By Ian C. Beck ’12
Phoenix College’s Hoy Stadium might as well have been renamed Heartbreak Hotel Friday, Oct. 23.
Despite Brophy overcoming a 21-0 first half shutout and tying the game, Hamilton was able to hold off the late Bronco surge and take the win, 24-21.
In this rematch of the 2008 state championship, the Brophy defense was unable to stop the Hamilton running attack. Seniors Michael Allen and Zach Bauman rushed for a combined 149 yards.
Hamilton took an early lead after senior quarterback Travis Dean led his team down the field and scrambled 35 yards for a score. Dean would go seven of 10 for 72 yards; he rushed five times for 85 yards and scored twice on the ground.
With a 21-0 lead heading into halftime, the Huskies had control of the game and the Broncos looked like they were in for a very long second half.
Brophy got down to business quickly in the second half. They forced a three-and-out capped off by Ethan Cooper ’11 bringing down Dean for a sack and recovered the ball at Hamilton’s 49. They went right down the field and AJ Steimel ’10 made a shoestring catch in the corner of the end zone to put Brophy on the board.
Brophy then forced a fumble, stripping it from Bauman to take over at the 50. Twelve plays later, Max Leonesio ’10 ran it in from two yards out to pull Brophy back within one touchdown.
Leonesio, wearing number 33 for the night instead of his usual 23, went for 74 yards on 18 attempts, his longest rushes coming on two Statue of Liberty plays in the second half.
Hamilton took over at their own 17 yard line and on the first play backup QB Kyren Poe threw a low pass to the sideline where Brophy senior Alex Garoutte ’10 was there to pick the ball off and run it in for a touchdown to tie the game at 21 with 10:35 left to go in the final quarter.
Hamilton went three-and-out again on their next series and Brophy was on the move until sophomore quarterback Chase Knox ’12 overthrew his receiver on a second down play from the 44 and Mike Monroe intercepted him. Monroe had two interceptions in the final quarter.
In just a few short plays later, Hamilton was set up at the 29 yard line for a field goal that would give them the lead. Yannick Mets’ kick was down the middle and good to give Hamilton the lead with 3:09 left to go.
“The whole thing is, Brophy is a good football team and they are going to make a comeback,” said Hamilton head coach Steve Belles.
Knox threw his third interception on the ensuing drive and Hamilton was able to run out the clock. Knox went six of 20, throwing for 69 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore also has three interceptions in the game. He went just two of nine for 16 yards in the first half.
Knox wasn’t the only offensive player for Brophy who had an unusually slow first half. Leonesio had just 21 yards on six attempts before halftime, twice being stopped for no gain. Leonesio’s longest first-half run was for eight yards.
Though this rivalry loss is tough for the Broncos, head coach Mr. Scooter Molander said they still believe they will succeed down the stretch this season.
“We’re going to be just fine,” he said.