State football: Brophy’s 2 OT win full of 1st round thrills

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                </div>  As Arizona’s high school football playoffs got underway, the first round in the state’s top division went pretty much as expected, with the key title contenders moving on to […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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As Arizona’s high school football playoffs got underway, the first round in the state’s top division went pretty much as expected, with the key title contenders moving on to the next challenge.

Chandler High, the top-ranked team in Division I, won its opener against Boulder Creek High School by 21 points.  No. 2 Hamilton High beat Perry High by 17;  third-ranked Mountain Pointe High School – the only undefeated team left in D-I – crushed Mountain View High (Mesa), 56-0; and No. 5 Desert Ridge High School beat Liberty High by 16.

No. 4-ranked Chaparral High, which had just moved up from D-II this season, also posted a win.  But just barely.

The Firebirds couldn’t get their offense moving until the third quarter in their meeting with Highland High, having to settle for a couple of field goals in the first half.  A three-yard touchdown run by Spencer Greenberg on the first possession of the second half put Chaparral up 13-0, but the Hawks came back to cut the margin back to six when Blake Erickson pulled in a 38-yard TD pass from Grayson Barry.

Greenberg capped a five-play drive in the fourth quarter with his second rushing touchdown, this one covering 11 yards, and the Firebirds held on for the 19-14 win and right to move on to Friday’s quarterfinals.

But the game between Brophy Prep, a perennial football power that was 6-4 coming into the playoffs, and Pinnacle High was a game scripted for a prime-time movie.  It had all the edge-of-your-seat drama the rest were lacking.

With just a couple of ticks left on the clock in regulation, seventh-seeded Brophy was facing an upset at the hands of No. 10 Pinnacle, which had come back from 11 points down to take the lead with just 56 seconds left to play.  The Broncos’ senior kicker, Jacob Silver, was faced with a 38-yard field-goal attempt that would tie the game and keep Brophy’s hopes alive.

To add to the suspense, Silver had missed his other two attempts earlier in the game.

Silver made this one and the game proceeded into two overtime periods – which provided still more drama and excitement.  In the second overtime, Ryan Velez ran for his second touchdown after regulation ended and Brophy went up 38-31.  The senior running back finished with 172 yards and three touchdowns.

But Pinnacle wasn’t ready to concede.  The Pioneers answered when freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler found Dalton Cash in the end zone.

However, this time heartbreak followed jubilation. The point-after kick failed and the Broncos move on to meet Mountain Pointe, which will be looking to extend its season record to 12-0 in Friday’s quarterfinal game.

How’s that for a twisted kind of reward for winning your first game?

Rattler, who is averaging 196 passing yards a game, threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns against the Brophy defense.  But it wasn’t quite enough this time.