Pinnacle's De'Vontae Drayton makes huge impact in debut

Pinnacle's De'Vontae Drayton makes huge impact in debut

ALL-USA

Pinnacle's De'Vontae Drayton makes huge impact in debut

By

De’Vontae Drayton showed off incredible balance, instincts and athleticism that impacted Phoenix Pinnacle’s 20-12 victory that sent shockwaves through the state.

De’Vontae Drayton showed off incredible balance, instincts and athleticism that impacted Phoenix Pinnacle’s 20-12 victory that sent shockwaves through the state.

It was imposing enough seeing a 6-foot-5, 370-pound athlete line up over center last Friday night against Scottsdale Saguaro.

Then, senior defensive tackle De’Vontae Drayton showed off incredible balance, instincts and athleticism that impacted Phoenix Pinnacle’s 20-12 victory that sent shockwaves through the state.

Where did he come from?

FIND A GAME: Arizona high school football schedule

@media screen and (min-width:992px){div.mobile{display:none;}}
@media only screen and (min-device-width: 481px) and (max-device-width: 1024px){div.mobile{display:block !important;}}

@media only screen and (min-device-width: 320px) and (max-device-width: 480px){div.desktop{display:none;}}
@media only screen and (min-device-width : 768px) and (max-device-width : 1024px) {div.desktop{display:none;}}

He arrived from Detroit. Coach Dana Zupke didn’t want to delve into Drayton’s personal life, but it was rough, and he needed a break.

A hardship case, Drayton didn’t get cleared to play by the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Executive Board until last week.

“I think they came into the game thinking they were going to run pretty easy on us,” Zupke said. “They weren’t really prepared for that force in the middle.

“He stands out because of his massive size. He’s just so big. He’s physical and athletic. He is quick and mobile for as big as he is. He frees up our middle linebacker. With a big body like that in the center, you have to double him up.”

Drayton, known as the “gentle giant” to his teammates, had three tackles, one for a loss and blocked a kick in his first game. Pinnacle held Saguaro to 91 rushing yards on 21 carries (4.3 yards a carry). Linebacker Dru Dixon and Justin Mandrola combined for 20 tackles.

Three weeks ago, in Pinnacle’s 56-10 season-opening loss to Chandler, Drayton was on the sideline, waiting to become eligible. Pinnacle gave up 298 rushing yards to the Wolves.

If Drayton keeps impacting games like he did last week, when his conditioning improves even more, he could end up being the most talked-about newcomer in Arizona high school football.

Top high school football story lines:

Being accountable

Saguaro won 28 games in a row, before its current two-game skid. Saguaro (1-2), making the move from Division III to II and playing two solid D-I teams in a row (starting with the 41-21 loss to Peoria Centennial), is having to adjust.

“Pinnacle exposed us at not being good at the little things,” coach Jason Mohns said. “We were shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties, making young mistakes. We had a great team meeting Saturday after film. We’re holding the players a lot more accountable. We’re holding coaches accountable. We’re not a great football team. We’ve got a ton of potential. I feel we can be a good team. We have to circle the wagons.”

Saguaro doesn’t have a game on its schedule against a former D-III team.

American Family Insurance ALL-USA Arizona performances of Week 2

Containment

Phoenix Sunnyslope (2-0) outscored its first two opponents, Peoria and Phoenix North Canyon, by a combined 68-9. But now the Vikings have to face top-ranked (Division III) Paradise Valley, which beat Goodyear Desert Edge last week, behind quarterback Daniel Bridge-Gadd’s five touchdown passes and more than 450 total yards.

“You’ve got to contain him,” Sunnyslope coach Damon Pieri said. “He bounces everything outside, extends plays and his receivers come back to make catches. It’s very difficult to defend. Desert Edge got him contained at first. Then, he gets out of that. He’s freaky athletic.”

Maryvale High’s all-time greatest football players

All-American jerseys

Glendale Mountain Ridge senior long snapper Turner Bernard, who made azcentral sports’ All-Arizona team last season, was awarded his Under Armour All-American Game jersey in a special ceremony at the school on Wednesday.

Thursday morning at Chandler, senior wide receive N’Keal Harry received his Under American Game jersey.

The annual national all-star game is played in early January in St. Petersburg, Fla., and televised by ESPN.

Reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert. Listen to the Which Wich High School Football Preview Show every Friday from 6-7 p.m., on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 with Dan Manucci and Richard Obert.

Arizona high school football Super 10 rankings:

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports
Home
https://usatodayhss.com/2015/pinnacles-devontae-drayton-makes-huge-impact-in-debut
Pinnacle's De'Vontae Drayton makes huge impact in debut
I found this story on USA TODAY High School Sports and wanted to share it with you: %link% For more high school stories, stats and videos, visit http://usatodayhss.com.