Max Leonesio has been through this umpteen times in the past season and a half If you took his word following 261 yards rushing and a career-high five touchdowns Friday night, it was as if he did nothing.
He and Alex Garoutte, however, combined for nearly everything in Brophy’s 46-17 thrashing of host Mesa Red Mountain.
While the Mountain Lions struggled to stop the Broncos during the game — or find words to explain what happened afterward — the Broncos (5-1, 2-0) have perched themselves next to Chandler Hamilton atop the Fiesta Region heading into next week’s bye.
Red Mountain also has a week off to stew and lick its wounds. The Lions (5-1, 1-1) will hope for better health when it faces similarly funked Chandler in two weeks. Until then, the absence of running backs Derek Molina (hamstring) and Dominic Smith (hip) were deemed by the home team as mostly irrelevant after Leonesio’s night.
Lions coach Jim Jones took on that burden.
“It’s the worst coaching job I’ve ever done,” he said. “They’re a good team, don’t take any credit away from them, but they’re not (46-17) better than us. We had a few plays where kids were mixed up, and that rides on the shoulders of Coach Jones. You feel bad when kids play hard and you’re supposed to put them in position and don’t.”
The Mountain Lions had intermittent success running and throwing the ball, but an early 3-0 lead was swallowed under by a Brophy offense — aided by a couple of Red Mountain turnovers — that scored points on five of its six possessions in the first half to give the Broncos a 27-10 lead at intermission.
Red Mountain creeped within 10 points early in the third quarter when the defense forced a Brophy turnover and John O’Connor hit Jacob Tune for a 63-yard touchdown, but Brophy went back to its Ivy League hopeful at running back, and that was it.
If it was a touchdown, it was scored by Leonesio, who had scoring runs of 76, 2, 3, 23 and 37 yards. If not, it was Garoutte.
The kicker/defensive back had a career-high three field goals and sent eight kickoffs into the Red Mountain end zone for touchbacks.
The shortest of those field goals went for 45 yards (against the wind), while the longest was a 53-yarder he drilled with room to spare in the fourth quarter to tie a school record. He also had a 43-yard punt.
It never seems to be a problem that Garoutte only gets to practice 35-yard attempts before games. He hit a 51-yarder against Peoria Centennial a couple weeks ago and claims to have made a 65-yarder in practice.
“I’m always rooting for the long ones,” he said.
Garoutte missed the final six games of last season because of injury, but he went to kicking camps this summer in an effort to raise his recruiting profile.
After Friday’s game, a half-dozen friends and teammates all had variations of the same theme.
“If he isn’t a (NCAA) Division I kicker, I don’t know who is,” Broncos coach Scooter Molander said.
Garoutte also sees ample time on defense, one that hounded O’Connor and had three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery and forced five consecutive punts beginning midway through the third quarter.
Red Mountain will have nothing resembling a relaxing mini-vacation during its week off.
“We have to make stops and not shoot ourselves in the foot,” Jones said. “Otherwise we’ll see this again in two weeks.”
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After making a 37-yard grab earlier in the drive, Elizha Cordova hauls in a 21-yard pass to put Red Mountain in excellent field position on the opening drive. Ryan Falk then opens the scoring with a 31-yard FG to make it 3-0 Red Mountain.
Alex Garoutte nails a 46-yard field goal -- with distance to spare -- into the wind to tie the score at 3-3 in the first quarter.
Max Leonesio breaks off a 76-yard run to give Brophy a 10-3 lead late in the first quarter.
After a blocked punt gives Brophy possession at Red Mountain's 4-yard line, Leonesio takes it in from 2 yards out to make it 17-3 Brophy early in the second quarter.
Leonesio goes straight up the gut for 42 yards to set up his own 3-yard TD run, his third of the game, making it 24-3 Brophy in the second quarter.
Red Mountain's Jacob Tune and John O'Connor hook up for 63-yard TD pass and it's 24-10 Brophy midway through the second quarter.
Garoutte does it again, knocking through his second field goal of the night from 46 yards to make it 27-10 Brophy with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
John O'Connor for Red Mountain is 9-for-17 passing for 188 yards with a TD and an INT. Max Leonesio for Brophy has 12 carries for 150 yards and three touchdowns.
Ben Betz takes it in from 7 yards out from Red Mountain, cutting Brophy's lead to 27-17 early in the third.
Leonesio scores on his fourth TD run of the game, this one from 23 yards out, and it's 34-17 Brophy in the third quarter.
Leonesio goes in from 37 yards out for his fifth touchdown of the game, extending Brophy's lead to 41-17 near the end of the third.
Garoutte nails a 52-yard FG -- his third of the night from 45 yards or more -- and it's 44-17 Brophy with nine minutes left.
A safety on a bad punt snap extends the lead to 46-17 Brophy with three minutes left.