Home Play Jason's Rants Four hot takes: Time to find Wheat and stack Wood

Four hot takes: Time to find Wheat and stack Wood

Red Mountain's Carter Wheat (99) catches a third-quarter pass versus Hamilton Friday night in Mesa, AZ. (Corey Cross/MyNewsMesa)

Family is out of town on fall break, leaving me home to take care of the pseudo zoo we have, and I have some free time.

In other words, I am taking advantage of an empty house and being lazy.

To wake up a little bit here are four hot takes from this week’s action.

1. The most underutilized player must be Red Mountain Carter Wheat.

He had a season-high three catches on Friday, and it was for 109 yards. Not near enough touches on the season. Part of it is quarterback Cannon Griner wasn’t proficient of coming off his initial read early in the season.

He’d lock in on receiver and if it wasn’t open, Griner would run it meanwhile Wheat was open in the season. Now that Griner is getting better there will be more balls Wheat’s way.

Wheat had a 60-yarder against Mountain View when Lance Lawson faked a wide receiver screen, a play the Mountain Lions ran about eight times, pulled up and hit Wheat in the middle of the field.

He’s a big body and plays physical. It’s a tough matchup and could pay big dividends down the stretch.

Skyline’s Aaron Wood (4) runs for a fourth-quarter touchdown against Mesa.(Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

2. Aaron Wood ain’t no slouch.

All the talk has been about Kris Jackson’s exploits at Mesa, but Wood has run for 100-plus yards in five straight weeks. He had 301 three weeks ago and then 275 and five touchdowns this week to go over 1,000-yards on the season.

If Skyline wins the region riding Wood’s legs could he get more votes as the region’s top running back? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be a stretch if he did.

Desert Ridge’s Deonce Elliott finds running room against Tucson. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

3. I tweeted the first week of the season that Deonce Elliott reminded me of Desert Ridge’s Tavian Patrick, and not just because they have the same jersey number – No. 3.

Elliott showed just why Friday with a kickoff return to open the game against Corona del Sol. When the Jaguars made the championship game in 2014 Patrick was constantly getting Desert Ridge good field position and used on the fly sweep.

It’s exactly how Elliott is being used.

Red Mountain celebrates Justin Coleman’s fumble. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

4. Red Mountain’s defense is playing a championship level.

Three games ago, the Mountain Lions intercepted four passes against Jack Plummer, who came in with a 15-0 TD/INT ration.

Last week, Red Mountain has three pick 6s against Dobson and didn’t allow a completion according MyNewsMesa stats.

Then on Friday, Mountain View was held to 2 yards rushing on 23 attempts unofficially. The Toros were without their RB1 but it wouldn’t have made a difference.

The Mountain Lions’ defense has become a fierce group with a strong pass rush, sure tackling, a hard-hitting safety and cornerbacks that are playing the ball.

– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to jskoda@mynewsmesa.com.

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