Several things about the high school football season became apparent in Division I during Week 7.
Hamilton is back. Mountain Pointe is still a force to be reckoned with. And both will have to go through Brophy Prep to win a state title this year.
Brophy, the Arizona Republic‘s No. 1 team in Division I, dispatched a Westview High team that had just one loss going into Friday night’s game. But the Broncos held off a Westview comeback effort in the third quarter to post a 35-21 road victory.
Tyler Bruggman, Brophy’s senior quarterback who is averaging nearly 180 yards a game passing, gave the Broncos the cushion they needed for the win when he found his senior running back, Marche Dennard, in the end zone to add his second touchdown of the night and push the score to 35-21. Bruggman finished the night with 186 yards on a 10-for-17 effort.
Meanwhile, the third-ranked team in Division I, Hamilton High School, was busy in Chandler re-asserting itself after losing the first two games this year.
The Huskies upset No. 2 Desert Vista High School, 23-13, despite costly turnovers that included two interceptions of senior quarterback A.J. Thigpen in the first half and a fumbled punt snap deep in Desert Vista territory as the second half opened. That fumble resulted in a quick score when senior running back Jarek Hilgers scored from the seven to cut the Hamilton lead to 16-6 and give the Thunder some new momentum.
Hilgers, who is averaging 10 yards a carry, couldn’t get on track in the first half and was held to zero yardage. He finished with just 42 yards on 13 carries after rushing for 269 yards and four touchdowns the week before against Scottsdale’s Saguaro High.
And that was really the story of the night, as the Desert Vista defense was able to contain a normally productive Hamilton ground game. Senior defensive back Nick Farina also contributed a couple of interceptions in the first half.
Bit it was Levi Sterling‘s interception in the end zone on the final Thunder drive that sealed the win for the Huskies. Ironically, the ball had caromed off the pads of Farina, who also plays wide receiver for Desert Vista.
The Hamilton win also allowed the Huskies to exact some revenge on Desert Vista, the team that snapped their 53-game winning streak last season by beating the Huskies in the state championship game in a dominating 45-19 upset.
But nobody is writing Mountain Pointe High School out of the state title picture. And a 55-35 road win over a good Corona del Sol High School team Friday night put some emphasis on that point.
Mountain Pointe, the former No. 1 team in Division I that has dropped to No. 5 after a 54-28 beat-down by Brophy last week, scored on the opening play against the Aztecs that went for 74 yards – and never looked back after that.
Corona trailed 28-6 by the time halftime arrived and could never get closer than 15 points.
Junior receiver Jalen Brown had a career night for the Pride, pulling in four touchdown passes and piling up a total 251 yards. Each of his TD receptions were big gains. After the opening 74-yard catch, he added scores on receptions of 49, 55, and 47 yards.
Corona quarterback Evan Kenney accounted for most of the Aztec scoring, contributing three touchdowns in the second half on short-yardage keepers.