In a matter of three weeks, Phoenix Mountain Pointe went from looking like a legitimate top 10 football team in the nation to one that now appears vulnerable in Arizona after losing its top running back and quarterback to injuries.
Senior quarterback Noah Grover suffered a broken femur on what coach Norris Vaughan called a late hit in the second quarter Friday night of a 48-0 victory against Gilbert Highland.
Grover said he will find out Monday from his doctor what his rehabilitation period will be, but he is likely out for the rest of the season.
Super 25 No. 11 Mountain Pointe (7-0) travels to play Mesa Desert Ridge (6-1) on Friday in a big 6A Conference game.
Running back Gary Bragg is lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in a 62-34 win against Phoenix Pinnacle on Sept. 23, when he ran for 204 yards on 20 carries. Bragg rushed for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns in five games, averaging 9.3 yards a carry.
Entering last week, Grover, who was starting his first varsity season, passed for 1,058 yards and 13 TDs with three interceptions, completing 66 percent of his passes.
“We’d like to win it all and keep our national ranking, but that’s certainly in jeopardy,” Vaughan said. “We’ve got to play to win. That’s all we’ve got to do.”
Vaughan has had to shuffle players and use guys both ways more. Anthony Stephens, Rashie Hodge Jr., and Antwaun Woodberry have been running the ball by committee in Bragg’s absence.
Sophomore quarterback Nick Wallerstedt, 6-foot-3, 172 pounds, a transfer from Tempe Corona del Sol, who was ineligible the first half of the season because of the AIA transfer rule, played one junior varsity game, before being thrust into his first varsity action against Highland. Vaughan felt he performed well for his first game.
“I think Wallerstedt is a Division I prospect,” Vaughan said. “By the playoffs, he should be good.”