By Michael Moroney ’13 & Erik Meyer ’14
The Brophy Broncos will start off the 2012 football season on a rapid pace with two games in four days next Wednesday and Saturday.
The first game of the season is Wednesday, Aug. 22, when the Broncos will travel and play at Mountain Ridge. Then, they play their first home game in front ESPN2 television cameras against the California state champion Rancho Santa Margarita on Saturday night.
“Well we’re going to now where we are early,” said head coach Mr. Scooter Molander. “Certainly, playing three games in 11 days is not ideal, however, what is fantastic is a nationally televised game where our school, our players, can be showcased and all alum can watch.”
Brophy hopes to stifle a high-powered Rancho Santa Margarita offense and possibly upset the team that is ranked No. 1 nationally by Rivals.com.
“This is a huge game for us. We’re really pumping ourselves up for it,” said running back D’Amani Grayer ’13. “As long as we can go out and do our thing, I think we can give them a run.”
The schedule hardly lightens up after that as the Broncos will have less than a week to rest and prepare for the Friday, Aug. 31 game at Boulder Creek.
The remainder of their schedule fills out with nine other Arizona teams, all of them a part of the AIA’s Division I/Section III. Most notably, the Broncos play competitive opponents Red Mountain and Mountain Pointe.
The Broncos finished the 2011 season with an 11-1 record after losing in the second round of the state playoffs. The team had a perfect regular season.
Brophy was eliminated at the hands of the Basha Bears by three points, 32-29. The offense had moved the ball into field goal range but time ran out before Brophy could spike the ball and stop the clock.
“It was a tough loss but I’m doing everything I can as an individual player to make our team as ready as possible,” Grayer said.
The Broncos will be led by multiple third-year starters from the class of 2013, including starting quarterback Tyler Bruggman ’13 and top wide receiver Devon Allen ’13.
“There are a number of guys that this is the third year on the varsity for them,” Mr. Molander said. “We want nothing other than great success for them this year, for them to end their careers at Brophy on the highest note.”
Both Bruggman and Allen were named to the All-Phoenix team by The Arizona Republic following the 2011 season.
Allen will be helped on the receiving corps by fellow seniors Clarence Clark ’13, who had 274 yards last season, and Matt Auran ’13, who had 33 catches.
Also on offense, Brophy returns two experienced running backs, Grayer and Marche Dennard ’13. Dennard’s season was cut short by an injury after two games last season while Grayer rushed for 939 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Robert Relf ’13 and Andrew Curtis ’13 return for their third varsity season. Curtis led the team in tackles in 2011.
Dominic Riccitelli ’13 anchors the defensive line as he will also be starting for his third season. Mr. Molander also said Riccitelli, Bradford Thompson ’13 and Conner Martinez ’13 have all impressed in preseason.
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