For second straight season Pinnacle off to fast start

Arizona Sports News online

In the 2011 season the Pinnacle Pioneers jumped out to an 8-0 record before dropping a few games to end the season and exiting the playoffs early. So far 2012 has been a similar story.

The Pioneers have jumped out to an early 4-0 record and another perfect opening month of the season after their 59-32 win at North Canyon on Friday night.

“It’s nice to be 4-0,” said Pinnacle head coach Dana Zupke. “I am proud of the fact that we are there and seem to be improving every week so it’s nice to get off to a good start. But we definitely have a lot of tough games coming down the road.”

They were led by outstanding play from their senior quarterback Michael Sanders who was being forced to throw all night. The Pioneers had a dominant running attack in 2011 with almost 3,000 total yards and 27 touchdowns from their running backs. So with the Rattlers trying to prevent the run, Sanders was able to let loose.

“They definitely defended us,” Zupke mentioned. “Their goal was to stack the box you could tell and force us to throw which we showed we are capable of doing.”

However, North Canyon gave Pinnacle all they could handle. Game breaking touchdown runs by Onuchie Okwoli of 44 and 59 yards kept the Rattlers alive.

Great play on offense and special teams by North Canyon’s Mr. Everything, junior Bryant O’Georgia, added two touchdowns. One of which a blocked punt returned for six.

Though Pinnacle has been impressive here in the first month of the season, they are still yet to play some of Arizona’s elite. Senior offensive tackle Billy Nichols knows it and thinks his team is ready.

“I just think we need to keep working hard and keep coming out as strong as we can,” said Nichols. “If we keep doing that we’re going to be able to compete and beat Brophy, Desert Vista, teams like that ranked at the top of the league.”

Pinnacle next will take on rival Horizon in what will be a very intriguing matchup.

North Canyon’s quest for their first win of the season will be a tough task next week as they travel to Brophy.

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