D'Amani Grayer and the Brophy offense had no other option.
The defense was playing at a championship level Friday and for one of the few times all year the other side of the ball was struggling at Hoy Stadium.
The offense was able to stay calm and work things out because the defense never gave any indication that Mountain Pointe was going to be much of a threat before Grayer broke loose for a couple of touchdowns - the Broncos' first and last of the game - as second-seeded Brophy defeated No. 15 Mountain Pointe 28-3.
"They give us a comfort level, but they also give us a sense of duty," Grayer said. "We know they are going to make the stops so we want to reward them by doing our part. We don't want to go three-and-out and have them go back on the field. We want to let them get the rest they need."
The Broncos (11-0) had a season-high 246 yards rushing as Grayer, a junior, had 13 carries for 104 yards, including a 67-yarder to give Brophy a 10-0 first-quarter lead and an 18-yarder in the fourth quarter for a 28-3 advantage with 8:27 remaining.
"They came out in a 5-1(-5) defense and we hadn't seen that before," Grayer said. "We made some adjustments and got it going."
Brophy advances to host No. 7 Basha next week in the state quarterfinals.
It was clear that Mountain Pointe (6-5) wasn't going to let junior quarterback Tyler Bruggman, who came in with 33 touchdowns and one interception, beat them as the pass rush up the middle forced quick reads and the defensive backfield did a nice job of covering the four receivers down field.
"Mountain Pointe played some good defense, but we made some adjustments at halftime," Brophy coach Scooter Molander said. "They knocked some balls down. They got some pressure up the middle. (Bruggman) made some good checks that got us huge plays. That's going to happen every now and again when he is not perfectly dialed in, but he is always dialed in mentally."
Bruggman finished 5 for 17 for 95 yards, but made a great back-shoulder throw to Fred Gammage for a 6-yard touchdown to push the lead out to 16-3 in the third quarter.
The drive was setup by one of the most important plays of the game as Devon Allen had a 55-yard punt return down to the Mountain Pointe 19. After Gammage found Allen on a 13-yard reverse pass for a first down, Bruggman connected with Allen for the score.
"The defense played great all game, I thought," Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. "The big play was the punt return. That killed us. They end up scoring there."
With the way the Brophy defense was playing, and the fact that Mountain Pointe senior running back Dillan Johnson (shoulder) left with an injury soon thereafter the 13-point deficit might as well have been 33 points.
Johnson finished with 18 carries for 104 yards, but the Pride's offense only managed about seven first downs and only had one real scoring threat as Johnson's 54-yard run in the second quarter led to a first and goal at Brophy 6.
Mountain Pointe was down 10-0 at the time with about 3 minutes left before the half but Pride quarterback Caleb Buck (8 of 14 for 57 yards) was sacked as the Pride settled for a 25-yard field goal.
The Pride defense never really threatened again while Brophy found the end zone three times in the second half.
"They were well prepared and called out my number," Johnson said. "We couldn't get anything going. It was hard to sit on the sidelines the last couple of quarters of the high school career."
As good has Johnson has been this year, it might not have made a difference in the outcome as Brophy's defense was pretty impressive in helping the Broncos advance.
"Our defense is going to come to play as always," Grayer said of facing Basha. "We were playing down to Mountain Pointe's level. We can't do that again. Our offense has to get it going and keep (Basha's) offense off the field."
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.