Mountain Ridge 14
By Michael Moroney ’13
The Brophy Broncos captured a 34-14 win Wednesday, Aug. 22 in the first game of the season with a fast offensive start and a strong finish against the Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions.
Brophy was forced to start their 2012 season on a Wednesday in order to schedule their Saturday, Aug. 25 game against Rancho Santa Margarita out of California.
Looming storm clouds did not hinder the Bronco offense as they scored 21 points in the first 10 minutes. The Mountain Lions could not recover as they went on to only score 14 points the whole game.
“I’m proud of our guys, they responded when they needed to,” said head coach Mr. Scooter Molander. “Certainly we got out to a big lead.”
The Broncos started with possession and moved the ball down the field, mostly through the air, before Will Edwards ’14 scored his first varsity touchdown on a 14-yard run.
D’Amani Grayer ’13 followed suit with about four minutes left in the first quarter and dove over the goal line from about 1 yard out to give Brophy a 14-0 lead.
The third and final Brophy score of the quarter came with just more than two minutes remaining when the duo of Tyler Bruggman ’13 and Devon Allen ’13 showed its quick strike ability on Allen’s 63-yard touchdown catch.
“It’s always good to get the first touchdown of the season out of the way,” Allen said. “Hopefully we can do that every game.”
The Mountain Lions gained possession of the ball at Brophy’s 43 yard line early in the second quarter after Allen muffed a punt. Mountain Ridge could not get the ball in the endzone after a 12-play drive, despite having the ball at the Brophy 5 yard line.
The Broncos and Mountain Lions exchanged possessions then Brophy could not convert on a fake field goal pass to the corner of the endzone, intended for Joe Nauert ’14.
“We’re going to be aggressive. We were disappointed we didn’t get in… We practice it a lot, let’s see if it works and it almost did,” Mr. Molander said.
Mountain Ridge took the ball at their own five-yard line, but three plays later, the quarterback slipped in their endzone for a safety. This mishap gave Brophy a 23-0 lead with 1:46 remaining before halftime.
Mountain Ridge took advantage of a turn over on downs with a hook-and-ladder play that went for 43 yards, followed by a five yard touchdown run to make the game 23-7.
This would be the closest Mountain Ridge would get. Brophy defensive back Jack Nudo ’13 recovered a fumble on the Mountain Lion’s next possession.
Bruggman took advantage of the turnover with a 37-yard pass to Allen followed by a 14-yard touchdown to wide receiver Matt Klein ’13.
Conner Martinez ’13 halted a Mountain Ridge drive early in the fourth quarter with an interception at Brophy’s own 4 yard line. Allen put the game virtually out of reach with a 70-yard touchdown catch from a Bruggman pass that was thrown slightly behind him.
Brophy now had a 30-point lead over Mountain Ridge with just 6:30 left in the game and coaches removed many starters, including Bruggman and Allen.
“He (Bruggman) was so sharp tonight,” Mr. Molander said. “The throws he needed to make were right there and he’s one of the best I’ve ever coached.”
Mountain Ridge managed to punch the ball in the endzone from four yards out to give the game a final score of 37-14.
The Broncos will play another Division I Section III opponent next Friday against Boulder Creek.
The Broncos now have just two full days of rest before the Saturday night game against the highly-touted Rancho Santa Margarita, which will be televised on ESPN2.
- Three different receivers dropped a total of five passes from Bruggman in the second quarter. Bruggman and Allen did not seem in sync in the second quarter as the two did not connect multiple times. That said, the only time the passing game seemed inefficient was in the second quarter—and by the end of the game Bruggman and Allen still connected for a 63-yard and a 70-yard touchdown.
- The only devastating play for the Bronco defense was the Mountain Ridge 43-yard hook-and-ladder play that led to a touchdown rush the play after. The rest of the game, Brophy stifled Mountain Ridge, especially when Mountain Ridge had four consecutive unsuccessful plays within the Brophy 10-yard line. That Mountain Ridge drive was ended by a Nudo deflection of a pass over the middle of the endzone.
- Brophy will need returning starters from last year’s team on Saturday night against Santa Margarita, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation by Rivals.com. Linebacker Andrew Curtis ’13, running back Marche Dennard ’13 and receiver Clarence Clark ’13 all did not play Wednesday night.