Bresnahan becomes Seton's 'Mr. Efficiency' - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Bresnahan becomes Seton's 'Mr. Efficiency'

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Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:35 pm | Updated: 5:59 pm, Thu Nov 10, 2011.

Ryan Bresnahan is no Rain Man, but ask him to describe every interception he's thrown this season, and he doesn't hesitate.

Well, it helps that there's only been one.

"It was the third game of the year against Tempe Prep, and I actually knew the kid who I threw it to," Seton Catholic's junior quarterback said. "I was rolling to the left, and it was a bit windy, and I underthrew it a little and it got picked off."

Nate Hiser was the thief. And while the interception seemed insignificant at the time, Bresnahan hadn't been picked off before then and hasn't since heading into the Division IV quarterfinals on Saturday.

For a player that didn't even know he would be the starter until days before the first game, the numbers are astounding: Bresnahan has completed 167-of-232 passes for 2,788 yards with 45 touchdowns and the lone pick. His 72 percent completion percentage is third-best in Arizona.

"We knew he could be this good if he worked hard, and he's certainly done that," wide receiver Adam Englebert said. "He's been everything we've hoped for."

Bresnahan has been a huge part of Seton's success, which is sitting at 11-0 and two games away from a berth in the state championship game.

The Sentinels won their first three games of the year, but it wasn't pretty. Seton scored only 20 points in the season-opener against Fountain Hills and 21 against Tempe Prep two weeks later, as Bresnahan was still adjusting to life on varsity.

"We were just lucky he didn't have cardiac arrest (early on)," Seton coach Rex Bowser said.

In the season's fourth game against San Tan Foothills, the Sentinels rallied from a 14-point deficit to win 49-22. They haven't scored fewer than 41 points in a game since, and Bresnahan has thrown for five touchdowns or more in seven of those nine games.

"It was like the light all of a sudden just came on," Bowser said.

Engelbert and fellow wide receiver Matt Haggerty have both known Bresnahan for years, and his physical tools weren't questioned.

"Playing around with him on the field, you can see how strong his arm is," Haggerty said. "He can throw it further than anybody and he can throw it harder than anybody. Sometimes you aren't expecting the ball to get there that fast and you'll turn around and he'll hit you in the head. It's like, ‘Oh, wow.'"

The Sentinels set goals to go undefeated and win a state championship before the year began, but Bresnahan admitted those seemed far-fetched. Now, they are three games away from accomplishing both.

Once he began to master the mental side of the game, the offense started rolling. Bresnahan said he couldn't have predicted the individual or team success when the season started.

Bresnahan's 45 touchdown passes are 10 away from tying the state record, set by former Show Low quarterback Rathen Ricedorff in 2010.

If Seton makes the championship game, he would have a good shot at passing the mark.

"After the first few series of the game, we'll get together with coach Bowser and talk," Englebert said. "You wouldn't see that out of Ryan throughout the beginning of the year. He's always seeing stuff now. He's picking things up a lot quicker."

As for the lack of interceptions?

Bresnahan's teammates joke with him because he could have as many as three or four if not for some drops.

No playful jabs from Hiser yet, the only player to actually pull off the feat. Maybe he's waiting for official confirmation as the only player to pick off Bresnahan this year.

"We're friends on Facebook, but he hasn't really said anything about it," Bresnahan said. "I figured he'd at least say something."

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