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.
“It was huge to start off the season with a win and come out and do what we were doing, [which was] working hard until the last down and we worked for this right here," Hoekstra said after his team finished singing the school’s fight song with the band after the win. "I’m glad it happened, we came out as a team and worked hard and here we are. It feels great. It feels great.”
The Pioneers had 402 total yards of offense Friday including junior quarterback Brian Lewerke, who completed 14 of 22 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
Pinnacle (1-0) led 14-3 after three quarters of play but Red Mountain fought back. Led by senior quarterback Brennen Dobson, who had 120 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries to go along with completing 29 of 38 passes for 239 yards, the Mountain Lions made it a 14-10 affair after Dobson’s 7-yard touchdown run with 11:53 to go in the fourth quarter.
The Pioneers answered quickly when Hoekstra scored on a 9-yard touchdown run with 9:32 to go, making it 21-10. Hoekstra managed only 26 yards on the ground in the first half, but was the go-to guy for Pinnacle in the second half.
“We’re just kind of used to that,” Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke said about his tailback’s effort Friday night. “He’s coming off a 1,500-yard (rushing) year (in 2012), you know, that’s what we expect. We expect a big, hard earned game from him. He’s a special kid, he really is.”
On the ensuing possession, Red Mountain (0-1) would answer the call again as senior running back Alex Sepulveda punched it across the goal line for a 1-yard score to make it 21-16. Red Mountain would attempt a two-point conversion but Pinnacle senior linebacker Jake Culley made the tackle, stopping Red Mountain just short of the goal line.
Pinnacle fans received one more scare from Red Mountain after senior Kaiden Molina blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt by Pioneers senior kicker Ben Sweet with 1:24 to play, but Red Mountain senior Colton Cottrell fumbled the ball as the Mountain Lions were driving in a last-ditch effort to score and Pinnacle recovered. The Pioneers took a knee twice to seal the deal.
“Turnover differential, that’s amazing with that kind of turnover differential that we were in it. In some ways, that’s a testament to our kids that it was that close still. When you turn the ball over that much you typically don’t have a chance to win at the end and we did still,” said Red Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski, whose team had four fumbles (two lost) and one interception. “You can’t beat a good team if you’re going to make that many mistakes.”
Pinnacle 21, Red Mountain 16
First Downs: Pinnacle 10, Red Mountain 13
Rushing: Pinnacle 31-185, Red Mountain 24-144
Passing: (comp.-att.-yards-TD-INT): Pinnacle 14-22-217-2-1, Red Mountain 29-38-239-0-1
Fumbles-lost: Pinnacle 1-0, Red Mountain 4-2
Penalties: Pinnacle 9-70, Red Mountain 11-65
Red Mountain 0 3 0 13 — 16
Pinnacle 7 0 7 7 — 21
Pin: Rose 36 pass from Lewerke (Sweet kick)
RM: 32-yard FG by Tani
Pin: Hatton 35 pass from Lewerke (Sweet kick)
RM: Dobson 7 run (Tani kick)
Pin: Hoekstra 9 run (Sweet kick)
RM: Sepulveda 7 run (2pt Conv Failed)