Desert Mountain didn’t look the No. 9 team in Division I on Thursday night.
Wolves coach Tony Tabor knows that needs to change swiftly with the quality of opponents that his Wolves will face in the coming weeks following a somewhat lackluster 42-24 victory over visiting Phoenix North Canyon.
“I never felt like we were going to lose the game but we tried to make it too hard,” Tabor said. “It is almost an erratic thing. We have to be more consistent.”
Desert Mountain (6-0) trailed North Canyon (0-6) in the third quarter, 24-21, after the Wolves fumbled twice in the first two minutes of the half which turned into 10 Rattlers' points.
“We can’t make these errors down the line,” Tabor said. “You play the Chandler’s, the Hamilton’s, the Mountain Pointe’s and you turn the ball over like that, you may not get an opportunity to win the football game.”
This time, Desert Mountain asserted itself and has won a school-record eight consecutive games dating back to last season.
The Wolves’ Adam Cooper squirted through the line for a 45-yard TD run. A series later, Kyle Allen capped a 10-play, 96-yard drive with a 12-yard TD pass to Cody Erickson to put Desert Mountain comfortably ahead 35-24 with 58.7 seconds left in the third.
“We can’t keep doing that,” Allen said of the first three quarters. “We showed that we can persevere through that and it didn’t really matter. We kept our head up as a team and we knew we could score points on them all day so it wasn’t a big deal.”
Allen put up big numbers again. The junior completed 15 of 21 passes for 380 yards with a lone interception. Allen added two first half scoring passes of 39 and 66 yards to junior star wideout Mark Andrews to give him four touchdown passes on the night.
“I definitely think that (falling behind) is something scary and we are going to have to work on,” said Andrews, who caught eight passes for 187 yards. “I do think our team is resilient and this shows it, but coming down the line we can’t get down like that.”
For good measure, Allen connected on a 46-yard TD pass to Cody Erickson midway through the fourth quarter but the lasting impression was not forgotten by Tabor.
“We need to coach them up better as coaches,” he said.
Desert Mountain 42, North Canyon 24
North Canyon 0 14 10 0 – 24
Desert Mountain 0 21 14 7 – 42
First Downs: North Canyon 20, Desert Mountain 23
Rushing: North Canyon 40-111, Desert Mountain 23-156
Comp-Att-Int: North Canyon 15-21-1, Desert Mountain 15-21-1
Passing Yards: North Canyon 129, Desert Mountain 380
Fumbles-Lost: North Canyon 1-0, Desert Mountain 2-2
Penalties-Yards: North Canyon 8-85, Desert Mountain 4-25
NC – Okwoli 7 run (McArthur kick)
DM – Andrews 39 pass from Allen (kick failed)
DM – Cooper 1 run (Pass good)
NC – O’Georgia 3 run (McArthur kick)
DM – Andrews 66 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)
NC – O’Georgia 21 pass from Molzhon (McArthur kick)
NC – McArthur 27 FG
DM – Cooper 45 run (Taylor kick)
DM – Erickson 12 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)
DM – Erickson 46 pass from Allen (Taylor kick)