Brophy pulled a first-round upset Friday, knocking off No. 4-seeded Glendale Mountain Ridge 24-17 in the opening round of the 5A-I state tournament.
“They used to be in our region and they’re a good football team,” Brophy coach Scooter Molander said. “We felt like we had a chance and it was too bad a team had to lose.”
Brophy’s defense came up with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions against Mountain Lions quarterback Hunter Young to seal the win. One was in the end zone to kill a potential game-tying drive, the other ended the game in the final minute.
“They had driven down with their great offense,” Molander said, “and I’m very proud of our secondary coming up with a couple of big plays.”
Brophy, (6-5) the No. 13 seed in the tournament, opened the scoring on its first possession. The Broncos marched 77 yards in two minutes, capping it off with Josh Dennard’s 2-yard touchdown run.
Mountain Ridge (8-3) responded with a 13-yard touchdown run from PJ Sparks. Sparks watched the Brophy defense overcommit to the left before snapping back on a counter and running untouched to tie the game with 2:26 to go in the opening quarter.
Dennard struck again early in the second to re-establish the lead with a nifty 78-yard touchdown run. He took a toss to the right sideline and tight-roped his way to the end zone, dodging four would-be tacklers to put Brophy up 14-7.
Taylor found Wes Meredith in the end zone for the Mountain Lions at the 7:19 mark to tie the score again. Meredith made his catch between three Brophy defenders and held on to it through the traffic at the goal line.
The Mountain Lions took a 17-14 lead when Daniel Backx split the uprights from 47 yards out midway through the second quarter.
Brophy had a chance to seize the lead at the half as it had first-and-goal inside the 3-yard line in the final minute. However, the Mountain Ridge defense stiffened and shut the Broncos down on four plays in a row to end the first half.
Brophy recaptured the lead when Devon Allen caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter from Frederick Gammage at the 7:13 mark. A 31-yard field goal Casey Skowron on the first play of the fourth quarter closed out the scoring.
“Gammage has done a great job stepping in and Allen is a special player,” Molander said. “I’m also pleased with our wide receiver blocking.”
Brophy heads to Mountain Pointe to take on the Pride in a second-round playoff matchup. Mountain Pointe knocked off Red Mountain 21-17.
“We’ll get the film tomorrow morning and get to work,” Molander said.