quarterback Sammy Olivas escapes from the grasp of
Mesa Mountain View defender Ridge Nielsen.
Knuth / Arizona
Mesa Mountain View's fast start dooms Devils
By Ryan Finley
Sunnyside coach Richard Sanchez knows a thing or two about hot starts.
A week ago, his Blue Devils started a blowout win against Sabino by scoring 16 unanswered points.
Given his experience, Sanchez must have seen the
writing on the wall when visiting Mesa Mountain View started Friday's
game by scoring twice in a span of six minutes en route to a 42-14
"It was almost like last week," Sanchez said. "Just flipped around."
This time, Sunnyside played the victim.
The Blue Devils (2-3) started the game by allowing the
Toros' Ridge Nielsen to score on touchdown runs of 59 and 11 yards in
the first six minutes.
"As soon as we put those 14 points on the board," Nielsen said, "we knew they wouldn't catch up to us."
And in the second half, the Blue Devils allowed the
Toros' Jake McGhan to score on a 1-yard run about a minute after the
third quarter had started.
The rough starts had Sanchez - who was visibly
frustrated with his team's effort - questioning his team's ability to
"We've never had problems starting," he said. "Usually, we come back."
And usually, the Blue Devils avoid making the kind of mental mistakes that dogged them Friday.
None was bigger than the gaffe Sunnyside made late in
the second quarter when, trailing 14-7, quarterback Sammy Olivas threw a
pass that was tipped and caught by a Blue Devils lineman.
Rather that fall down, the lineman attempted to pitch
to tailback Michael Smith. But the pitch went wide, Mountain View (5-0)
recovered, and eventually scored to make it 21-7 with a minute before
"What killed us was that fumble," Smith said. "I was like, 'Fall down.' "
Nielsen rushed for 168 yards on 11 carries and scored
four touchdowns, and his twin brother Riley was 6 of 12 for 40 yards as
the team's quarterback.
Ridge's numbers would have been better, but he spent the fourth quarter on the bench.
"It was nice to just watch my buddies run the ball," he said.
Sunnyside was led by Smith, who rushed 27 times for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Jovan Stevenson scored the Blue Devils' other touchdown with a short run.