The Brophy College Preparatory football team finished a tough stretch of its schedule with a 38-35 overtime loss to Hamilton High School on Friday, Oct. 9.
The loss was the third straight for the Broncos (4-3). Despite the losses, Brophy head coach Scooter Molander sees improvement from his team.
“We played three very good opponents,” he said in an Oct. 11 phone interview. “We scored 35 points against Hamilton- that rarely ever happens against them. We’re getting better and better. I’m really proud of our team. Obviously we want to get a win and we will get a win.”
Brophy’s losses to Pinnacle (4-3), Desert Ridge (5-2) and Hamilton (8-0) were decided by a combined six points.
“We know in the playoffs, you’re playing tight ball games,” Molander said. “So, in the long run, this is really going to help us.”
The Broncos came into Hamilton firing on all cylinders, as they took a 28-7 lead into halftime and led by the same score at the start of the fourth quarter.
Two second-quarter touchdown receptions from junior tight end Matthew Kempton allowed the Broncos to take charge of the game heading into the half.
“We tried to focus on the mismatches we had with our bigger receivers, specifically (senior wide receiver/tight end) Chad McClanahan and I,” Kempton said in an Oct. 11 phone interview. “We had talked about it for the game plan and how we were going to try to look at the mismatches and try to get us in one-on-one situations…We had the chance to make some plays.”
In the fourth quarter of Friday’s game, Hamilton scored 21 unanswered points to tie the game at 28 with 4:30 remaining, according to MaxPreps.com.
Brophy’s junior running back Noah Pittenger caught a touchdown pass with 2:43 remaining to take back the lead. Pittenger finished the game with two touchdowns.
Coach Molander praised both of Friday’s two-touchdown athletes.
“Both are tremendous players, they both work very hard,” he said. “Matt Kempton is a dual-sport athlete, he plays basketball as well. He has really come on this season. Noah Pittenger—we call him the joystick—he is just lightning in a bottle. He is an inspiring player and both are very fine students as well. It’s pretty neat, I’m really happy for them and they really stepped up.”
Hamilton took the ball back and tied the game with just 25 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The Huskies later took the win with a field goal in overtime.
The Broncos are now looking ahead to their last three games of the regular season, two of which are home games.
Pittenger says the Broncos can learn from their loss at Hamilton.
“After this loss, I think we can see that we have a lot of potential to move the ball down the field, especially with our passing game,” he said in an Oct. 11 phone interview. “I think we really started to complete the ball Friday night more than we have in the previous weeks. I think if we keep working on our passing game in practice, we can keep improving in the weeks to come.”
Kempton, like Pittenger, is taking the positives away from the three-game losing streak.
“Looking back on these three games, they were all really close games,” Kempton said. “The Hamilton game specifically- going up 28-7 into halftime. Even though we did lose—it was really tough to lose that game like that—we can look back and take a lot of positives out of it too. It’s definitely a confidence-booster going into Hamilton, playing an away game and being able to do that. Knowing we can have that success—it really changes our mentality.”
When the Broncos take on Perry High School (4-4) at home on Friday Oct. 16, they will look to get back to their winning ways.
“I think if we keep working hard throughout the next few weeks, we’ll be able to come together and show everybody what Brophy football is all about,” Pittenger said.