With a little less than seven minutes to go in its game against visiting Mesa Friday night, Desert Vista's shutout streak - at that point spanning seven-and-a-half quarters of football and 89 minutes of game action - came to an end.
But it was only seven minutes later that a new streak was officially on the books -- this time a winning streak -- with a dominant 38-6 win over the Jackrabbits to give the Thunder a 2-0 start on the young season.
"What can I say? I thought our kids played better - a lot better - than they did last week," coach Dan Hinds said, referencing the Thunder's 63-0 walloping of Phoenix Maryvale to kick off the season.
While it might not have been with as much reckless abandon as last week's outing, and not necessarily as often, Desert Vista popped off a pair of early touchdowns in this contest, too, scoring on first-quarter runs of 90 and 40 yards by Caleb Germinaro and Michael Arredondo, respectively.
"It's always good to get up on people quick like that. Just as a team in general, for us coaches that's just a great way to start a game," Hinds said of the confidence it not only brings the players, but the playcallers on the coaching staff as well.
Desert Vista added a 22-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Rodriguez to Dominic Kereluk and a 23-yard field goal from Scotty Goldfein in the second quarter, and touchdown runs of 3 and 1 yards by Arredondo and Kereluk, respectively, in the third.
Despite falling behind 38-0 and the ultimate lopsided score, Mesa (0-1) never quit on the game. The Jackrabbits continued to hit hard, force fumbles, and sack Rodriguez multiple times. The Jackrabbits efforts - especially those of running back Brandon McCown and quarterback Jeremy Noble - to get on the board paid off late in the fourth, when Noble ran it in from 1 yard out with 6:43 to play to cap the scoring.
Noble's numbers - 4 of 10 passing for 20 yards and 13 carries - underscored his value toward keeping the score from ending up worse.
Kereluk's touchdowns may have come after the Thunder had already gained a big lead, but the manner in which he scored may be most noteworthy. The senior back fumbled twice over his first three carries - losing both - but got back in the action thanks, in part, to Rodriguez.
While he only finished with 18 yards rushing, Kereluk caught that 22-yard touchdown pass along with another 60-yard catch and run from Rodriguez. He took that play to the 1-yard line and scored on the ground on the next play.
"We've got a lot of great players on this team. A lot of really great running backs. Dominic, he's one of those guys," Hinds said. "Kids make mistakes, so we're going to get them back in and make sure they know that we're never going to give up on a kid. He had a good game after that."
As for the shutout mark coming to a close, Arredondo acknowledged that being the only 2-0 big-school team in the state so far - Desert Vista's matchup with Maryvale was the first game of the season - is more important.
"Our defense has been trying to create a culture around here all summer," Arredondo said. "It's showing."
Defensive end Lorenzo Melvin added to his big Week 1 output with another sack against the Jackrabbits, while defensive backs Matt Smith and Mark Smith each carded interceptions for the Thunder.
Rodriguez noted that having the chance to be revved up and ready for game two while the opponent is just starting its season can go both ways.
"The only problem with it is that they've been practicing for us all summer, and we've only had them for a week, Rodriguez said. "But I'd rather have it the way it happened any day."
Rodriguez finished 6 of 8 for 136 yards and a touchdown through the air, while Germinaro ran for 138 yards and the long touchdown on just four carries. Arredondo carried the ball six times for 77 yards with two scores.
After playing that opener before most of the state got underway last week, it's Desert Vista's turn now to let the rest of the pack catch back up. The Thunder have a bye, before facing rival Mountain Pointe in the newly-termed "Ahwatukee Memorial Bowl," on Sept. 9. The game is being billed as a commemorative event surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks.