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Mesa senior halfback Turrell Pietz-Noble ran all over the field against Valley Vista, but it wasn’t enough for the Jackrabbits to avoid a 35-19 home loss on Friday night.
Westwood High School overwhelmed Mesa High School early and hung on late to beat the Jackrabbits 38-28, giving the Warriors their first win against Mesa in four years.
Questions about what changes the new hire will make come with any coaching transition. Through one game – and it's only one game – in the Scott Hare era at Mesa High, the easy answer is points.
In some ways, Scott Hare feels he’s picking up where Kelley Moore left off.
All-Tribune First Team Offense
All-Tribune First Team Offense
There were no encores or drawn out performances – in fact, Kyle Allen’s senior night was more of a cameo than anything else. But the Desert Mountain quarterback certainly made the most of his 24 minutes of action.
Mesa running back Turrell Pietz-Noble gets tackled by Skyline's Gabe Lopez and Wyatt Meier during the game against Skyline Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Mesa. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
Mesa coach Kelley Moore talks to his running back Turrell Pietz-Noble about the importance of keeping your cool during the game against Skyline Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Mesa.
It took more than 40 minutes but Skyline got its offense in gear – despite missing its injured big guns – and just may have played itself into the postseason.
Mesa's Turrell Pietz-Noble runs for long gain during Mesa's game against Mt. View in Mesa, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013. [Greg Herriman/ Special to Tribune]
Mesa's Turrell Pietz-Noble runs for a big gain during Mesa's game against Mountain View in Mesa, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013. [Greg Herriman/ Special to Tribune]
Mesa's Turrell Pietz-Noble catches a punt during Mesa's game against Mountain View in 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.
Francisco Avitia, Skyline (pictured): 329 yards, 6 TD
Luke Quinn, Horizon: 188 yards, 3 TD
Kam’Ron Johnson, Tempe: 187 yards, TD
Paul Perry, Mesquite: 175 yards, 4 TD
Weston Barlow, Queen Creek: 165 yards, TD
Zech Gatling, Scottsdale Christian: 163 yards, TD
Truman Tucker, Skyline: 159 yards
Turrell Pietz-Noble, Mesa: 152 yards, 2 TD
Ricky Marshall, Higley: 131 yards, TD
Rajhan Meriwether, Basha: 123 yards
Elijah Castro, Chaparral: 119 yards, 3 TD
Ethan Johnson, Westwood: 118 yards, TD
Deion Warren, Desert Mountain: 100 yards
Red Mountain made a statement Friday night.
Red Mountain’s defensive lineman Xavier Davis tackles running back Turrell Pietz-Noble as quarterback Chris Shelton looks on after handing the ball off Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 in Mesa. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
Red Mountain linebacker Seth Robinson tackles Mesa running back Turrell Pietz-Noble Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 in Mesa. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
Mesa quarterback Chris Shelton hands off to running back Turrell Pietz-Noble against Red Mountain Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 in Mesa. [Brant Clinard/ Special to Tribune]
The talented sophomore was not expected to make this big of an impact early on, but injuries forced coach Shaun Aguano’s hand and Lucas has excelled once given the opportunity. He burst onto the scene in a season-opening win over Peoria Centennial and has totaled 49 carries for 301 yards and five touchdowns as well as 17 receptions for a team-best 242 yards and three touchdowns. The Wolves have talented skill guys across the board, but it’s mighty impressive that this young sophomore may be the most dangerous of them all.
Honorable mention: Finton Connolly, OL/DL, Campo Verde; Turrell Pietz-Noble, RB, Mesa; Doc O’Connor, WR, Basha; Tyler Bloom, QB, Higley; Brandon Hatfield, WR, Poston Butte.
Mesa leaned on its defense and it responded Friday.
Weston Barlow, Queen Creek: 320 yards, 4 TD...
Turrell Pietz-Noble, Mesa: 230 yards, 3 TD...
Ryan Velez, Brophy: 187 yards, TD...
Brandyn Leonard, Mountain Pointe (pictured): 180 yards, 3 TD...
Dylon Gillette, Gilbert: 150 yards...
Kam’ron Johnson, Tempe: 148 yards, 2 TD...
Ricky Marshall, Higley: 144 yards, 2 TD...
Ethan Johnson, Westwood: 138 yards, 3 TD...
Francisco Ativia, Skyline: 120 yards, 2 TD...
Cade Van Raaphorst, Desert Vista: 120 yards, TD...
Paul Perry, Mesquite: 116 yards, TD...
Elijah Castro, Chaparral: 112 yards...
Antonio Marchica, Cactus Shadows: 111 yards, TD.
Winner gets into the playoff and loser goes home? It’s not quite the simple, but it’s not far off either. Both teams are fighting for one of the final couple postseason berths (Skyline at No. 16 and Mesa at No. 18). The Coyotes left everyone holding their collective breaths with last week’s monumental effort against Desert Mountain in a 50-49 loss in the final minute. A win there might have cemented the Coyotes’ playoff fortunes, but now Skyline really needs a win (possibly two) to further its season. Mesa’s defense, however, is going to offer a better challenge than Desert Mountain’s did last week, and the Jackrabbits, too, are in the playoff hunt. Can Skyline handle Mesa’s physicality on defense. Skyline couldn’t stop Desert Mountain’s passing game (no shame in that) but can they handle Turrell Pietz-Noble and his 950 yards rushing and 8 TD? If it comes down to the wire where special teams and the kicking game are pivotal, Mesa holds a big advantage. No reason to think last year’s 27-24 win by Skyline can’t be repeated in score, competitiveness and outcome.
Prediction: Skyline 24, Mesa 20
-- Mark Heller
Mesa's Turrell Pietz-Noble breaks off a long run to the 1 yard line while taking on Westwood, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 in Mesa. [James McGuire/ Special to Tribune]
Two late turnovers within 25 yards of the end zone, and a stingy Mesa defense doomed Westwood to its first loss of the season, a 27-7 defeat to the neighboring Jackrabbits.