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Brophy defeats Desert Ridge, advances to state semi-finals

Photo by Matthew Montes ’15 | Brophy’s Jack Haddon ’15 runs a blocked kick in for a touchdown Nov. 14. Brophy defeated Desert Ridge 21-7 in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.

Brophy 21

Desert Ridge 7

By Chase Bayless ’15 & Henry Erlandson ’16

Despite not scoring in the second half, Brophy was able to come away with a win at home Nov. 14 against Desert Ridge 21-7 in the state quarterfinals, advancing to the semi-finals.

Brophy’s offensive outburst in the first half came after Jack Haddon 15 recovered a blocked kick and returned it for a touchdown.

Brophy kicked to Desert Ridge to start the game and on the first play, Desert Ridge had a wild snap, costing them seven yards.

Desert Ridge’s first drive was maintained by two personal foul calls against Brophy, but Cade Knox 16 recovered a fumble on the 30-yard line.

However, Brophy could not capitalize on the turnover and punted it back to Desert Ridge.

Desert Ridge had the ball with third and 14 in the second quarter but could not convert after Jack Garcia 15 made a key tackle, forcing the Jaguars to attempt a field goal.

Haddon took the ball to the end zone after Desert Ridge’s kick was blocked, giving Brophy a 7-0 lead.

“This is a special team…I am having more fun coaching this year than I have had in a long time,” said head coach Mr. Scooter Molander. “That goes to their character, they show up to work, they are blue-collared guys. Its great to work with young men like that.”

After Haddon’s touchdown, Brophy’s defense forced a three and out, giving Knox and the offense another chance to score.

After a few big plays, including a 24-yard run by Knox, Streator Bates 15 scored on a three-yard pass from Knox with 6:40 to go in the second quarter, giving Brophy a 14-0 lead.

“He is tremendous, and he is a Division I quarterback all the way around,” Mr.Molander said of Knox’s play since coming back from an injury. “He’s got the size, he’s got the arm strength, he can throw, he can run, he can throw it on the run, he can drop back and throw, so he’s the whole package.”

Near the end of the first half, Brophy’s Ryan Velez 16 scored on a three-yard run, giving the Broncos a 21-0 lead going into the locker room.

“Our defense held and we were able to get a score and then we were able to run a lot of clock in the second half and even though we didn’t close the deal a couple times, I am proud of what we did,” Mr.Molander said.

After losing star running back Taren Morrison on their first drive, Desert Ridge was unable to score in the first half.

Their only score came when they beat Brophy’s secondary deep on an 83-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, making it 21-7.

Immediately after the score, Desert Ridge attempted an onside kick, which they managed to recover.

On the ensuing drive, Desert Ridge went for it on fourth and seven but Isaiah Oliver 15 intercepted their pass.

With 3:58 left in the game and Brophy still leading 21-7, Garcia and Dakota Ducar 15 both made defensive plays to stop Desert Ridge on fourth down to close out the game.

“We’ve got a lot of great senior leadership, guys stepped up and we were able to make an adjustment. I am very, very proud of this team,” Mr.Molander said. “I am proud of our school.”

Brophy will face Hamilton High School in the semi-finals Friday, Nov. 21 at Chandler High School.

More photos from the game