Too much laundry for Bruggman to overcome

PHOENIX -- Future Washington State Cougar Tyler Bruggman threw two interceptions -- a total that equaled his entire output of last season -- and his Brophy Prep team lost a close one, 33-31, to Mesa Red Mountain on Friday night. But it wasn't the interceptions that stood out for head coach Scooter Molander. Not by a long stretch.

And not just because one of those INTs was the result of a tip and the other was a Hail Mary before the final whistle.

It was the 11 penalties for 85 yards that his team committed. The yellow flags will likely have Molander seeing red for days.

The outcome was metaphorically foretold just as halftime was ending. As Brophy players were getting ready to run through a banner to start the second half, the cheerleaders dropped it and some players wound up tripping all over themselves.

It was that kind of night for Brophy.

Despite Bruggman's 134 passing yards and one touchdown, plus another TD rushing, it wasn't enough for Brophy to overcome the penalties.

"He played a good game. He made a lot of good throws and a lot of good checks," said Molander of his senior quarterback. "You cannot have that many penalties and turn the football over when you are playing a quality opponent like that."

Brophy also fumbled the ball twice. One of them came with 2:24 left in the contest, as Brophy was trying to run out the clock. The miscue set up Red Mountain's winning score with 21 seconds left on the clock as they upset the No. 1-ranked Division I team in Arizona.

The penalties, though, were devastating.

Drives were halted, field position ruined, and momentum lost because of all the hankies that were flying.

On one drive late in the second quarter, Bruggman connected with Clarence Clark on a 13-yard aerial for a first down, but in two subsequent snaps of the ball they were looking at a 3rd-and-23 situation because of penalties and ended up punting.

Bruggman said he tried to forget about mistakes during the game.

"You need to keep a level head," Bruggman said. "If there is a good play or bad play move on from it. Mentally I just think we had too many mistakes tonight."

Until the fumble that set up Red Mountain's winning TD, it looked like Brophy was going to escape despite the uneven performance. Late in the fourth quarter , down 27-24, Bruggman fired a 39-yard fade pass to Clark that put Brophy on the Red Mountain 1. Senior running back Marche Dennard punched it on the next play and Brophy took the lead 31-27.

"He made a great catch," Bruggman said of Clark. "… the o-line did a great job, I had lots of time to throw and I was able to get the ball to him."

After a stop by the defense, all the Broncos needed to was run out the clock. But with 2:24 minutes left in the game, Dennard was stripped of the football by Red Mountain senior linebacker Diego Hernandez to put Red Mountain on their path to victory.

Bruggman talked to Dennard after the fumble. Bruggman said Dennard cannot be blamed for the loss.

"Had we been more disciplined earlier in the game that fumble would not have mattered," said Bruggman, whose lone TD pass of the night was an 11 yarder to Dennard that put Brophy ahead 14-7 in the first half.

Red Mountain coach Ron Wiseiwski and his players were ecstatic after the upset. He said one of his team's priorities going in was to contain the passing combo of Bruggman and star receiver Devon Allen.

"They're going to still get their plays, because they are great players," Wiseiwski said. "You got to make somebody else beat you and they couldn't do it tonight."

Allen only had one catch. He had another – for a would-be TD – but it was called back because Brophy had an ineligible receiver down field.

Brophy (now 2-2) look to bounce back next Friday against Phoenix Sandra Day O'Conner High School.


For the game:
9-of-19 passing (.474) for 134 yards, one TD, 2 INT and 1 rushing TD.

For the season:
51-of-110 passing (.464) for 810 yards, 7 TDs and 5 INTs

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