Salpointe v. Brophy

The long off-season came to a close on Thursday night, with the Kickoff Classic featuring Brophy College Prep hosting Tucson Salpointe Catholic.

Coach Bene and Salpointe won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. That meant Brophy's offense would take the field first. The O looked a little rusty to start off and after a short drive featuring a healthy dose of RB Ray Polk; Brophy was forced to punt the ball away. Salpointe QB Trevor Eggleston and his offense went four and out on their first drive. After the punt, Brophy had the ball with decent field position for their second possession and that's when the O started clicking. The drive started with several nice runs by Polk between the tackles and bouncing outside for solid gains. Polk's running set up a nice play-action pass from QB Bryan Berens to Bobby Rodrigues. Some more solid running from Polk and an in-route to Drew Maggi set up a Polk touchdown right up the gut from five yards out. Brophy missed the PAT – late in the first it was Brophy on top 6 – 0.


The Salpointe offense calmed down a bit and had a decent drive of their own to end the first quarter. The drive featured quick out passes from Eggleston to both Mike Descisciolo and Jacob Llamas. Salpointe running back Christian Ramirez had some nice tough runs and the Salpointe O had some momentum heading into the second quarter.


The second quarter started with Salpointe having the ball on the Brophy 40 yard line. Ramirez took over and had some nice cut-back runs. After a penalty, Salpointe had to settle for a Charles Blase field goal cutting the score in half, 6 – 3 in favor of Brophy.


With just under nine minutes to go in the first half, Brophy's third offensive possession started strong with a nine yard run by Polk and a QB keeper by Behrens. On a slant route to Bobby Rodrigues, Salpointe DB Kyle McCartin forced a fumble with a solid hit – Salpointe recovered the ball on Brophy's 45 yard line. However, Salpointe gave it right back when Ramirez fumbled the ball going up the middle, the ball kicked up and landed right in the hands of Brophy's Brett Gonzalez.


After swapping turnovers, Brophy's next drive consisted of some sloppy play on a reverse and a penalty to put them at 4th and long. Salpointe had another decent drive behind Ramirez's ball carrying and some good catches by Lancer wideouts and TE Brian Davis. But the O could not produce any points and once again punted the ball away.


This set up one of Brophy's nicer drives. With 2:20 left in the half, the Broncos went no huddle and Polk ran 25 yards down the sideline on a pitch out. Berens let his feet do the work as he scrambled a couple times getting big chunks of yards each time and landing the O in the red zone. A couple more Polk runs set up a slant route from Berens to Nick Nudo for a touchdown. The PAT was good, Brophy on top 13 – 3 as the last few seconds of the half ticked away.


Salpointe got the second half started on their own 21. Salpointe could have used another 15 minutes at the half as they came out flat, yielding a stuffed run, an incomplete pass, and an interception. Junior DE Trent Murphy seemed to tip the ball as Eggleston let it go, the WR went down and safety Drew Maggi got the pick. Brophy lined up on the Salpointe 35 and needed only one play to punch it in for their next score. Behrens hit WR Ryan Suniga on a go-route up the seam for a 34 yard strike. The PAT was good and just like that BCP was up 20 – 3.


After a three and done series for Salpointe, the 4th down snap on the punt sailed over Blasé's head and in to the end zone, Blase had the composure to grab the ball and get off a quick kick, but Brophy once again had great field position. Brophy's O made a push but gave it back to Salpointe with a punt. Salpointe's offense gave it another shot but whenever they went to the air, Eggleston seemed to struggle. This time on a third and long, Eggleston scrambled, got hit and lost the ball in the end zone. Brophy jumped on it and got its first defensive score of the season. PAT was good, 27 – 3 Brophy.


Brophy's defense tightened even more as Salpointe went almost exclusively to Ramirez and the run game – but Ramirez could only do so much and Salpointe punted once again. Brophy came out with two direct snap plays to Polk that netted 30 yards. A quick step-out pass to Suniga and some yards after catch, put Brophy on the five yard line. Brophy ended the third quarter with Berens running the ball in on a keeper for his first rushing touchdown of the season. Brophy once again missed the PAT but lead 33 – 3 at the end of the third.


Salpointe's first drive of the 4th quarter started with more ground attack by Ramirez and more penalties. The steady ground game of Ramirez only took the Lancers so far as a Ramirez fumble gave Brophy the ball on their own 45 yard line. Bobby Rodrigues came in at RB and had some nice carries until he was stripped of the ball and turned it over to Salpointe. As with any season openers this game featured plenty of turnovers (6 combined at this point), penalties, and sloppy play. Salpointe salvaged some confidence without Ramirez in the game. Some nice running by Nick McDaniels and company got the ball moving. A couple quick out passes to Llamas set up a first and goal as full back Nick McDaniels punched it in from 2 yards out. Blase made the PAT and after 9 plays and 61 yards Salpointe had their first touchdown of the game 33 – 10.


Brophy simply had to run out the clock, as most of the second teamers came in on offense. Quinif in at QB and Tim Auran at RB. This decision by Scooter Molander back fired a bit as Auran lost the ball on the third play of the drive and Salpointe's Pat Beaman took it in for a 19 yard touchdown off the turnover. The PAT was good and Brophy now led 33 – 17. Salpointe attempted an on-side kick, but Brophy covered the ball on the 45 yard line. Backup RB Auran redeemed himself a bit with a 15 yard run and some quick hand-offs to run out the clock.


Brophy went to 1 – 0 on the season while Salpointe took the long bus ride back to Tucson.     


Bottom line: Salpointe lost too much talent to come in and make a game of it this early in the season. The offense needs to gel and the young starters need experience. Ramirez is a tough runner with over 100 yards rushing, but he needs to hold on to the ball and have some other play makers step up and help him out. For Brophy, they shook the rust off and let their senior QB do it all. With Polk at running back and Suniga getting some time at WR while Sean Lieb is out with an injury, the chemistry will only get better on offense. On D, defensive end Trent Murphy was all over the field. A junior with room to grow his already large 6-5 230 pound frame…he will be the corner stone of the Bronco D as this year progresses and into next year.


Game Balls:  

Brophy – Bryan Berens did it all, ran it, threw it and controlled the offense. Trent Murphy gets the Defense game ball, for his non-stop motor and solid play.


Salpointe – Ramirez had flashes of tough-nosed running but he needs to secure the ball. He should be one of Southern AZ's top rushers this year. On D, LB Zach Neveleff made some nice plays.

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