Brophy edges Red Mountain for semifinal berth

Brophy edges Red Mountain for semifinal berth

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Brophy edges Red Mountain for semifinal berth

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The last time Phoenix Brophy Prep and Mesa Red Mountain met, in Week 3 of the regular season, Red Mountain scored a last-minute touchdown to earn a crucial road victory.

Friday at Phoenix College, Brophy almost let it happen again.

Almost.

Brophy held off a final Red Mountain drive with 1:23 remaining to win 14-13 in a Division I quarterfinal game .

Brophy will face Phoenix Mountain Pointe at Tempe McClintock High School in the semifinals. Brophy beat then-undefeated Mountain Pointe 54-28 in Week 6 of the regular season.

“I’m really proud of our guys for staying resilient,” Brophy coach Scooter Molander said.

After Brophy (11-2) scored to go up by a point with 7:57 left, Red Mountain (9-3) had plenty of chances. It drove from its own 20 to the Brophy 15 on the ensuing drive, but was hurt by a false start, a personal foul and a Brophy sack. That drive ended with a 41-yard field-goal attempt that fell well short.

Red Mountain ventured into Brophy territory on its next drive, but was sacked again into a poor down-and-distance situation. It turned the ball over on downs with 2:36 left.

Finally, with 1:23 remaining after a Brophy turnover on downs, Red Mountain got the ball at its 48. It had two false-start penalties before running a play, and then threw incomplete three times. A delay-of-game penalty put Red Mountain in 4th-and-25 at its 33, and quarterback Mason Thorman’s deep pass to Drake Pierre was broken up.

“We didn’t handle their sound and their noise well,” Red Mountain coach Ron Wisniewski said. “That’s something we’ve got to be able to do. They’ve got a great home-field advantage.”

The game was scoreless at the half after each team took turns shooting itself in the foot and hobbling away from scoring opportunities. After Brophy lost a fumble deep in its own territory on its first play of the second half, Thorman hit Aeron Carr for a 9-yard score to go up 7-0.

Will Edwards scored for Brophy on the next drive. Red Mountain countered with 14-yard scoring run by Thorman, but couldn’t convert the point-after.

Brophy got the ball back on the first play of the second quarter, and then got a boost from running back Marche Dennard.

Dennard missed Brophy’s opening-round game against Chandler with an ankle injury, and described himself at 65 percent Friday. But after playing only two first-half snaps, the senior back carried the ball four times for 30 yards on Brophy’s go-ahead drive, which ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Bruggman to Clarence Clark.

“I just had to warm it up,” Dennard said of his ankle. “It takes a long time to warm it up. Once I got it warm, I started to get it going.”

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Brophy edges Red Mountain for semifinal berth
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