Brophy holds off Chandler

Tale of two halves

We finally got on the air!  After overnighting a new transformer and some overtime work by our great engineering crew, the Cox7 Arizona Thursday night high school football game of the week finally made it's 2005 debut at Chandler's awesome Austin Field.  Over $250,000 worth of updates to the stadium and one of the best fields in the state make Chandler one of the best places in the state to broadcast and see a football game.  Hats off to Athletic Director Dave Shapiro and his staff for their hospitality.


What we saw at the game were two very different halves of football.  If you like offense, then the first half was for you.  Two of the top junior QB's in the state, Brophy's Conor Hearn and Chandler's Kyle Hess, took turns trying to throw knock out punches with deep passes.  Brophy led 3-0 after the first quarter, a quarter that saw both team feeling one another out.  In the second quarter the footballs started flying.  After missing several open receivers deep early, Hearn connected with Mike Giannola  for a 26 yard catch and run to set up a short Matt Smith TD run to cap a 75 yard, 2:12  drive and the Broncos went up 10-0.  The Wolves, however, refused to roll over.  After the kickoff, Hess connected with senior wide out Jim Burnett on a 69 yard fly pattern and the Wolves closed it to 10-7.  It took the Broncos less than a minute to score again, Hearn connecting with Allen Hunter, who made a great adjustment on the ball and run in untouched, on a 43 yard pass play.  Brophy 17-7.  After the kick, Burnett again got past the Bronco secondary to haul in another bomb from Hess to set up another score.  Darren Sweely kicked a short field goal with 4 seconds left in the half.  Halftime score 17-10 Broncos.


The second half was a completely different story.  The always aggressive Chandler defense, led by linebacker Ricky Moore and defensive lineman Jake Samia, shut down the vaunted Bronco attack.  Hearn, after throwing for over 200 yards in the first half, could manage only 10 in the second as he was constantly harassed by the Wolves defensive line.  The Brophy defense was just as stingy.  They tightened up in the secondary and made life miserable for Hess.  He missed his first nine passes of the half. The Bronco linebacking crew, led by Troy Taylor and Cole Graybill, were outstanding.  The second half was a game of field position, interceptions, and punting.  The lone scoring chance of the half was snuffed out when Chandler's Shaefer Wall picked off a Hearn pass in the end zone in the third period. 


One of the knocks coming into the season on Hearn was his lack of arm strength.  He put that myth away in this game.  He threw several deep balls over 50 yards that narrowly missed his intended receivers.  His stats were fairly pedestrian, 13 of 27 for 214 yards and a touchdown.  He also threw 2 interceptions, tying his total for all of last season.  However, you can bet the Chandler defense had something to do with this. 


Rahnee Dennard had another strong running game for Brophy with 149 yards on 23 carries.  He's got a great combination of speed and power and looks to be a great replacement for graduated Markel Devorce. 


Impressive was the Bronco receiving core.  Giannola (3 catches for 47 yards), Hunter (2 catches for 60 yards) and Smith (3 for 49 yards) are a great team for Hearn to throw to along with junior Chase Taylor.


The Wolves played with heart and effort in a losing cause.  It doesn't get any easier with Westwood up next.  However, Chandler has several bright spots to build on. 


Moore, Samia, Tony Pawlik, and Sean Humphrey on the defensive side can play with anybody.  The Wolves need an inexperienced secondary to keep improving and quit giving up the big play.


On offense, Hess looks to have come of age.  Under the television spotlight, he completed 9 of 23 passes for 175 yards and a TD.  He had 155 yards passing in the first half.  Burnett (4 catches for 142 yards, 1 Td), Tony Simmons, and 6'5" sophomore tight end Dion Jordan (related to former NFL great and Chandler assistant Steve Jordan) make up another terrific receiving core. 


Justin Sims and Anton Bernard both ran the ball well for the Wolves and Darren Sweely gives them a solid kicking game, though he didn't punt the ball particularly well in the game. 


Next week the Cox7 road show rolls on over to Paradise Valley to bring you a battle of the two top 5A division 2 teams, North and P.V.  This one should be another great battle.  Stuart Goldstein's Mustangs are on a roll and should come ready to rock with their outstanding senior linebacker Cody Dowd.  The Trojans will counter with a tremendous 1-2 punch at running back with Tomarcus Jordan and Mike Williams.  It will be interesting to see P.V. junior quarterback Stuart Walter, brother of Raider's QB and former ASU great Andrew.


See you on Thursday at 7 PM!

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