The Brophy College Preparatory football team will try to avoid three straight losses when it takes the field Friday, Oct. 9 in a matchup at Hamilton High School.
After starting the season 4-0, the Broncos (4-2) have lost their last two games by a combined three points.
Senior quarterback Cade Knox says the Broncos need to focus on the small parts of the game if they want to get back on track.
“We really need to clean up the little things,” Knox said in an Oct. 4 phone interview. “The past two weeks we’ve lost close games–but at the same time–those are games that we should’ve won. We’ve just got to take it play by play and be able to capitalize on the other team’s mistakes.”
The Broncos have another tough test in front of them, as they will take on the Huskies (7-0), who are ranked No. 1 in Arizona according to MaxPreps.com.
Brophy has had an extra week to prepare for Hamilton, as a zero week game gave the Broncos a bye last week.
Head coach Scooter Molander says the Broncos took advantage of the bye week.
“We had a couple of days off over the weekend,” he said in an Oct. 4 phone interview. “We got healthy and we also got some extra days in the weight room which I know will really help us down the road. So it was a real good week.”
The Broncos will be seeking revenge on Friday when they take on the Huskies, who defeated them twice last season, once in the regular season and again in the playoffs.
Brophy’s leading rusher, senior running back Ryan Velez, says the Broncos are ready to play a familiar opponent in Hamilton.
“We’ve played them before, we know what they’re about,” Velez said in an Oct. 4 phone interview. “So coming out strong and punching them in the mouth is going to be a big thing for us.”
Coach Molander says the two losses last year do not provide extra motivation because the motivation is already there.
“You don’t need any extra motivation when you’re playing a great program like Hamilton,” he said. “They’re very good at what they do and we know that we need to play very well.”
Hamilton is led by its senior quarterback, Travis Lockhart, who has completed 95 of 166 attempts for 1,609 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season, according to MaxPreps.com. Lockhart has just three interceptions on the year.
The two leading receivers for the Huskies, senior Kaleb Pitts and junior Chance Brewington, both average 20 yards per catch and have scored a combined 12 touchdowns. Coach Molander says big plays can be limited on Friday if the Broncos play responsible football.
“Make sure you understand what the responsibility is in the secondary and as long as you have confidence and trust that the guy next to you is going to do their job, that frees you up to do yours,” he said. “It’s really about being disciplined and understanding what the responsibilities are and making sure you do your job.”
Velez, who has rushed for 791 yards and 9 touchdowns on the year, says it will be important for the Bronco offense to start galloping early on in Friday’s matchup.
“It’s going to be really important,” Velez said. “Establishing the run game, getting Cade that protection in the pocket and making the positive plays instead of the negative plays is definitely going to help us come out with a victory.”
The ball is to be kicked off at Hamilton High School 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4.