Broncos battle throughout, come up short against #2 team in the nation

Brophy 14
Santa Margarita 27

By P. Erik Meyer ’14 & Christian Guerithault ’14

Photo by Dalton Radcliffe '13 - Robert Relf causes a fumble Aug. 25 against Santa Margarita. Brophy lost 27-14 to nationally ranked California school.
Photo by Dalton Radcliffe '13 - Robert Relf causes a fumble Aug. 25 against Santa Margarita. Brophy lost 27-14 to nationally ranked California school.

The Broncos challenged one of the top teams in the nation for much of the game Saturday, Aug. 25, but in the end they just couldn’t hold on to secure their second win in four days.

“Our guys believed until the end, our coaching staff believed until the end,” said head football coach Mr. Scooter Molander. “I’m proud of our coaches and I’m proud of our players. Did I want a different outcome? Heck yes. Would I like to play this game again? You bet, but we’re going to be better for it.”

The Broncos struck first during the game that was nationally televised on ESPN2 off of a Devon Allen ’13 end around run for a touchdown early in the second quarter.

Allen finished with three receptions for 60 yards and two rushes for four yards.

Santa Margarita marched back down the field to score on a 26-yard touchdown pass.

Then the Eagles shut down the Broncos forcing them to go three and out. 
To close out the first half, Santa Margarita marched down the field again and scored on an eight yard touchdown pass.

The first half was highlighted by momentum swings.

On Santa Margarita’s second drive, Robert Relf ’13 prevented a long pass play by stripping the ball loose around the 50 yard line.

Zach Kotoske ’14 fell on the ball but the Broncos were unable to capitalize on the good field position and momentum swing.

Jordan Robinson ’14 intercepted a pass late in the first quarter, which set up Allen’s touchdown run.

Clarence Clark ’13 had four receptions for 55 yards but came out of the game early in the third quarter due to illness.

The second half started with an interception by Brian Woodward ’14 on Santa Margarita’s first drive.

The Broncos were unable to capitalize again and went three and out.

The drive consisted of two short runs by Marche Dennard ’13 and an incomplete pass by Tyler Bruggman ’13.

The Broncos struggled to get the running game going all night, which allowed the defense to focus in on Allen and Bruggman.

Photo by David Meyers '14 - Running back Marche Dennard '13 looks for an opening Aug. 25. Brophy lost 27-14 to nationally ranked Santa Margarita (Calif.).
Photo by David Meyers '14 - Running back Marche Dennard '13 looks for an opening Aug. 25. Brophy lost 27-14 to nationally ranked Santa Margarita (Calif.).

“We felt like we could run the football,” Mr. Molander said. “Third and long is tough, we did convert some third and longs in the first half, Tyler made some good throws down the middle but we were just a little off offensively tonight.”

Santa Margarita responded with a prolonged touchdown drive that extended all the way into the early fourth quarter.

Despite playing two games in three days, the team beat Mountain Ridge in its season opener earlier in the week, the Broncos stamina appeared to be strong.

“Overall our guys were in pretty dog gone good shape,” Mr. Molander said after the game.

Bruggman went one for three on the following drive and the Broncos faced another third and long.

“We’ve been working hard and getting a lot of reps together,” Bruggman said of his communication with his receivers. “I missed too many throws, didn’t execute as well as I needed to.”

Later, Relf forced another fumble that was recovered by Dominic Riccitelli ’13 leaving the Broncos at their own 38 yard line.

Relf had two forced fumbles and eight tackles in the game.

The Broncos gave the ball back to Santa Margarita who was forced to punt on their own 26.

D’Amani Grayer ’13 blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown leaving the Broncos down one touchdown, 21-14.

Santa Margarita pulled together another prolonged drive of runs, which ran down the clock. 
They eventually scored again with about 30 seconds left in the game to go up 27-14 after missing the point after attempt.

The Broncos made a last ditch effort with a 26-yard pass play from Bruggman to Dennard who in turn lateraled the ball to Allen.

Bruggman then attempted a long pass that was intercepted, his first of the season.

Bruggman finished 11-30 with 179 yards and one interception. He credited the defense and offensive line after the game.

“There wasn’t too much defensive pressure tonight, the offensive line did a great job,” Bruggman said. “The defense kept us in the game.”

Marche Dennard rushed for 21 yards on seven attempts and had one catch for 7 yards.

“Overall Tyler played well as he usually does,” Mr. Molander said. “We need to be able to be multifaceted and be able to run the ball for the pass to work, and we just didn’t do that tonight.”

Mr. Molander said the Broncos put up a strong performance against a top ranked team in the country.

“They aren’t ranked first or second in the country for nothing, that’s the best football team we have ever seen,” Mr. Molander said. “We battled, I can’t say it enough. I’m proud of our guys.”


  • The Broncos went three and out four times throughout the game. They forced four turnovers and were able to score on one of them. The other three resulted in three and outs for the offense.
  • Santa Margarita had 11 penalties on top of their four turnovers.
  • Joe Nauert ’14 had a team leading 11 tackles. The defense looked strong until the final Santa Margarita drive when the effect of the multiple games in three days might have began to show.
  • The Red Army was loud as ever. The Arizona Republic reported that there were 8,000 people in attendance. The entire Brophy side was packed including the non-student section. DJ Bryce Muzzy ’10, Brophy’s first student DJ, returned and helped create an electric atmosphere.

More photos from the game: