Starting the season 0-2 wasn’t exactly enjoyable for the Mesa football.
Then came the third game.
“It was one of the most fun games I have ever played,” Mesa quarterback Nate Hanna said.
It’s no wonder.
After struggling to score against Mesquite and Desert Mountain, the Jackrabbits put on an offensive showing in throttling Copper Canyon 60-19 last week.
Hanna tied a school record from 1924 set by Duncan Brown with six touchdown passes and running back Kris Jackson ran for 290 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“What really made us so successful was a preparation,” Hanna said. “We spent hours in the film room and game planning. We were ready for what Copper Canyon was bringing. When we went out on the field we were energized and ready to play. Everytime we went out onto the field our mindset was to score and that’s what we did.”
Hanna finished 11 of 19 for 308 yards and one pick to go with the six TDS. Overall, he completed 39 of 79 for 718 yards with nine TDs and two interceptions.
Marcus Taylor had five catches for 108 yards and two scores, while Boyd Mox had three catches for 125 yards with two scores, including and 85-yard touchdown.
They had a field day with hopes of continuing it this week against Tolleson.
“The front line has really stepped up the last few weeks,” the 6-foot, 190-pound senior said. “Our star running back Kris Jackson took it to them and really made my job easier.”
Desert Ridge (2-0)
The Jaguars beat Hamilton for the first time series history last year when Tyrese Allen ran for 310 yards and three scores. … The program got a boost this week when former Jaguar Alex Barrett became the first Desert Ridge player to make an NFL roster. The undrafted free agent defensive lineman is on the Detroit Lions, who play the Cardinals on Sunday. … Senior defensive back Donjae Logan the initial Watch List for the Ed Doherty Award, which is given to the best football player in Arizona. …
Last week: W, 30-21 at Brophy. This week: Tucson. History (since 2004): 1-7. Last five: 4-1, dating to 2016.
Freshman wide receiver Xavier Jimenez, who will see time at cornerback this week as well, burst onto the scene last week with seven catches for 120 yards and a score. … Marcos de Niza transfer Nicolas Saro led the Padres’ JV team to a 6-3 record last year. He will get his first varsity start this week after senior Mike Valdez was lost to an ACL injury last season. … Two different running backs – Issic Gomez and Jared Haggard – have reached the 100-yard rushing plateau in the first two games as the Mustangs average 252.5 yards rushing per game.
Last week: W, 280-0 at Central. This week: Gilbert (1-1). History (since 2004): 2-6. Last five: 2-3, dating to 2016.
Kris Jackson has been special so far as he leads the state in rushing (571 yards on 62 carries with four scores) along with five catches for 92 yards and three carries. He ranks 15th in the nation in rushing. … Senior defensive back Adrian Tesoro has one interception and three passes defended. … Jackson made the initial Watch List for the Ed Doherty Award, which is given to the best football player in Arizona.
Last week: W, 60-19 Copper Canyon. This week: Tolleson (1-1). History (since 2004): 0-1. Last five: 2-3, dating to 2016.
Mountain View (2-0)
Senior defensive end Jared Mix was a force last week against Corona with four sacks and two other tackles for a loss. He had two sacks all last season. … Senior kicker Kevin Ryan has made all nine PATs, a 38-yard field goal, has six touchbacks on 12 kickoffs and averages 35.3 yards a punt. … Jacobby Dinwiddie had 11 catches for 119 yards with a touchdown. … Defense faces top 2019 QB Spencer Rattler, who has completed 76 percent (60 of 79) of his passes for 742 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions through three games.
Last week: W, 35-18 at Corona del Sol. This week: Pinnacle (2-1). History (since 2004): 2-5. Last five: 4-1, dating to 2016.
Red Mountain (0-2)
Senior linebacker Delton Jackson had 15 tackles in the loss to Hamilton. … The team hasn’t at played at full strength yet after Lance Lawson missed the first game and a couple of starters were suspended for the second week. …. Lawson made the initial Watch List for the Ed Doherty Award, which is given to the best football player in Arizona. … Junior wide receiver Lorenzo Bowers is averaging 21.2 yards a catch on six receptions.
Last week: L, 52-14 Hamilton. This week: Basha (1-2). History (since 2004): 2-0. Last five: 2-3, dating to 2016.
Skyline (2-1, 1-0)
Sophomore linebacker Zach Kriens leads the team in tackles with 23 including eight solo, He also has an interception. … Quarterback Steven Castle has been pretty good running the ball, including a 65-yards score, and is second on the team behind Aaron Wood with 156 yards and three touchdowns. … Last year’s 27-21 win over Desert Vista was a defining moment. The Thunder scored 14 points in the third quarter to tie the game at 21, but the Coyotes won in the fourth quarter against a top program.
Last week: W, 30-21 at Brophy. This week: at Desert Vista History (since 2004): 1-0. Last five: 3-2, dating to 2016.
Westwood (1-2, 0-1)
Junior wide receiver Manny Collier had six carries for 102 yards and touchdown last week and had a 95-yard kickoff for a score. … The defense has trouble keeping the opponent out of the end zone so far, giving up 145 points (48.3 points a game). … This week’s opponent, Maryvale, has been outscored 79-7 in two games. … The school has refurbished Brimhall Field and the “grand opening” is next week.
Last week: L, 67-21 Perry. This week: at Maryvale (0-2). History (since 2004): 3-0. Last five: 1-4, dating to 2016.
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.