By Josh Belgrad ’19
Despite four forced turnovers by the Broncos defense, Brophy fell to Pinnacle 45-7 in the 11th annual Sollenberger Classic Aug.19 at Coconino High School.
This was Brophy’s fifth matchup with the Pioneers over the last three seasons
The Pioneers, led by junior receiver Hayden Hatten’s three touchdowns, beat the Broncos 45-7.
After the first quarter of play, Brophy trailed 7-0. Following an early 2nd quarter fumble by quarterback Noah Gonzales ’18, things went south for the Broncos.
“We turned the ball over too many times in the first half to get anything going,” said Broncos head coach Mr. Scooter Molander.
Missed opportunities plagued the Broncos throughout the game. “We lost contain on their quarterback,” Molander said. He went on to applaud the pass rush, but criticized the containment of the speedy Pinnacle quarterback.
The Broncos made plays defensively, forcing two fumbles and two interceptions.
Making his first varsity start, safety Sully Shannon ’19 accounted for one of those interceptions.
When asked how he felt in his first varsity start, Shannon said that once his nerves went away after the first series, along with confidence in his teammates, he was able to really settle in and do his job. Freshman Denzel Burke ’21 added an interception of his own near the end of the first half.
The Broncos headed into halftime down 28-7.
The 2nd half, however, was more of the same, and the Pioneers continued to put up more points on the board. The Pioneers held on in the 2nd half to their 45-7 victory.
Pinnacle quarterback Spencer Rattler threw a pair of of touchdowns and rushed for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns as well. Running back Amelec Juntunen impressed in his varsity debut for the Pioneers with 97 yards from scrimmage along with a TD. Junior receiver Hayden Hatten reeled in 9 catches for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns.
On occasion, Gonzales was able to dump the ball off to fullback Erik Di Maria ’18 for notable gains. Di Maria had 81 yards from scrimmage along with the Broncos lone touchdown on the day.
“We just need to improve and work on the little mistakes, we had to many little mistakes that we need to overcome,” Di Maria said. “We have the potential, we just need to execute.”
An additional bright spot in the game that Mr. Molander mentioned was the special teams. He was pleased with the two kickoffs the team did have and the hang time the punters were getting on their punts.
When asked what the team learned from this game, Mr. Molander said the answer is yet to be determined, and that the team will break down the film and decide how they can improve from this performance.
Looking ahead to next week, Shannon says that the team needs to get back Monday and just work harder to improve.
The 0-1 Broncos will look to get to .500 next week when they will take on the Desert Ridge Jaguars in the home opener at Central High School at 7 p.m..