Mountain Pointe sophomore Thomas Warren knew his role in the offense would increase with starting running back Dillan Johnson out with mononucleosis.
His ‘siblings' made sure he would succeed.
"This is my family right here, my extended family," Warren said. "They came together. We took it together-all the way."
Warren was instrumental in the second half, moving the chains and keeping the clock running in Mountain Pointe's 35-21 victory Friday night against Perry. In a pivotal East Valley Region game, the young running back did not disappoint.
Warren averaged over 8 yards per carry en route to 118 yards in 14 carries.
The Pride were missing more than a few starters and Warren, who also saw time at cornerback for the first time, was among many who stepped up.
"He's a sophomore," Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. "We knew he could play, we just didn't know if he was ready to play."
Warren, who was making a decision and hitting the line of scrimmage hard, racked up the bulk of the yards while his teammate Jordan Leal cleaned up for rushing touchdowns of 1 and 3 yards, respectively.
The sophomore showed no signs of inexperience, which he attributes to his team playing together.
"We had to come together, step up and play as a team," Warren said. "When one man is down, we all have to bring it together."
Pinned back at their own 6-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, Warren came up huge in his longest run of the day. He broke to the outside and rushed for 43 yards on the play, eliminating the dangerous field position his offense had.
In helping his team win, Warren impressed Vaughan.
"He's young, you know. We burped him at halftime and he did better," Vaughan said.