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Don Ketchum

Staff Writer,

Mountain Pointe rips Brophy, in title game for 1st time

Nov 16, 2012

By Don Ketchum

There would be no miraculous football comeback by Phoenix Brophy Prep on Friday night (Nov. 16). The Pride from Phoenix Mountain Pointe made sure of that.

Mountain Pointe, which was embarrassed in its previous meeting against Brophy on Sept. 28 when it was outscored 44-7 in the second half of a 54-28 loss, dished out a 30-0 whipping to the Broncos in the Division I semifinals at Tempe McClintock.

Mountain Pointe (12-1) the top seed, will meet third-seeded Chandler Hamilton for the Division I state title on Nov. 24 at noon at University of Phoenix Stadium. It will be the first trip to the state championship game for Mountain Pointe, which opened in 1991. Mountain Pointe defeated Hamilton 17-14 in the 2012 season opener.

Brophy, the No. 4 seed, finished 11-3.

Mountain Pointe held Brophy to just 140 total yards, only 40 of that through the air as Brophy quarterback Tyler Bruggman completed just 6 of 24 passes with an interception.

Bruggman was limited by a bruise on his throwing hand, and Brophy’s two other top go-to guys on offense were slowed by injuries, running back Marche Dennard (knee) and receiver Devon Allen (ankle).

Dennard had 59 yards on nine carries and Allen was not a factor.

Even had they been healthy, the odds of them making up a difference of 30 points would have been a difficult – Mountain Pointe’s defense was that good.

Meanwhile, Mountain Pointe’s big offensive line and the speed of running backs Garrette Craig and Thomas Warren proved to be lethal for the Brophy defense.

Mountain Pointe rushed for 294 yards, including 149 by Craig and 74 by Warren.  And quarterback Antonio Hinojosa ran for a pair of touchdowns.

“We were banged up and couldn’t match up with their speed,’’ said Brophy coach Scooter Molander.

Of his team’s injuries, Molander said, “That’s just the way it goes sometimes. We’re still a proud program.’’

So is Mountain Pointe.

The Pride finally made it to the prom after losing to Brophy (28-3) in last year’s quarterfinals, losing to Hamilton (13-12) in the 2010 semifinals and losing to Mesa (22-21 in overtime) in the 2009 semifinals.

“We are a different team with different people,’’ said Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan.

“Our defense played great. We took away their passing game and it didn’t help that their kids were injured.’’

After a scoreless first quarter, Mountain Pointe got on the board with 4:49 left in the first half on a 13-yard run by Hinojosa.

Mountain Pointe held only a 7-0 lead at the half, and if Brophy had visions of another comeback, they were dashed in the third quarter.

Emmanuel Butler leaped up to grab an 11-yard pass from Hinojosa in the end zone on Mountain Pointe’s first possession for a 14-0 lead with 6:59 left in the third.

Dennard fumbled the ball away at the Brophy 24 on the Broncos’ first play after the touchdown, and Mountain Pointe moved in to score in seven plays, on a 3-yard run by Warren, to make it 21-0 with 3:24 left in the third.

Hinojosa scored on a 12-yard run late in the third, and John Abercrombie booted a 20-yard field goal to make it 30-0 with 7:19 left in the game.

“We made some slight adjustments at halftime and we tried to play with an even keel,’’ Vaughan said.