Blogs / Features
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Santa Margarita too much for Brophy to overcomeAug 25, 2012
By Don Ketchum
The football team from Santa Margarita, Calif., had the size, skill and some national top five rankings in its back pocket entering its nationally televised season opener against Phoenix Brophy Prep on Saturday night (Aug. 25).
Brophy, meanwhile, was playing its second game in four days after opening its season with a win over Glendale Mountain Ridge on Wednesday (Aug. 22).
Brophy gave all it had, but the Broncos didn’t have enough horses as Santa Margarita proved to be too much with a 27-14 victory in front of a nearly full Phoenix College crowd and several dozen more fans viewing the proceedings from the top of a nearby parking garage.
Santa Margarita got big efforts from Nebraska-bound quarterback Johnny Stanton and running back Ryan Wolpin.
At 6-feet-3 and 220 pounds, Stanton is as big or bigger than many linebackers. He displayed a strong arm and quick feet while running the draw play on numerous occasions.
He completed 13 of 20 passes for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns and had 17 carries for 98 yards and two more scores.
Wolpin kept the clock on the Eagles’ side, gaining 133 tough yards on 25 carries.
For all of those significant offensive numbers for Santa Margarita, Brophy coach Scooter Molander was pleased with the play of his defense, which forced several turnovers. And he gave his team credit for how it played given the short turnaround.
“Our defense made some plays,’’ Molander said. “To battle a team like that the way we did . . . I’d like to see a tougher offensive line than that or a better dual-threat quarterback. I think we will be better for it.’’
Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch was satisfied with the outcome, but that the effort had too many rough edges to his liking.
“Our own fault was the four turnovers or whatever it was,’’ Welch said. “That’s not our style. We may not turn the ball over four times in the next eight games. But that’s also a tribute to Brophy.’’
After a scoreless first quarter for both teams, Brophy put points on the board first in the second quarter on a 3-yard end-around for a touchdown by Devon Allen, the Broncos’ star receiver. Allen, who had a pair of TD catches in the opener, had three catches for 48 yards in this one.
Santa Margarita tied it on a 26-yard TD pass from Stanton to Kyle Sweet in the second quarter and took the lead with 1:02 in the half on a 7-yard toss from Stanton to River Cracraft.
Brophy scored its second TD on special teams, cutting the Santa Margarita lead to 21-14 with 6:44 left in the game when D'Amani Grayer blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone.
“They (Brophy) had a much better first quarter than we anticipated. That woke us up a bit and we were able to turn it on in the second quarter,’’ said Stanton. “It was kind of an ugly game, certainly not the best by any extent.’’
As for the heat, Stanton said it has been uncharacteristically warm in the Orange County area the last few weeks, and practicing in those conditions helped the team in the Arizona desert heat.
Stanton’s quarterback counterpart for Brophy, Tyler Bruggman, struggled at times. The Washington State-bound player completed 11 of 31 passes for 174 yards, with some overthrows.
Molander said his team thought it could run the ball but faced too many second-and-long and third-and-long situations to allow that to happen consistently.