Seton upsets No. 1 in D-IV football; Brophy wins big in D-I

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                </div>  Brophy Prep‘s upset football win over No.2 Mountain Pointe High School last night is the latest in the Bronco’s determined climb back up the Division I rankings ladder after […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Brophy Prep‘s upset football win over No.2 Mountain Pointe High School last night is the latest in the Bronco’s determined climb back up the Division I rankings ladder after an 0-3 start to the season.  But Seton Catholic’s huge victory over No. 1 Coolidge High School in Division IV might qualify as an even bigger upset just because it was so dominating.

Seton, which wasn’t even at the top of the list during state title talk when the season began — despite winning 35 of 40 games over the last three years and advancing to the state semi-finals last season — has slowly worked its way up the rankings from the No. 5 spot it occupied to begin the first week of the season.

The Sentinels have used a perfectly balanced offensive attack — averaging 231.0 yards a game through the air and 231.6 yards on the ground  — to build an undefeated record after seven games on their way to the No. 2 team ranking in Division IV.

That ranking will change, of course, after last night’s 44-0 crushing victory over top-ranked Coolidge, which was also undefeated coming into last night’s game – played on the road in Coolidge, no less.

Seton’s senior quarterback, Zach Wade, who took over as starter this year after appearing in 10 games last season as a back-up to Kyle Johnson, has already thrown for more than 1,500 yards, has a 65 percent completion mark, and is averaging 219 passing yards a game.  And another senior, running back Antonio Campanella, is gobbling up yardage in the ground game with an average 145 yards per game.  That comes as no surprise since the 160-pound scatback finished his junior year with 1,273 yards and 18 touchdowns.

But last night Wade did it all, finishing with 320 yards passing and 240 yards rushing.  Six of his 13 completions went to George Walter who used them to collect 136 yards and a touchdown.

After taking a marginal 7-0 lead into halftime against Coolidge, Seton went on a rampage in the second half, scoring 24 points in the third quarter to effectively put the game out of reach, and then capping the night with two more scores in the fourth.

But the headlines in today’s sports section went to Brophy by virtue of the fact that they play in the top division in the state.  And the Broncos’ resurgence after losing their first three games to rebound to a 5-3 record makes for a good story.

The details to last night’s win over Mountain Pointe only adds to its interest since it was a blocked field-goal attempt and an interception by the defense that were responsible in large part for the 31-28 final score.  And both were accomplished by the same player.

Isaiah Oliver, Brophy’s 6’2″ wide receiver who also plays in the defensive backfield, first blocked a punt as time ran out in the first half to save the three-point margin of victory, and then intercepted a pass by Mountain Pointe’s QB Cade Knox with 45 seconds left on the clock to kill the Pride’s final drive.

Brophy, coming into the game ranked No. 7 in D-I, had held the lead for less than a minute after Streator Bates kicked a 30-yard field goal with just 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter to break a 28-28 tie and give the Broncos the three-point lead that was all they needed to notch their fourth win in a row.

Brandyn Leonard, Mountain Pointe’s senior running back, piled up four rushing touchdowns in the loss.

Mountain Pointe, the reigning Division I state champion that went undefeated last year, now has two losses on the season, the first coming at the hands of Hamilton High just a couple of games earlier.

But the Pride will catch a breather the rest of the way as they take on Tempe’s Corona del Sol High School, which has just one win so far this season, and then close out with two-win Dobson High.

And then they can look forward to possibly getting another shot at Brophy and Hamilton, a couple of teams they could face as they work their way through the playoffs to attempt to repeat as state champions.