Brophy Broncos fall to Desert Ridge on late field goal

Brophy playing against Desert Ridge on Sept. 25. (Photo by Noah Rodriguez)

Brophy Prep playing against Desert Ridge on Sept. 25. (Photo by Noah Rodriguez)

Brophy College Preparatory’s football team lost a close battle on Friday, Sept. 25 to Desert Ridge High School 30-28.

Desert Ridge (4-1) sent the game-winning field goal through the uprights with approximately one minute remaining in the game, according to MaxPreps.com.

The Broncos (4-2) overcame an early 21-7 deficit and found themselves ahead 28-21 at the end of the third quarter.

Brophy head coach Scooter Molander says although the Broncos lost, it was valuable for them to learn that they can come back during a game.

“That’s important to know — that you can be down and come back and be winning the game,” Coach Molander said in a Sept. 27 phone interview. “We need to close out the game and do a little more offensively in the fourth quarter and give our defense an opportunity, a better situation…We need to be able to convert on fourth-down situations, both offensively and defensively, that hurt us in the fourth quarter.”

The game came down to the wire on a fourth-down play, and the Broncos failed to convert.

The Broncos prepared for a rush heavy team in Desert Ridge, as the Jaguars entered the game averaging 288 rush yards per game, according to MaxPreps.com. Brophy held the Jaguars to 125 rush yards on 40 attempts (3.1 yards per carry).

Desert Ridge came out throwing the ball on Friday and junior quarterback CJ Fowler finished the game 19/31 for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

Brophy senior linebacker Walker Adams says the Broncos made in-game adjustments to the spread offense they saw on Friday.

Brophy students let their spirit shine during the game against Desert Ridge. (Photo by Devin McManimon McNally '17)

Brophy students let their spirit shine during the game against Desert Ridge. (Photo by Devin McManimon McNally ’17)

“We practiced the whole week expecting a wing-T look,” Adams said in a Sept. 27 phone interview. “Lots of pulling guards and running almost every snap. So, when they came out in the spread we had only seen that in film one time before and that was when they were behind in the Chandler game. We had a contingency plan for that, certainly, but we did have to come on the sideline and we adjusted some blitzes.”

Senior running back Ryan Velez paced the Brophy offense, rushing for 79 yards on 13 carries and scoring twice. On the season, Velez has rushed for 791 yards and nine touchdowns.

Velez credits the big men up front for his success this season.

“I think it’s just trusting my o-line, I know they’re going to make the holes for me,” Velez said in a Sept. 28 phone interview. “It’s definitely a mutual trust thing that we have that’s allowing me to have those breakout runs and pick up the yards that I have already.”

Coach Molander says his team played a full, hard-fought game on Friday.

“We played well and we lost a very close ball game,” he said. “You can certainly look at a number of plays that you want to do differently. I’m very happy and proud of the way our guys fought and played 48 minutes of football.”

Next, the Broncos will have a week off before taking on Hamilton High School (6-0) on Oct. 9. Coach Molander says the Broncos will use the bye week to recover and prepare for a team that defeated the Broncos twice in 2014.

“I think it’ll help us a lot,” Molander said of the bye week. “We’ve been going hard a long time now with an early season game. We’ve had six ball games so far, only two at home and going to California, I think everyone needs an extra week right now. It came at a very good time and we need to take advantage of it and prepare because we‘re playing a very fine football team in Hamilton. So, it will definitely help us.”

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