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Mountain Pointe is returning to the scene of the crime and that’s no cliché.
Maybe the tough early schedule is finally paying off.
Winning in the playoffs is often about perseverance. So, too, is simply getting to this point.
Football changed a few years back to an offensive-centric, air-it-out game. But many coaches this time of year still subscribe to the old adage that defense wins championships.
Red Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski talks to his team after its 29-13 win at Skyline on Nov. 1, 2013.
If Desert Ridge is truly state championship material, it can’t rely solely on the offense to beat powerhouse teams like Mountain Pointe and Hamilton in the postseason.
Red Mountain welcomed the return of Caleb Murray-Thomas Friday.
Another week, another near miss for Red Mountain. And it doesn’t get any easier.
Senior Joshua Hoekstra had 21 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown to lead Pinnacle to a 21-16 victory over Red Mountain to open the 2013 season for both teams under dark, stormy skies Friday night.
Sure, 16 of 29 Division I football teams are going to make the playoffs, but you can argue that could be as much a curse for several schools as it might be a blessing to have a playoff game experience.
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).
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.
In a day and age when even at the high school level, high scoring offenses seem to dominate the landscape of football, Red Mountain proved that defense is still just as effective, as the Mountain Lions beat host Highland 14-3 in the regular season finale for both teams.
Though the final score was indicate of a relatively close game, Red Mountain had little trouble Friday night with Skyline, getting a strong defensive effort in a convincing 35-14 win.
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 Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski talks strategy with quarterback Mason Thorman late in the game against the Jaguars, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 at Desert Ridge High School.
Desert Ridge wide receiver Manny Figueroa was sidelined on Friday night against Red Mountain after getting ejected from last week’s game against Skyline.
Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan knows that his team has been through a brutal stretch and to this point has come through unscathed.
Red Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski talks strategy with some of his coaches at halftime, before going into the locker room, during their home game against Gilbert, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Mesa. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
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.
Welcome to the big time, Red Mountain.
Earlier this week, Red Mountain football coach Ron Wisniewski spent time downplaying Friday’s matchup with Brophy, the top-ranked team in the state and one of the favorites to win the Division I title.
At this rate, the Red Mountain football record books will be littered with Mason Thorman's name inside.