High Octane Pinnacle, NDP Roll In Opening Round

The brighter lights of the playoffs didn’t seem to faze home favorites Pinnacle and Notre Dame Prep as each started fast and cruised to easy to victories in the north Valley Friday night.

For the sixth-seeded Pioneers, visiting Cesar Chavez was no match for Dana Zupke’s balanced attack featuring junior quarterback Spencer Rattler and his arsenal of talented offensive skill players in the 52-7 route.

The University of Oklahoma commit Rattler threw for three touchdowns in three quarters of action, two to fellow junior Hayden Hatten, who also ran for a score.

The ‘Neers jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead behind a bit of trickery as Rattler caught a throw back pass to keep a scoring drive alive near midfield in the second quarter.

Pinnacle’s road gets much more difficult next week as they travel to Chandler to take on the defending 6A champion Wolves.

Meanwhile, a few miles east in Scottsdale, Notre Dame started their post-season with a bang throttling west Valley power Desert Edge 49-7 in a 5A opening round contest. Some believed it would be a much closer game considering the Saints needed overtime to beat the Scorpions earlier in the regular season.

NDP quarterback Kylan Weisser was the star of the show Friday throwing three touchdown passes, while the Saints’ defense had their way with Edge’s run-heavy offense holding them scoreless in the second half.

The game got so far out of reach the entire fourth quarter was played under the AIA-mandated “running clock” with several of the Notre Dame’s reserves seeing plenty of action on both sides of the ball.

“We had a great work week of practice,” NDP head coach George Prelock said after the win. “We knew that we really had to buckle down and focus. It paid dividends. We’re extremely proud of the outcome, obviously.”

The fourth-seeded Saints will host always tough Queen Creek in the quarterfinals next week.