2023 High School Football

Walden Grove’s offense, linebacker Carlos Montoya Jr. shine in win over Mountain View

Walden Grove wide receiver Jayvon Coleman keeps his foot in bounds for a touchdown (Lexie Fegan/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Going 8-2 in the 2022 season, missing the playoffs by the slimmest of margins due to strength of schedule and remembering the heartbreak of hearing the news of that has the Red Wolves on a mission this season.

Starting the 2023 season with losses against Northwest Christian and Arcadia could have put that mission on pause.

For Walden Grove, the losses provided the fire the team needed to move forward — and move forward they have. Notching back-to-back wins against Cienega and Desert View.

Looking for win No. 3, the Red Wolves hit Wayne Jones Field at Mountain View with their mission intact.

They continued their winning ways with a 35-21 triumph, highlighted by linebacker Carlos Montoya Jr.’s school-record 21 tackles, nine of them solo stops.

Red Wolves head coach Corey Noble on how his team prepared for its game against the Mountain Lions: “It was a pretty good week of preparation. Mountain gave us a lot to try to prepare for with the changes in quarterback. They unfortunately had a great player get injured. Just some new guys at quarterback. Not a whole lot of film on what they were doing with the new personal in there and then the bye week right before us knowing that there is going to be some tweaks, some adjustments some things we are going to have to prepare for without somewhat not knowing what to prepare for.”

Mountain View (1-4), celebrating Homecoming, was coming off a bye week after securing The Boot in a thrilling 42-35 win over rival Marana two weeks ago.

As kickoff approached, the Mountain Lions took time to recognize their 1993 4A state championship team and announced the induction of the team into Mountain View’s Hall of Fame.

Mountain View’s 1993 4A State Championship team (Lori Burkhart/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Mountain View won the coin toss and deferred, giving Walden Grove’s offense the ball to start the game.

On Walden Grove’s first possession, senior quarterback Gabriel Smith threw a long pass to junior wide receiver Jayvon Coleman, putting the Red Wolves in the red zone. A few plays later, junior running back Robert Cash lll muscled the ball over the goal line. giving Walden Grove a 7-0 lead.

Walden Grove scored another touchdown with 6:21 left in the first quarter when Smith hit Coleman in the back of the end zone, extending the Red Wolves lead to 14-0.

The Smith-to-Coleman connection was on point for the Red Wolves.

Smith on why the connection with Coleman works: “We practice on the off days, we practice together mostly every weekend. Every morning before school, we go out and hit the field. I love this guy. We have a great connection together. If I throw this ball I know Jayvon is adjusting and he’ll get it.”

Smith completed 20 of 22 pass attempts for 320 yards with two touchdowns.

Coleman totaled eight catches for 183 yards and a touchdown.

Mountain View cut the Red Wolves’ lead to 14-7 when junior Nicholas Horrocks, on a long third down, broke loose and found the end zone. Horrocks is also listed as an outside linebacker.

In the second quarter, Walden Grove’s offense continued to shine adding two more touchdowns off of a Smith quarterback keeper and a short pass to senior wide receiver Eduard Lopez in the end zone. Lopez finished with seven catches for 88 yards.

At the half, Walden Grove led Mountain View 28-7.

Walden Grove quarterback Gabriel Smith with the keeper (Lexie Fegan/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

On its first possession of the second half, Mountain View scored when junior Damien Wallace, playing in the quarterback position, ran the ball in for a touchdown. Wallace, listed as a wide receiver/safety was utilized throughout the game at quarterback.

Regular starter Will Howell was lost for the season in the opener at Gilbert because of a torn ACL. His backup, Julian Palmieri, suffered a leg injury in the third game of the season and has not returned.

The extra-point was blocked after Wallace’s touchdown, and with 7:50 left in the third quarter, the Mountain Lions trailed the Red Wolves 28-13.

With under 2 minutes to go in the third quarter, Noble pulled a little trickery from his playbook.

With the Red Wolves in punt formation at their own 33, a fake punt was executed to perfection getting the ball down inside the 10-yard line. Two plays later, Cash cashed in for a touchdown, putting Walden Grove up by 22.

Mountain View added a touchdown and two-point conversion toward the end of the game making the final score 35-21.

Region play begins for both teams next Friday, October 6.

In the 4A Kino, Walden Grove will host Sahuaro.

Mountain View will host Flowing Wells in a 5A Sonoran game.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top