Prep football rivalries in Week 8 fail to measure up

High school football rivalry games don’t always live up to the hype.   Rivalries have their up years and their down years.

Week 8 of the 2011 season had several rivalry games on the schedule, but only one lived up to its promise – and that one is just getting started.

One of the oldest and most hyped through the years is between Brophy Prep and St. Mary’s High School.  They’re both located in the central Phoenix corridor, have programs that date back more than 50 years, and are both Catholic schools.

But right now, there are few other similarities between the football progams – as illustrated by Brophy’s 63-0 blow-out of the Knights last night.

The Broncos built a 56-0 lead by halftime and then let the reserves enjoy some playing time.  Tyler Bruggman, Brophy’s junior QB, was on the sidelines by halftime, but had passed for 137 yards and four touchdowns.

That also explains why the top ground-gainer for the evening was a back-up running back.  Brophy’s Andrew Simon put a couple of scores on the board and got 15 carries for 86 yards.

St. Mary’s lost its head coach when Eddie Zubey left to take take over this season at Higley High in Gilbert, and also lost some of last year’s best players when Zubey left the program.  Todd Williamson, who came from Central High School to take over the program, has compiled a 3-5 record so far in his first season.

The Knights dominated the series in the ’80s and into the ’90s, but Brophy has won eight out of the last nine years and will likely continue along that path until Williamson is able to increase his roster numbers again and attract new talent to the program.

Another rivalry game that lost its zip this year was between a couple of cross-town rivals in Tempe.

Marcos de Niza High School ran all over McClintock High in a game played Thursday night at Marcos.  The Padres jumped out to a 28-6 lead at the half and then cruised to a 63-6 Division II victory.

The Marcos quarterback, Tom Thornton led the onslaught, throwing for 335 yards and three touchdowns before leaving midway through the third quarter.  Mauriece Lee rushed for 127 yards and Josh Kirkwood added 112 more.

McClintock’s lone score was a dramatic one.  Joseph Wells returned the opening kickoff the full length of the field for either a 98-yard or 100-yard touchdown run, depending on whose score book you use.

Marcos goes to 6-2 on the year, while the Chargers are off to a 3-5 start under first-year head coach, Matt Lewis, who was the offensive coordinator at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale.

But the best rivalry game of the week was the one between the Laveen schools, Cesar Chavez High and Betty Fairfax High.  What made it unique is the fact that last night’s game will serve to start the rivalry since it was the first varsity meeting between the two schools; this is just Fairfax’s third varsity season.

Fairfax will go in the archives as the school that won the first-ever meeting, beating Chavez, 35-25, in the Division II game.