Paradise Valley 34 Brophy 23
Another battle of undefeated teams took place tonight on the Thursday night game of the week. The #4 ranked, 6-0 Brophy Broncos traveled to take on the #2, 6-0 ranked Paradise Valley Trojans. The result of this Desert Valley Region game is sure to have play-off implications.
Brophy received the ball first. On the first play, speed back Markel Devorce had a nice run of seven yards. But two incomplete passes later by QB Conor Hearn had the Broncos punting on fourth down.
Paradise Valley followed the script that has worked all season, pounding runs by Matt Clapp and slashing runs by Aazaad Muhammad. With this 1,2 punch, the Trojans quickly marched down the field. Toss left to Muhammad, Clapp up the middle, Clapp up the middle, Clapp up the middle, Muhammad toss to the right. Brophy was able to stop this duo to force a 3-12 but Matt Clapp showed his receiving ability and pulled down a 20 yard pass. The Broncos again made a stand with the Trojans 1st and goal. They forced a 4th and goal. PV called on Clapp to punch it in. At 6'4" 240 who wants to put their nose in to stop him? Nobody. PAT good. PV 7 Brophy- 0
PV attempted a short pooch kick-off. Fair catch was called but not observed by the kick-off team. The 15-yard personal foul gave Brophy the ball on the Trojan 49. The Broncos would not squander this opportunity. Markel Devorce was the focus of the PV defense. He made some tough runs to get to 3rd and 4. Then the sophomore QB Conor Hearn showed his arm. A pass to Matt Smith moved the chains. Opening up the pass gave some room for Devorce as he went off tackle for 15 yards on the next play. He then hit for a quick 7 up the middle. With the ball on the 12 and all PV eyes on Devorce, Hearn ran a beautiful play action to find his open TE C.J. Oddo for a TD.
PAT good. PV 7- Brophy 7
The Trojans had a good kick return to the 35. A holding penalty on first down forced 1st and 20 from their 25. The Trojans then threw their second pass of the night. QB Ryan Barela threw a slip screen to Muhammad who quickly made is 2nd and 7. And that would end the first quarter. PV 7- Brophy 7
The Trojans got away from their formula for success and after and incomplete pass on 3rd and 2, had to punt. Brophy took over on their own 32 but has a quick 3 and out series.
Andrew Leahey took the punt for the Trojans and ran it back to the Bronco 39. With the short field it would not take long for Clapp and Co to find the end zone again.
Clapp up the middle for three. Muhammad toss right for four. Clapp up middle for 15. 1st and 10 on the Brophy 20. Clapp up middle for 5. Clapp around the right, like a run away train! Alan Hunter for Brophy held his ground and made a nice tackle at the 2. Next play Clapp drives it in for his second TD. PAT good. PV 14 Brophy 7
With 6:30 in the half, Brophy would put together another well-balanced drive. Starting from their own 21, Hearn hits Mike Gionola for 15-yard pick up. Another 15 yards was added for the blatant facemask penalty. Devorce had a great cut back run for 12 yards. It looked like the tough Trojan D was going to stuff Brophy again but Hearn had a quick hitting pass to Gionola to get to 4th and 2. With eyes on Devorce again Hearn ran a great bootleg and found Carl Mulac for a first down. With the ball on their 19, the Trojan D bent but did not break and Brophy would have to settle for a field goal.
PV 14- Brophy 10
With 1:20 left in the half, PV was not going to settle to run the clock out. It was Muhammad,Clapp for two plays. Then it was Ryan Barela to Andrew Leahey for a 48-yard pick up. With 15.5 seconds left the Trojans took a couple shots at the end zone but would settle for a field goal to end the half.
Half time: PV 17- Brophy 10
With the Clapp/Muhammad combo running at full steam, the Trojans saw no need to change their play calling. The first possession of the second half saw more of Clapp up the middle and Muhammad around the end. It even saw another pass to Leahey. PV again pounded their way down field for Clapp to go barrel in from 8 yards out for his third TD. PAT good. PV 24- Brophy 10
Brophy came back like the top ten team that they are. With 7:25 in the third, Brophy too went to what was working, Hearn picking his targets down field. He hit Matt Smith for a 30-yard pick up on 2nd down. This opened up the run for Devorce who next took the ball around right for a pick up of 15. PV had two great D plays by Tanner Peyton who stuck Devorce for a no gain and a pass break up by Leahey. With 3rd and 10, Brophy calls the delay draw to Devorce who speeds to the Trojan one. Conor Hearn sneaks it in but Peyton blocks the PAT. PV 24- Brophy 16
The next PV series had Muhammad doing the majority of the running. Muhammad had a great kick return from the 6 to the 46. Toss left to Muhammad for a quick 12-yard gain. Clapp gain of one. Quick pitch to Muhammad right for an 11-yard gain. Clapp gain of one. Counter to Muhammad for 10 yards. Ball on the Brophy 11. Muhammad toss left gain of 3. Clapp powers for a 5 yard gain. 3rd and 1 ball on the 2, Clapp stopped in backfield. Then all the players walk 99 yards for the start of the fourth quarter. PV 24- Brophy 16
PV decided not to go for it on 4th and 2 from the 3 and instead kicks a field goal. PV 27- Brophy 16
A short kick-off to junior Rahnee Kenard set up a fake reverse to Devorce. This opened up left side of the field and Kenard ran the ball back to PV 30. The Trojan D would not let the Broncos back in the game so quickly. ON 2nd down a PV DE swatted the ball out of Hearn's hands and a teammate recovered.
11:20 left in the game and it was more of the same Clapp/ Muhammad combo. They took 5 minutes off the clock before Clapp swept around the left side for his fourth TD. PAT good. PV 34 -Brophy 16
6:00 left is a lot of time for a QB with an arm like Hearn. The sophomore showed maturity as he quickly moved his team down the field. On a 3rd and 10 he found Matt Smith, in double coverage, at the 1 for a 44-yard completion. Devorce was rejected on his attempt to get in but Hearn was again able to sneak it in for the TD.
PV 34 Brophy 23.
The onside attempt was made but was recovered by PV. With 4:00 left PV took over but a dead ball foul would push them back deep into their own territory. The would have to punt.
Brophy would not say die and they took over after a very short punt on their own 45. A pass completion to CJ Oddo was the only high light of the drive. Three plays latter, Hearn threw a deep pass that was picked off by the Trojan D and run out to the 39. Final score -Paradise Valley 34- Brophy 23
Brophy- Devorce was at his best when the passing game was clicking early. When they got behind he was not able to make big runs. The PV D-line also dominated the Brophy O-line. Conor Hearn has a great arm for a sophomore. He has great vision and spreads the ball around to all available receivers.
Paradise Valley- If you key on Clapp, Muhammad gets free. Key on Muhammad and Clapp will roll on you. Stop them both? No one has yet. PV can pass but they have had little need this year. D- line was big and physical.
Game Balls- Aazaad Muhammad, 22 carries for 170 yards. Matt Clapp, 28 carries for 128 yards and 4 TD's. (Don't forget the boys blocking for them!) On D for PV, the D-line lead by Shawn Byrnes who had a great game stuffing the run and getting pressure on the QB.