North High falls to Mountain Ridge 42-6
September 25, 2021 by Cameron Dean, Arizona State University
Cameron Dean is an ASU journalism student assigned to cover North High School for AZPreps365.com
Phoenix-- North High suffered a tough loss to Mountain Ridge 42-6 Friday night in a scrappy contest. Mountain Ridge committed 18 penalties, riddling the field with yellow flags for infractions such as offsides and personal fouls. In a game strewn with penalties for the Mountain Lions, the Mustangs could not take advantage.
In the first drive of the game the Mustangs offense started off coordinated and in-sync with a crisp pass from quarterback Caleb Miller. Number 4 for the Mustangs scrambled towards the sideline, slung his arm back, and threw a bomb to his brother, Cylan Miller, who hauled it in at the 22-yard line. The following play, Caleb Miller surveyed the field, and threw what looked like an open pass, until a downed Mountain Ridge defender lunged off the turf and snagged it straight out of the air. This play wrote the story for the rest of the game, the Mustangs knocking on the door, but never walking through.
"I saw the linebacker come up and I underthrew it," said Caleb Miller. "It was a good read, I just missed the throw."
Mountain Ridge answered back with a sloppy drive, getting two false starts back-to-back in the first two snaps of the possession. Nonetheless, they moved down the field at a swift pace. Hitting screen passes for big gains, shooting through the gaps on running plays, and consistently converting on slant routes. In between penalties, the Lions displayed a powerful offense.
In the second quarter, North High trailed 14-0 and inserted Luke Haugo at quarterback. The Mustang offense came alive. On third-and-four, Haugo took the snap and, under heavy pressure, launched a pass that Ezy Brown caught 42 yards downfield to the Mountain Ridge 17. The North High sidelines erupted with cheers.
Huge pass for #7 Luke Haugo, mustangs are now in the red zone!!!— CameronBDean (@kenpachiizz) September 25, 2021
On the next play, the lanky 6'3" Huago scrambled for 12 yards an another first down. Two more plays put the ball at the Mountain Lion one-yard line. The next two plays altered the narrative: Huago was sacked and then on fourth down was intercepted in the end zone. No points despite an impressive drive.
" We were super close to making this a real game," Haugo said.
After that turnover the game was a series of unfortunate events for the Mustangs.
With just one minute until half time, Mountain Ridge scored a touchdown to take a 21-0 lead into halftime. Early in the third quarter the Mountain Lions put it in the end zone again to put the contest out of reach, 28-0.
Miscues plagued the Mustangs. A fumble in North's own territory allowed the Mountain Lions to make a short drive to get another touchdown, pushing the lead to 35-0. Despite this, the Mustangs never gave up, and never let their head down.
3rd quarter, and Mustangs fumble in their own territory and it leads to a touchdown the next play for the Lions. Tough night tonight 🤕 35-0 Mountain Ridge— CameronBDean (@kenpachiizz) September 25, 2021
In the fourth quarter, the Mustangs advanced into Mountain Lion territory. Caleb Miller, back in the game, rolled out the pocket and fired a dart into the back corner of the endzone. Layne Marquez, with two defenders draped on him, pulled it in for the touchdown. North High, regardless of being down, showed tenacity in this game and did not let up for even a second. It was a glimmer of light for the team.
" We competed and played hard, we played for 48 [minutes] tonight," Coach Mark Mejia said. "Our word for this week is perserverance."