After a fast start to the season, the Mountain View Toros hit a speed bump at Pinnacle, losing to the Pioneers 26-7 on Friday night.
The lopsided score in the 6A Conference non-region game pays no dividends to the performance of the Toros overall. Faced with the tough task of defending Pioneers’ junior quarterback Spencer Rattler, the Mountain View defense kept the Oklahoma-commit at bay in the first quarter.
On Pinnacle’s first play from scrimmage, Rattler looked deep for junior tight end Hayden Hatten but was intercepted by senior two-way athlete Tate Allen, his first of two on the night, to give the Toros the ball.
“We played it simple and we kind of got in his head a little bit,” Allen said of Rattler. “We blitzed when it wasn’t expected and overall I thought our team played hard.”
Mountain View held Pinnacle to just three points in the first quarter. However, for every defensive stop, came miscues on offense.
Late in the first quarter saw the Toros driving deep into Pinnacle territory. Big pass plays from junior quarterback Brandon Nuñez to junior wide out Jacobby Dinwiddie and senior Dax Hodges were nullified by a fumble inside the Pinnacle red zone.
From there, Rattler and Hatten found a rhythm.
The duo would connect eight times on the night for 102 total yards, most of which coming in the second quarter. Another field goal, a 1-yard run by Rattler and 3-yard pass from Rattler to Hatten pushed the Pinnacle lead to 19-0 at half time.
Trailing for the first time this season, Mike Fell gathered his Mountain View team before heading into the locker room.
“We had our opportunities in the first half,” he said. “I just told them to play as a team and go into the locker room and work as a team. Don’t point any fingers and figure it out.”
Fell’s words made an impact.
Out of the break, the Toros used an 80-yard drive to get on the board after junior Jeremiah Hollen found the end zone from 1-yard out.
While the defense gave the offense chances to close the gap on the Pioneers lead, the Toros could not overcome turnovers and penalties.
“We made it 19-7 but continued to make mistakes,” Fell said. “You can’t do that against good football teams. They took advantage.”
Two fumbles and an interception stalled Mountain View drives, while 85 yards in penalties often extended them for Pinnacle. Regardless of the mistakes, Fell is proud of the fight his team showed throughout the contest.
“I felt like coming in this would show what type of team we are,” he said. “I still believe that we can play with these guys. I still think we are good enough.”
The talent level of the Toros showed despite the lack of points on the board.
Allen (4 receptions, 56 yards) and Dinwiddie (6 receptions, 103 yards) played key roles on both sides of the ball for Mountain View. Along with his two interceptions, Allen made a clutch 21-yard fourth down reception, while Dinwiddie exploited a single coverage mismatch most of the night.
Now at 2-1, the Toros remain confident in their talent level and ability to compete with some of the best teams the state has to offer. They have another opportunity to prove just that as they host Mountain Pointe next Friday.
“We just have to go out to practice and fix the mistakes,” Allen said. “This will just fuel our fire. We know we can compete with anyone, we just have to fix mistakes.”
– Zach Alvira is a freelancer writer for MyNewsMesa.com.
Pinnacle 26, Mountain View 7
Pinnacle 3 16 0 7 – 26
Tucson 0 0 7 0 – 7
PHS – Veach 32 FG, 4:47
PHS – Veach 20 FG, 6:50
PHS – Rattler 1 run, 5:13
PHS – Rattler 3 pass to Hayden Hatten (Veach), :04
MVT – Hollen 1 run (Ryan), 7:38
PHS – Hayden Hatten 1 run (Veach), 4:06
First downs 17 15
Rush-yards 36-174 30-101
Comp-Att-Int 15-27-2 14-26-1
Pass yard 160 203
Total yards 334 304
Fumbles/lost 0/0 3/2
Penalties 4-24 12-85
MVT – Yamada 15-88, Hollen 4-13, Nuñez 6-(-)11, Dinwiddie 3-4, Crum 2-7; PHS – Covington 17-86, Rattler 8-42, Juntunen 2-6, Brady 2-8, Hayden Hatten 1-1, Hogan Hatten 4-28, Dixon 1-2, Redd 1-1
MVT – Nuñez 14-26-1-203; PHS – Rattler 15-27-2-160
MVT – Dinwiddie 6-103, Allen 4-56, Hodges 1-20, Waite 3-24; PHS – Hayden Hatten 8-102, Covington 2-13, Jepson 2-24, Powell 2-10, Hogan Hatten 1-11