Kurt Warner and Deuce Lutui go way back.
They were on the Arizona Cardinals together from 2006-09. They went through a run to Super Bowl XLII. While they were on the Cardinals roster, the team won 36 games in four seasons.
The two were reunited on Friday night as Warner’s Desert Mountain team hosted Lutui’s Mesa program. Warner and the Wolves won the night 51-26, but it was so much more for the former teammates.
“It’s always fun to see Deuce,” Warner, who is the Wolves’ offense coordinator, said. “That’s the thing is that it’s not about bragging rights or anything like that. It’s always fun to see great guys giving their time and giving back…He’s such a great individual, obviously was a great player. Any time you can get that kind of tutelage at the high school level, it’s a huge bonus. It’s always great to give him a big hug, and it’s always great to see that big smile.”
For Lutui, who is the Jackrabbits’ offensive line coach, both former Cardinals’ roles on their respective teams are so much more than seeing performance on the field.
“To face off with him after many years of blocking for him, it’s good to see him still doing his work and inspiring the kids,” Lutui said. “It’s kind of like the same thing I see myself with Mesa. It’s good to see a lot of that influence here locally for high school football.”
To this day, Lutui calls Kurt Warner his mentor, and protecting him from the pass rush while with the Cardinals is a point of pride for him.
“I’m proud of him,” Lutui said. “Especially being recently inducted into the (Pro Football Hall of Fame), it’s like he brings a piece of us up. I was like, ‘Man, I blocked for that guy.’ I’m very proud of him, and he’s a major influence to a lot of us, even myself.”
Wolves Off To A Good Start
Desert Mountain is now 2-0 for the first time since 2012. That roster featured quarterback Kyle Allen, who was one of the most recruited signal-callers in the state and is playing at Houston currently, as well as wide receiver Mark Andrews, who has made the transition to tight end at the University of Oklahoma and has been tabbed as one of the top tight ends in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Wolves will be tested next week with a seasoned Notre Dame Prep team, and Mesa will face off against Copper Canyon.