness and speed kept Pinnacle’s defenders on their heels in the first half.

With a 20-0 lead, Mountain Pointe was basically on cruise control in the second half.

But even with Pinnacle keeping the ball on the ground and getting help with Mountain Pointe penalties, Pinnacle never threatened.

“When we got the lead, we wanted to make sure we kept it, so were kind of conservative,” Vaughan said. “I’m not pleased with the way we blocked up front. But we threw the ball really well, made plays when we had to, especially on third down. Our defense was playing really well.”

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