Friday night featured the Desert Vista Thunder traveling just 4 miles to take on conference rival Mountain Pointe Pride in the “Ahwatukee Bowl.” The Pride had won 6 straight and 8 of the last 10 in one of Arizona’s best high school football rivalries.
Mountain Pointe came out of the gates strong on both sides of the ball. The defense was able to force a fumble on Desert Vista’s opening drive and it didn’t take long for the Pride to turn the fumble into points. Senior quarterback Nick Wallerstedt led the Pride down the field using his legs and scored the games first touchdown.
Desert Vista’s defense was able to force a turnover of its own and the offense capitalized with a rushing touchdown from Colby Humphrey. Humphrey was a workhorse all night, he finished the night with 27 carries, 82 yards, 2 touchdowns and a defensive interception. Armando Delgado played a big part in the Thunders rushing attack as well, he scored late in the 2nd quarter to put Desert Vista up 14-7.
On the ensuing kickoff Mountain Pointes sophomore running back Eli Sanders sliced through the Thunder special teams for a 90 yard return touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 going into the half.
Each team added a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. For the Pride, Wallerstedt added another rushing touchdown. He finished the night with 148 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns and 207 passing yards. The Thunders 3rd quarter score came from Humphrey – his second rushing touchdown of the night.
Both defenses featured standout players in this rivalry game. Pride defensive back, Lacarea Pleasant-Johnson, the 16th ranked player in Arizona (class of 2019 – Rivals.com) made big plays in coverage and at the line of scrimmage. The Thunder were led by senior defensive lineman, Thomas Jackson. Jackson was disruptive all night in the running and passing game.
The 4th quarter started with the score tied at 21-21. Mountain Pointe broke the tie on a Sanders rushing touchdown. The ensuing extra point missed wide, giving the Pride just a 6 point lead, 27-21. Later in the quarter Desert Vista engineered a drive capped off by a receiving touchdown from Dominic Shepardson. On the touchdown, quarterback Parker Navarro scrambled out of the pocket and it appeared he would try and run for the first down. As he reached the line of scrimmage, Shepardson broke open and delivered a strike to the senior receiver who then turned up field and found the end zone. Desert Vista converted the extra point try to take a 28-27 lead.
Mountain Pointe was unable to manufacture any points on their last 2 drives with the final play of the game resulting in an interception in the end zone. Desert Vista players were greeted on the field by fans as they celebrated their first “Ahwatukee Bowl” victory since 2011.
Mountain Pointe will try to put this one in the rear view mirror as they travel to Chaparral next week and Desert Vista will look to keep the momentum going when they host Boulder Creek on Friday.
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