Sunnyside Blue Devils
running back Jovan Stevenson runs with the football in
first half against Mountain View High School.
The Arizona Republic
Mountain View QB makes Sunnyside pay for
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 30, 2006 12:00 AM
It's relentless. Like thunder during a storm.
Tucson Sunnyside blitzes every chance it has, never letting
the opposing offense breathe. That's how its defense has given
up just 20 total points in its first four games.
But Sunnyside didn't account for something Friday night at
Mesa Mountain View - senior quarterback Riley Nielsen. A
blitzing defense's worst nightmare.
Nielsen was able to avoid the rush for much of the game,
finding open holes and open receivers. He ran for one
touchdown, threw for another and led his team down the field
for the game winner in Mountain View's 21-14 win over visiting
"When they bring that rush, if they're blitzing that many guys
there's definitely somebody open," said Nielsen, whose team
improves to 4-1.
Sunnyside (3-2) was able to get to Nielsen early, sacking him
three times in the first four drives.
But Nielsen scored his first touchdown on a 9-yard scramble,
eluding a sack and finding a seam down the left sideline late
in the second quarter.
Sunnyside was game all night. On the ensuing kickoff, Alex
Leon went 99 yards for the touchdown as Sunnyside tied the
game at 7.
Mountain View took a 14-7 lead late in the third on a 65-yard
touchdown pass when Nielsen again scrambled away from pressure
and found Grant Scurr all alone downfield.
But Sunnyside tied the game again in the fourth when Jamie
Valdez threw a 16-yard touchdown to favorite target Patrick
With 4:52 left in the game, Nielsen orchestrated a seven-play,
69-yard game-winning drive, which ended in Micah Yetter's
5-yard scoring run. Nielsen completed three straight passes on
the drive, which also was helped by Sunnyside's fourth
personal foul of the game.
Mountain View coach Tom Joseph said Sunnyside had the best
defense his team has faced this season.
But he acknowledged that a blitzing defense like Sunnyside's
will eventually give up big plays.
"It worked for a while for them," Joseph said.
"But you can't blitz and cover everybody."