Facing the daunting task of stopping a strong passing offense, Brophy’s approach was to contain and pressure the quarterback.
The plan was successful, as the Broncos beat Horizon 34-14 at Horizon Friday night
Brophy recorded five sacks and held Horizon quarterback Dax Crum to 97 passing yards.
“It was a great job by the Brophy (defensive) line,” said defensive end Rashaad Barnett, who had a career-high four sacks, two of them coming on third downs to end drives.
“Everybody did their jobs and it allowed me to get in and get the sacks,” he said.
Brophy (6-1, 2-0 Desert Valley) also controlled the clock with a running game that got better as the game wore on.
The Broncos had 362 rushing yards on 38 carries, primarily by tailbacks Nick Natale, who finished with 228 yards and a touchdown, and Rahnee Dennard, who finished with 99 yards and two touchdowns.
“The guy lead-blocking for me, (fullback) Steve Pursley, and the (offensive) line were just great today,” Natale said. “They were opening the holes and I run hard when I know they’re going to open holes for me.”
Horizon (6-1, 1-1 Desert Valley) had trouble early on. Crum, who was 8-for-25 passing, was the victim of four dropped balls in the first quarter.
With Brophy leading 3-0, a late first-quarter fumble by Horizon led to a first-down, 22-yard touchdown pass by Brophy quarterback Bryan Berens to receiver Mike Giannola.
Brophy had a 20-0 lead at halftime and didn’t attempt a pass in the second half, as the Broncos were able to control the clock with the running game.
Crum had both touchdowns for the Huskies, one on a goal-line sneak and another from five yards out.
The Broncos gave away nearly as many yards in penalties as the defense allowed. Horizon had 164 offensive yards along with 124 yards in Brophy penalties, including 50 yards on one fourth-quarter drive that included two unsportsmanlike conducts.
“We expect some of those (penalties),” Brophy coach Scooter Molander said. “Our kids play hard-nosed, aggressive football. But you don’t want nearly that many.”