St. Mary's Knights 16 Brophy Broncos 17
There is a saying in football that the team making the fewest mistakes wins; this would certainly hold true for Friday nights match up between these two evenly paired schools. Statistically, both schools were identical in most categories:
Brophy Net Rushing
152 Yards Net Passing
155 Yards Total Yards
307 Field Goals
1 for 2
One crucial statistic, that probably meant the difference in the game, came late in the fourth quarter as Brophy forced a St. Mary's turnover when it appeared that they were moving themselves in position for the go ahead score.
1st Quarter St Mary's 7 - Brophy 7
St. Mary's kicks-off, but before play begins they are penalized for delay of game and are forced to kick from there own 20 yard line. The ball is put into play at midfield as a result of the return. The first play is a screen to Markel DeVorce and after avoiding the grasp of a couple of Knight defenders; he accelerates for 55 yards and a touchdown. The play, unfortunately for the Broncos, is brought back. On 2nd and 7, Hearn hits the first of two deep passes on top of the Knight secondary, this one for 48 yards to Junior Wide Receiver Matt Smith. With the ball resting just inside the 10-yard line, Coach Kearin confidently calls upon Markel DeVorce, giving him three consecutive carries. The final run pays off and Brophy scores first with10:05 on the clock. Conor Hearn adds the PAT.
St. Mary's responds with a superb 14-play drive of their own. They begin at their own 20-yard line as a result of Hearn's kick into the end zone. Coach Farrell did an excellent job of mixing up plays and keeping the Bronco defense off balance. Big plays in this drive came off of runs from Keaton Kristick (Keaton converted a 4th &1 at the Bronco 21 yard line) and Andy Pacheco on a 13-yard counter. The passing from Dante Johnson to John Means netted 25 yards during the sequence of plays, with a connection that moved the ball into scoring position for the Knights. Thomas Coakley did the honors of putting the ball into the end zone from two yards out and Gabe Rodriguez converted the PAT knotting the game up 7-7 at the 3:50 mark.
Both teams were unable to move the ball on their second possessions and punted after going three and out.
2nd Quarter St. Mary's 7 - Brophy 14
St. Mary's first possession of the 2nd Quarter looked productive. The Johnson to Means combination looked unstoppable as they capitalized on the loose alignment of the Bronco corners. Kristick continued to run hard between the tackles; soon the Knights found themselves once again knocking at the door with a first and goal at the 6-yard line. A first down fumble for a loss of 9 yards along with two incomplete passes forced the Knights to attempt a field goaL. The kick missed its mark and ended their chance to capture the lead. Good news for the Broncos who lost two defensive starters; Andrew Serrano and Team Captain Mike Nagy due to injuries on the drive. Brophy still could not generate any offense and gave the ball back to the Knights in rather quick fashion.
The Knights, starting with excellent field position at their own 46-yard line, threw to Means who took the ball to the opponent's 35-yard line. A loss of 2 yards on their first run and two incompletes left them with fourth and 12. The Knights went for it, passing to Means but a valiant effort fell two yards short; they turned the ball over on downs.
With 50 seconds remaining in the half and the ball on their own 27 yard line, Brophy uses DeVorce's legs to gain the first 10 yards then goes to the air. Kearns hits Mike Gianolla for 8-yards. With 28 seconds, Brophy delivers the big blow. the Brophy Offensive Line buys some time for Kearns as what looked to be a crossing pattern drew the attention of the Knight secondary and allowed Gianolla to speed past the defenders and receive the perfectly thrown ball from Kearns. Gianolla finds the end zone with 19 ticks remaining and after Kearns converts the PAT, the Broncos exit with a seven point lead.
3rd Quarter St. Mary's 13 - Brophy 14
St. Mary's came out wanting to let Brophy know that there was still 24 minutes to play. They put together another brilliant nine-play drive that saw only one third down play. The Knights were successfully eating up large hunks of territory with their efforts. They received a little help with a pass interference call that put the ball on the Bronco 11 yard line. John Means carried twice for five and four yards to put the ball on the two. Big Keaton Kristick punched his way in past the stubborn defensive line of Brophy and brought his team within one point. Unfortunately for the Knights however, this is where the chink in the armor surfaced, as they did not make their PAT attempt good, leaving them behind by a single point.
The Brophy offensive possession begins on their 32 yard line. They used their talented running back, Markel DeVorce, calling his number on six of the ten plays in this drive. Mixing things up, showing some option for the first time in the game and adroitly using their aerial attack, the Bronco offense advances the ball into the end zone for an apparent score but a procedure penalty nullifies the play and backs them up. The sequence of plays force the decision to go for the field goal but Thomas Coakley of St. Mary's, blocked the attempt for the Knights.
With 3:40 remaining in the third quarter, the Knights begin the longest drive of the night, (18 plays) by either team.
4th Quarter St. Mary's 16 - Brophy 17
The Broncos could only slow down the efforts of the Knight offense and not really stop it while Means and Kristick along with Johnson did their damage. St. Mary's stayed out of long third down situations and called upon their tight end, Juan Rosales, to contribute not only as a blocker, but for the first time as a receiver (once on a screen pass for a first down). Kristick ran a trap for 19 yards to the 12-yard line of Brophy for a first down, however, the drive faltered after a short run and two incomplete passes. The Knights could only come away with three points but for the first time, they were in the lead.
Brophy received the kick-off that went out of bounds from the St. Mary's kicker, so they began at their own 35. Kearns kept his composure and guided his team down the field using his arm and his legs (11 yard carry when no receivers were open). Brophy moved to the 13-yard line of St. Mary's and on a third and five, lost a yard. The Broncos lined up again to go for the field goal; this time it was successful, (Kearns kick) to regain the lead with 4:18 remaining to play.
Starting at their 26 yard line, Johnson immediately goes to work hitting Marcus Mora for a 6 yard gain. The next pass falls incomplete, then Mike Fattaleh runs for 13 yards. After one more short completion to Tyler Johnson, Junior Defensive Back Mike Callaghan of Brophy, spoils the come back and Dante Johnson is picked off for the first time in the game at 2:30 on the clock.
Brophy sealed the win by controlling the ball for the remainder of the game and not allowing the Knights another shot at the end zone. Brophy avoided disaster when they received a delay of game penalty with third and inches to go for a first down. Backed up an additional five yards, they put the ball into the hands of Mr. DeVorce and he churned out the needed yardage to ice the game.
Bottom Line: It was nice both teams were winning as this traditional show down took place. As always the teams showed remarkable poise and discipline.
Truly High School Football at its finest!!
Game Ball(s) Go To:
St. Marys John Means. 11 Catches for 114 yards
Keaton Kristick. 17 Rushes for 92 yards; 1 TD
Brophy Markel DeVorce 19 Rushes for 118 yards; 1TD
Conor Hearn 10/15 Passing 155 yards; 1TD