While rain and lightning forced a 45-minute delay of the start of Friday night’s (Sept. 5) football game between Phoenix Pinnacle and host Goodyear Millennium, both teams retreated to their locker rooms and their fans to the nearby gymnasium.
In the gym, the Pinnacle spirit line began to cheer. The Millennium fans didn’t like it and booed a bit, then began a chant of their own: “This is our house!’’
Well, not exactly.
As it turned out, it was Pinnacle’s house for the evening, as the Pioneers took the field and rolled to a 49-10 victory over Millennium. Pinnacle improved to 2-0 and Millennium dropped to 1-1.
Pinnacle built a 28-3 lead by halftime and never looked back.
The Pioneers pretty much dominated play up front, getting off the ball much quicker and leaving the Tigers flat-footed.
Pinnacle’s Brian Lewerke completed 13 of 23 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns. Certainly not Peyton Manning-esque, but the 6-foot-3, 180-pound junior continued to show signs that he is developing into a very capable quarterback.
“We still have to remind ourselves that he is just a junior, but he looked good. He made some stellar throws,’’ said Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke.
Mason Hatton had a productive night, catching five passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. And in the first quarter, he returned an interception 32 yards for a TD. Daniel Galindo caught a pair of TD passes.
Millennium, which posted a triple-overtime victory over Phoenix North Canyon in last week’s season opener, couldn’t do much right. The Tigers were flagged for numerous penalties that stalled many of their drives.
Adam Tamayo, who rushed for 127 yards and four TDs against North Canyon, managed only 22 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.
Pinnacle’s Josh Hoekstra rushed for 131 yards and a TD in an opening win over Mesa Red Mountain, but he wasn’t needed as much this time the way that Lewerke was throwing the ball. Hoekstra picked up 35 yards and ran for a pair of TDs.
Pinnacle’s defense held Millennium to 167 total yards. Zupke was pleased with that, but said the team’s overall effort wasn’t as consistent as it could have been. He didn’t think the delay affected the Pioneers.
“The way the weather is here, it doesn’t take much to warm back up,’’ he said. “We just were sloppy at times – the delay didn’t really have anything to do with it. We still have a lot of things to work on.’’