By Ian C. Beck ’12
First Down: Rivalry picks up steam with exciting finish
In the last few years, fans have murmured that the long-standing rivalry between the Brophy and St. Mary’s football programs was over.
Brophy had moved on to a new division and the games between the Broncos and Knights did not have the same impact they used to.
Going into the game on Sept. 10, Brophy had emerged victorious from seven consecutive matchups.
But the Knights reversed the trend, beating the Broncos 16-13 in a nail-biter that went down to the last minute.
St. Mary’s jumped out to an early lead then watched as Brophy started a rally that put them behind by just three points with less than two minutes left in the game.
Brophy got all the way to the 11-yard line and on fourth and 10 opted to go for the victory by sending out the offensive unit.
The ensuing pass fell incomplete in the end zone and the Knights were able to kneel the ball and let the clock run out.
Second Down: Broncos break one-half scoring habit
In the opening game of the regular season, Brophy entered halftime scoreless against Deer Valley. Their offense then put up 31 points in the second half en route to a 31-14 victory.
In the second game of the season, the Broncos put up 18 first half points and then were shut out in the third and fourth quarters in a victory against Gilbert.
But in the third game against St. Mary’s, Brophy was finally able to break that trend of only scoring in one half.
Brophy scored with just under two minutes remaining in the first half against St. Mary’s on Josh Dennard’s 20-yard touchdown catch.
The Broncos scored again with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter on Devon Allen’s 3-yard touchdown catch.
Third Down: Turnovers, penalties handicap offense
Against Gilbert, the Broncos were hampered by seven penalties and against their rival Knights, they were flagged nine times.
One offensive holding penalty on Brophy’s second drive brought back a long run from sophomore Marche Dennard ’13 and a delay of game penalty on Brophy’s first drive of the second half forced Brophy back to third down and six instead of third down and one.
A horse collar tackle was called on Brophy in the first quarter, moving St. Mary’s ahead to the 13-yard line, leading to an eventual field goal to put the Knights up 10-0.
The offensive and defensive lines were especially flag-prone as the Broncos were called for three offside penalties, two holding penalties and an illegal block in the backfield.
Brophy was also held back by three turnovers, two interceptions thrown by quarterback Tyler Bruggman ’13 and a fumble by Allen on the first drive of the game for Brophy.
After the game, head coach Mr. Scooter Molander said it is difficult to overcome turnovers, especially when the opponent is taking long drives and running time off the clock as the Knights were.
“In a game where the opposing offense is using the entire 25-second clock, it puts you behind the eight ball in terms of possession numbers,” Mr. Molander said. “Turnovers always hurt, but particularly when they’re having these long drives.”
Fourth Down: Charley Beck ’11 emerges as defensive leader
After losing leaders Adan Nunez ’10 and Joe Maggi ’11 to graduation and injury, respectively, the Brophy defense was left in the capable hands of defensive lineman Danny Riggs ’11, cornerback Dennard and linebacker Ethan Cooper ’11.
But a new name has emerged as a leader on defense.
Lineman Beck has had four sacks in three games this season, two each against Gilbert and St. Mary’s. He also had a blocked punt against St. Mary’s.
“Charley Beck is a hell of a football player; pound for pound one of the toughest kids in the state,” Mr. Molander said.