Salpointe Catholic has cruised through the first six games of its season following a familiar formula: Score early, dominate on defense and watch a blowout happen.
Quarterback Andrew Cota and Salpointe acted their parts to perfection Friday, beating host Mountain View 56-9 for the Lancers’ sixth straight 30-plus point victory.
“We just wanted to press the pedal fast, get out there and show them we’re the team to beat,” receiver Kaelin Deboskie said. “And we did so.”
Cota hit Deboskie on a 15-yard screen pass on the opening drive to put the Lancers up 7-0. The Mountain Lions then botched the ensuing kickoff and Salpointe scored on the next play, this time on a 20-yard screen to Deboskie.
Before two minutes ran off the clock, the top team in Division II was off to 14-0 lead and another easy victory. Salpointe (6-0) has outscored its opponents 286-37 this season. Friday’s win was the Lancers’ 37th straight against Southern Arizona opponents.
“Our kids came out ready to play from the very first snap,” Salpointe coach Dennis Bene said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with their effort and their focus.”
A fast start was especially important because Mountain View runs its offense through back Richie Estrada. The senior finished the game with 116 yards on 28 carries but was limited to 31 yards in the first half.
By the time a 25-yard field goal by Mountain View’s Jorge Rangel sent the teams to their locker rooms, Salpointe had built a 35-3 advantage. It was part of the formula: Salpointe is outscoring its opponents by an average of 33-2 in the first half.
No team in Southern Arizona can boast such a complete attack.
“I think Salpointe is a great team,” Mountain View coach Clarence McRae said. “It’s one of those deals where if you make mistakes, it definitely costs you. And I think in the first half we didn’t play solid football, and they were able to expose us on a lot of different things.”
Mountain View’s defense played passively and had trouble lining up at times against the potent Salpointe skill players, McRae said. The Lancers took advantage: Cameron Denson finished with 136 receiving yards, while Deboskie had 103.
When Zach Dorame crossed the goal line with just over four minutes left — following in the footsteps of starter Jay Williams, who had three scores of his own — Salpointe had scored eight touchdowns in eight possessions.
“We just have a team camaraderie and we understand each other and what we’re about to do,” Deboskie said.
The 17th-ranked Mountain Lions lost a chance to move into the playoff picture with four games remaining.
“I just think our offense is playing lights-out and obviously, like I said from Day 1, our defense is giving our offense opportunity after opportunity,” Bene said. “It’s a total team effort, and believe me, I’m thrilled right now.”