Photo by Andrew Howard ’17 | Noah Pittenger ’17 returns a punt for a touchdown Friday, Aug. 21 against Sandra Day O’Connor High School. Brophy shut out SDOC 45-0.
Sandra Day O’Connor 0
By Henry Erlandson ’16
Brophy football won its first regular season game at Sandra Day O’Connor Aug. 21 with the help of three rushing touchdowns from Ryan Velez ’16 and a defense that gave up no points.
On the Broncos’ first offensive possession of the game, Velez ran for a 58-yard touchdown to give his team an early seven point lead after Jacob Silver ’16 hit the extra point.
“Jacob Silver did a tremendous job on kickoffs, he hit every kickoff in the end zone except for two, perfect on extra points, and hit a 44-yard field goal, so he was awesome,” said head coach Mr. Scooter Molander.
Silver said stretching and yoga were the key to his improvement in kicking over the offseason.
Sandra Day O’Connor’s first possession of the game resulted in a punt after a sack on third down, leading to a rushing touchdown by Cade Knox ’16 with 6:40 left in the first quarter and pushing the score to 14-0.
The first quarter ended with Brophy up 17-0, led by a defense that had linebacker Walker Adams ’16 back from injury.
“It felt great after not being able to play with the team last season,” Adams said. “The best reward practicing for football is being able to play in these games.”
The second quarter was started by a quick 28-yard touchdown pass to Noah Pittenger ’17, who finished with two total touchdowns, making the score 24-0.
One of Sandra Day O’Connor’s closest chances to score came at the 1:46 mark in the second quarter, when they drove down to Brophy’s two yard line but couldn’t get in the end zone after a pass was dropped by a receiver to end the half.
Sandra Day O’Connor started the second half but had to punt the ball, which Pittenger returned for a touchdown of over 60 yards, giving Brophy a 38-point lead.
“It’s huge and Gary Hernandez has done a great job with our special teams, and that was one of the best punt returns that I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Molander said when asked about the impact of special teams.
Velez, who finished the night with over 130 yards on the ground with an average ofjust over eight yards per carry, scored on another running touchdown with 2:27 left in the third quarter, making it a final score of 45-0 and giving Brophy their first regular season win.
Mr. Molander, who wanted his team to get off to a strong start, said winning the first game means a lot because that was a huge goal for the team and now they can build upon that and get ready for the season.
“I am very, very pleased, yet there is always room for improvement, so we’ll go back and watch the film and see what we can do,” he said.
Brophy will travel to Carlsbad, Calif. Friday, Aug. 28 to play on the Brother’s-In-Arms Classic.
“It shows that all our hard work is paying off and those hard practices in the heat were all worth it,” Silver said. “Every game leads up to one final goal which is a state championship.”