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Outlook: It might difficult for a school with regular playoff appearances and 3,300 students to be "lying in the weeds," but Red Mountain is doing everything it can to not be seen (relatively speaking).
Here are the local athletes and their expected National Letter of Intent commitments. For additions, email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the athlete's name, high school, sport and college of choice.
All-Tribune First Team Offense
The Mountain Lions came out on top in this matchup last year but haven’t yet shown the same type of offensive firepower following the graduation of quarterback Mason Thorman and wide receivers Drake Pierre and Aeron Carr. Westview (2-0) has played well in its first two contests and is looking for a victory to solidify itself as a top Division I team. Red Mountain (0-2) has faced a tough schedule, and another loss would be a tough blow, especially considering Brophy, Chaparral, Desert Mountain, Desert Ridge and Mountain View are still on the schedule. It’s early, but this a crucial contest for Red Mountain.
Prediction: Westview 20, Red Mountain 17
-- Kyle Odegard
Clarence Clark called it being on a team.
Fifth-seeded Red Mountain routed 12th-seeded Buena 45-6 in the first round of the Division I playoffs on Friday.
Red Mountain receiver Drake Pierre is wrestled down by Highland defensive back Cole McEuen after a catch during the first quarter of their football game on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 in Gilbert. [Ralph Freso/Special to Tribune]
Red Mountain receiver Drake Pierre tries to avoid a pair of Highland defenders after a reception during the fourth quarter of their football game on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 in Gilbert. [Ralph Freso/Special to Tribune]
Red Mountain receiver Drake Pieree #11 is hit by Highland defenders Chip White #82 and Blake Murphy #27 after a reception during the second quarter of their football game on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 in Gilbert. [Ralph Freso/Special to Tribune]
Pinnacle grabbed one of the final spots in the Tribune’s preseason top-10 rankings, although Red Mountain was also squarely in that mix. The Mountain Lions were better last season but must replace key offensive contributors Mason Thorman, Drake Pierre and Aeron Carr. Pinnacle returns more key pieces, led by running back Josh Hoekstra, defensive lineman Cole Neubauer and wide receiver Daniel Galindo. It will also be the first start for promising quarterback Brian Lewerke, who picked up a scholarship offer from Arizona State this summer. Red Mountain has strong participation numbers, and there are bound to be promising players who take over main roles in 2013. This game should help show where the Mountain Lions reside among the top teams in Division I.
Prediction: Pinnacle 24, Red Mountain 20
-- Kyle Odegard
Let’s review what’s happened, shall we?
Desert Vista at Chandler
Missed opportunities, made opportunities, late-game drama, special teams swings. A neighborhood rivalry.
There was the usual residue a bad loss left behind, but Red Mountain won't panic, re-invent its wheels or other extremes.
Red MountainÕs Drake Pierre canÕt quite come up with a pass during the loss to Desert Ridge, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 at Desert Ridge High School. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
Desert Ridge wide receiver Manny Figueroa was sidelined on Friday night against Red Mountain after getting ejected from last week’s game against Skyline.
Red Mountain at Desert Ridge
Incredibly, this football regular season is halfway done. Here is a look at the notable teams, players and moments from the first five weeks of 2012:
Gilbert free safety Andrew Astorga tackles Red Mountain's wide receiver Drake Pierre after he catches the ball for a long gain, Sept., 21, 2012 in Mesa. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
The Gilbert district schools have had its moments this season, notably Desert Ridge and Highland’s early season successes.
A collection of the best individual performances from Week 4 in the East Valley:
Defense forces a turnover. Mason Thorman hits Drake Pierre for a touchdown pass. Red Mountain followed that formula multiple times in a dominant second quarter to defeat Mesa High 35-14 on Friday.
The wild, wacky, unpredictable start to the 2012 football season continued on Friday night, as two more of the preseason favorites in Division I went down. Fifth-ranked Red Mountain knocked off No. 1 Brophy behind a late, fourth-down touchdown pass, while No. 3 Mountain Pointe knocked off second-ranked and defending champion Desert Vista by holding the Thunder scoreless in the second half.
Weston Birtcher, Mountain View: He needed only 10 carries to reach 164 yards and two touchdowns in the Toros’ first win of the season.
Welcome to the big time, Red Mountain.