Pride focused on making up for lone loss against Brophy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Game Day

Pride focused on making up for lone loss against Brophy

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 7:15 am | Updated: 3:15 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

Two quarters of bad football, the equivalent of 24 minutes of game time out of a total of about 580, marred an otherwise perfect season.

It is something that is hard to forget especially when Brophy, the benefactor of the short lapse, stands in the way of Mountain Pointe’s first state championship game.

“We had some turnovers and it got in our heads a little bit,” Pride junior Jalen Brown said. “We have to keep our heads up and have the same momentum the whole game.

“We are looking forward to playing two halves this game.”

The blip didn’t ruin the season for Mountain Pointe (11-1) as the Pride still grabbed the No. 1 seed, but it tainted it enough to serve as a nasty reminder as they prepare to play fourth-seeded Brophy at McClintock on Friday.

“I am ready for Brophy,” said senior Garette Craig, who has a different level of disdain for Brophy dating back to his St. Mary’s days. “I want to get them back.”

The game, which was played on Sept. 28, was one of those that was hard to believe as it was happening because the two halves were so different as the Broncos won 54-28.

The Pride led 21-10 and gained 294 yards at the half, but the momentum evaporated quickly because Mountain Pointe turned over three times in four plays that led directly to 22 points for the Broncos.

Brophy (11-2) scored 22 points in a manner of 3 minutes and 2 seconds of game time, and 29 points in 4:36.

Mountain Pointe tried to answer, closing within 39-28 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Broncos tacked on two more fourth-quarter touchdowns.

The Broncos’ running game took advantage of the short field the defense gifted them and Marche Dennard also broke some big ones in leading to a 268-yard day for the senior running back who is nursing an ankle injury.

It was the third straight win for Brophy in the series after Mountain Pointe knocked the Broncos out of the 2010 playoffs with a 13-12 quarterfinal win.

Mountain Pointe hasn’t really been challenged since the loss to Brophy, which has won nine games in row after a 2-2 start, as the players have openly talked about lessons learned and approaching things differently.

“We are confident and I think we are more committed,” Pride coach Norris Vaughan said. “We realized a lot of our goals and have a chance to reach other goals. We are a different football team now.”

The defense should be more stout as several key players (Kenny Lacy, Natrel Curtis, Landry Payne) played sparingly or injured in the first meeting, but then again the Pride enter the game without senior safety Jimmy Holtrop because of a leg injury.

On the other side Brophy speedster Devon Allen and Dennard are dealing with leg injuries in recent weeks.

Not many teams are fully healthy at this point in the season so everyone plays through it as much as possible and extra motivation — like a dizzying second half that marred an otherwise perfect season — can only serve a team well.

“A couple of things went wrong, a lot of turnovers, and it caused a lot of the chaos,” senior running back/defensive back Thomas Warren. “I feel like this is payback week, and we are ready.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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