When one thinks of a running back who could carry his team at a crucial time, the names of burly Brandon Jacobs or the retired Jerome Bettis pop up. For Mesa Mountain View this season and particularly Friday night, it was 5-foot-7, 165-pound junior Jacom Brimhall.
Brimhall scored touchdowns on Mountain View’s first two possessions of the third period and rushed for 210 yards in the game as the Toros punished Tempe Corona del Sol in the second half, en route to a 29-8 victory in the 5A Division I quarterfinals at Toro Stadium.
var config = new Array();
config["videoId"] = 2969958001;
config["videoRef"] = null;
config["lineupId"] = null;
config["playerTag"] = null;
config["autoStart"] = false;
config["preloadBackColor"] = "#FFFFFF";
config["wmode"] = "opaque";
config["width"] = 300;
config["height"] = 275;
/* do not edit these config items */
config["playerId"] = 1336690405;
The win kept Mountain View perfect on the year at 12-0 and advanced the Toros to the semifinals on Dec. 5 in a rematch against Phoenix Brophy at a site to be determined. Brophy earned a berth by topping Gilbert Highland, 34-10.
Brimhall showed signs of being able to do damage in the first half, getting a modest seven rushes for 54 yards. The Toros, however, opted to throw more often in the first half, especially after producing an 80-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring midway through the first period. But after going to halftime knotted at 8-8, Mountain View coach Tom Joseph decided the run was the Toros’ ticket.
“We quit running it and we probably shouldn’t have,” Joseph said. “That was my fault. We came out in the second half determined to run it.”
Mountain View wasn’t supposed to get first crack at the ball to begin the second half, but essentially that’s what happened. Corona’s Kirby Pellant had the ball knocked loose on the Aztecs’ first play from scrimmage in the second half. Toros’ defensive end Nate Birtcher recovered and the Toros were in business at the Corona 33.
Three straight rushes for Brimhall and Mountain View had the go-ahead score with the shifty Brimhall scampering 23 yards to the end zone for a 15-8 lead with 10:37 left in the third period. Brimhall rushed for 112 yards on 10 carries to highlight the Toros’ domination at the point of attack in the period.
“We didn’t play badly the first half, but we knew we had to step it up in the second half if we were going to beat them,” Brimhall said. “Our defense was amazing. They got us the ball, and got a lot of three-and-outs. It was a good half for us.”
Corona (9-3), which featured a bigger, more conventional back in junior Michael Lange (5-11, 190), couldn’t get its top rusher on track. Lange rushed for 10 yards on seven carries in the first half and once Mountain View was done running over the Aztecs’ defense in the third period, Lange was a nonfactor. A 1,300-yard rusher for the season, he finished with 10 carries for 18 yards,
Mountain View got two more full possessions in the third period and punched both in. Brimhall’s second TD (24-yard run) and a 2-yard TD run by Alex Salas extended the lead to 29-8.
Mountain View rushed 18 times for 121 yards in the third period. Corona ran 10 plays in the period for a total of 27 yards.
“We got beat by a better team,” Corona coach Gary Venturo said. “They beat us at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We didn’t start the second half well and they made us pay. If you don’t win at the line of scrimmage, you’re not going to win the game.”