On Aug. 31, the Phoenix Mountain Pointe Pride and the Chaminade Eagles traveled to Mission Viejo for the Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic. Coming into the matchup, the Pride were ranked No. 2 in the state of Arizona and 17 in the nation while the Eagles were ranked No. 7 in the state and 50 in the nation, according to MaxPreps.
Chaminade didn’t hesitate to score with a 77-yard bomb from Ryan Stevens to Michael Wilson to take the early lead. Mountain Pointe couldn’t seem to get anything going on offense but their defense picked up a pick six on the next drive for Chaminade.
In the second quarter, the Eagles intercepted the Pride and then the next play they took the lead. They scored again soon after increasing the lead to 21-7.
Each team scored again before the half making it 29-14 at the break.
On the first play of the third quarter, Mountain Pointe threw another interception to the same defender. Chaminade was able to hold onto the lead grabbing the win with a final score of 39-25.
Junior free safety Chris Rankins came up with two crucial interceptions taking the momentum out of Mountain Pointe and securing the win.
“I saw the ball come up in the air and at that point it’s simple, go and attack the ball,” Rankins said.
Coming into this matchup the Eagles were the underdog but that didn’t seem to play a part in the minds of the players.
“The rankings were not a big part of this game for us. But it was more of getting our assignments done well and what we had to do to beat this team,” Rankins finished.
Throughout the game it seemed the physical tension was rising and it definitely showed with some of the players getting a little feisty on both sides.
“Early in the season good teams are going to expose the mental errors in knowing those errors will be made,” head coach Ed Croson said, “regardless I thought our guys played hard but I think we need to develop that killer instinct a little more.”
The Eagles came out firing but the Pride found a way back in throughout the game.
“We had them on the ropes a couple of times but they weren’t able to finish once they came back but that is a good sign for us knowing we can finish a game and win the fourth,” Croson said.
Next week on Sept. 8, the Eagles travel to another neutral site for what holds maybe the most anticipated matchup of the season. Chaminade will take on St. John Bosco. Bosco is a well-known football program continually providing players to the college level.
Bosco comes in ranked No. 2 in the state of California and four in the nation while Chaminade comes in ranked No. 5 in the state and 19 in the nation, according to MaxPreps.
“They are just the next team for us who happens to be the defending open division state champions and we know that,” Croson said, “but we aren’t going to change what we do because of that. We’re going to get ready and do the best that we can.”
The matchup will be held at El Camino College in Torrance, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Fans should expect an incredible game where one mistake could determine the outcome.