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Three and Out: Top four story lines from Brophy vs. Mesa

By Justin Janssen ’11

First Down: Brophy down to the fourth and fifth string quarterbacks

Photo by Ben Jackson '11 - Matthew Auran '13 makes a catch against Mesa Oct. 15.
Photo by Ben Jackson '11 - Matthew Auran '13 catches a pass from Fred Gammage '12 against Mesa Oct. 15.

On Thursday Oct. 14 quarterback Tyler Bruggman ’13 suffered an ankle injury and Brophy was sent scrambling to find a replacement.

Before the season started, the quarterback position was very deep and Garrett Wilson ’11 switched to defense in order to get more playing time.

Two days before Brophy’s opening game Chase Knox ’12 transferred to Madison High School in California, making Bruggman the starter.

During the homecoming game against Red Mountain on Oct.1 Wilson fractured his fibula, ending his season.

This brings us back to Oct. 14 where Bruggman injured his ankle.

The coaching staff decided to call up Greg Wirth ’13 from junior varsity and to move Fred Gammage ’12 from wide receiver to quarterback.

The two quarterbacks combined to record 8/11 for 78 yards and an interception in the 9-7 Brophy win on Friday Oct.15 at Mesa.

After the game Brophy head coach Mr. Scooter Molander said they played great and “Wirth’s intelligence was outstanding.”

Second Down: Bryan gets redemption

With Brophy down 7-6 because kicker Zac Bryan ’12 missed an extra point after a first half touchdown, Bryan had a chance to win the game with 6 minutes to go.

The Broncos lined up for a 49 yard field goal. If the kick was made it would be a season long for Bryan.

However the snap was botched which sent the kicker running nowhere with the ball. After the play Mr. Molander told his kicker “You’ll get another opportunity.”

Brophy’s defense forced a three and out and Mesa recorded an 11 yard punt that set Brophy up with excellent field position.

After a couple first downs Brophy was in field goal range. On fourth down at the Mesa 18 yard line, Brophy brought their offense back onto the field.

The move was to try and pull Mesa offsides, but Mesa didn’t jump forcing Wirth to call a timeout.

Bryan lined up for a 35 yard field goal try and nailed it, giving Brophy a 9-7 lead with just over three minutes to go in the game.

Third Down: Defense benefits from three Mesa fumbles

In the first half, Mesa dominated the time of possession. Brophy only ran three plays in the first quarter.

During the game Mesa ran 44 rushing plays for 250 yards compared to only 10 passing plays for 32 yards.

After the game Mr. Molander said “the defense bent, but did not break.”

On Mesa’s opening possession they ran 10 plays, all of them runs. The Jackrabbits drove inside the Brophy 30 yard line, but on the 10th play quarterback Jeremy Noble lost a fumble.

Mesa’s next drive took 13 plays. They were going to punt, when another bad snap forced Mesa’s punter to scramble. He ran 35 yards down the sideline extending the drive.

Four plays later the Jackrabbits would fumble again; this time they would not recover it.

Late in the third quarter Brophy quarterback Wirth threw an interception that was deflected off of a Bronco receiver.

On the very next play Mesa lost their third fumble of the game, all of them were due to poor snaps.

Fourth Down: Dennard carrying offense

With neither of Brophy’s quarterbacks having much experience Josh Dennard ’11 knew he was going to have to carry a majority of the load against Mesa.

Dennard ran 24 times for 101 yards and scored Brophy’s only touchdown on a 1 yard run with 5:32 remaining in the second quarter.

On the 12 play touchdown drive Dennard had 10 carries.

“We were able to establish the run early,” Mr. Molander said. He went on to add “It was a full team effort; the wide receivers had their best blocking game of the season.”

The wide receiver blocking was even more incredible considering Matt Auran ’13 was making only his second start and Gammage was switching between quarterback and receiver often.

The win keeps playoffs in sight; Brophy was 17th in power points entering the game against Mesa and is bound to move up after this victory.

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