Chaparral has demonstrated on both sides of the ball why it will be the favorite in the 5A-II state playoffs, scoring with ease on offense and playing stifling defense. The Firebirds clicked on all cylinders again on Friday, easily taking apart host St. Mary’s, 63-13 at Phoenix College’s Hoy Stadium.
The first time the Chaparral offense touched the ball, it scored a touchdown, and the avalanche started. Junior quarterback Connor Brewer connected with wide receiver Jake Roh down the middle on a 45-yard scoring play and the Firebirds were on the board just 54 seconds into the game.
Brewer completed 10 of 15 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Kyle Brown gained 151 yards and scored three touchdowns on just eight carries, all in the first half. The halftime margin was 43-0 and Brewer was taken out after the first offensive series in the second half.
For the night, the Firebirds amassed 483 yards of total offense and scored at will.
“I think we can be more aggressive,” said Brewer. “When we get up on teams, there’s a tendency to get a little complacent, so we need to be more aggressive.”
The Firebirds managed to score three first-quarter touchdowns on four possessions, and the other possession ended with a missed snap on a field goal attempt.
The Firebirds limited St. Mary’s to a net of 4 yards rushing for the game on 21 carries. The defense allowed no touchdowns as the Knights scored when Brennan Franklin recovered a fumble in the Chaparral end zone, and Orange Mooney returned a Firebirds punt 72 yards for a score.
The Mooney return was one of the rare aspects of the game that did not sit well with Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle.
“We knew (St. Mary’s) would set up a wall there, and he still got through,” Ragle said. “So, we need focus on special teams and need to get better there.”
Otherwise, Ragle could not find much fault.
“Right now, this team has a vision, and it’s one week at a time, and one opponent at a time,” Ragle said. “We have a chance to be special, but to fulfill that, you have to have a vision. That’s what we reinforce each week.”
In addition to the efforts of Brewer and Brown, Firebirds running back Lucas Petrullo chipped in 111 yards and three toudhdowns on six carries.
St. Mary’s quarterback Joseph Federico generated most of his team’s offense as he completed 12 of 21 passes for 92 yards and one interception.