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Mesa High School was 1-yard away from putting behind an end to a night of missed opportunities and drawing even against Mountain View. That yard wasn’t close enough, as the Jackrabbits fumbled away the opportunity and fell to Mountain View 21-14.
After losing each of its first three games – the first such streak for the program in more than a decade – Mountain View was desperate for a win, and the Toros didn't care how they got it.
Wakeup calls come in all shapes and sizes this time of year. For No.6-seeded Pinnacle, it came in the form of a 12-second deficit.
If you didn't know better, you’d think Taren Morrison was trying to run up the score by himself.
Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier talks to his team on the field during a time out while taking on Red Mountain, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Mesa. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]
Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier watches the action on the field while his team takes on Mesa, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013. [Greg Herriman/ Special to Tribune]
Playing shorthanded, Mountain View needed most of the first half to get its offense in gear and find the up-tempo rhythm it has used to get in position for postseason play.
Deion Warren might have saved Desert Mountain's season.
Desert Mountain compared its recent journey to a boxer. Mountain View compared Desert Mountain to the New York Giants.
It took about a half for Mountain View to shake off its first loss of the year – and then handed Skyline its first defeat of 2013.
Pinnacle couldn’t stomach another loss.
This week’s high school football “epicenter” moves to Ahwatukee for the much-anticipated Hamilton vs. Mountain Pointe tilt — and understandably so — but it’s also shaping up to be a top-notch schedule around the East Valley, and a pivotal one for some undefeated teams to have their mettle tested.
It isn’t traditional Mountain View run-it-up-the-gut football but third-year coach Chad DeGrenier has the Toros perfect after four games with a big test coming next week.
What a great start for Skyline at 5-0, which not only matches last year’s win total, but the most wins at the school since 2008. Wins against Corona del Sol and Gilbert are most impressive for Angelo Paffumi’s bunch. Now, however, comes the big-time underdog role: Mountain View, Desert Ridge, Desert Mountain, Mesa and Red Mountain is the remaining schedule. Here comes the real litmus test. Mountain View has been tested a few times (Anthem Boulder Creek and Highland in wins, Pinnacle in a close loss last week). The depth favors Mountain View, but the Toros would be wise to not waltz in on assumptions this is the same ol’ Skyline team. Toros coach Chad DeGrenier and co. are going to make sure of it, but if the Coyotes can win the turnover battle by at least a plus-2 differential, and effectively run against the Toros for both balance and to keep Mountain View’s offense on the sideline, an upset would be in the works. That’s still asking a lot to go right on Skyline’s end, but it’ll be a better game than last year’s 42-0 blowout.
Prediction: Mountain View 41, Skyline 21
-- Mark Heller
Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier, Thursday, Sept.12, 2013 at Highland. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Most offensive players would look at a 3rd-and-34 and shudder.
Valley Vista made the trip to east Mesa from Surprise to face Mountain View, but fell short as the Toros broke away in the second half and won 46 to 23.
Mountain View had some plays get away, but it held on and didn’t let the game get away.
The Toros won seven games last year, including impressive ones over Pinnacle and Red Mountain. The offense has several key pieces returning, led by wide receiver Clark Brown (622 rec. yards, 7 TD, 18.7 yards per punt return) and quarterback John Clark. Mountain View slowly detoriorated from a perennial power to a mediocre program the past several years, but there is optimism once again behind new coach Chad DeGrenier.
The Toros have a varsity roster of 75 players, and if the team can find some impact performers on defense beside leading returner Connor Ipsen (67 tackles, 2 INT), another playoff showing — and maybe a little run — should be on the horizon.
Outlook: The Mountain View football program is not back to the powerhouse it was in the 1980s and 1990s, and with the way the landscape has changed, it may never get there. However, for the first time in a decade, the Toros seem to be trending in an upward direction, back to where playoff berths are a formality and a postseason run expected.
Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier goes out with his team’s captains for the coin toss during overtime of the Toros’ win over Red Mountain on Oct. 5.
As the saying goes, Jimmies and Joes trump X’s and O’s.
After some stunning players, plays, performances and playoffs, football season has drawn to a close for another year.
Mountain View coach Chad DeGrenier reacts to his teams fumbling the ball during the game against the Wolves , Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at Mountain View. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]