The Hamilton Huskies had the Brophy Broncos right were they wanted them.
The Huskies, leading the 5A Division I state championship game at the time, had pinned Brophy down at the 1-yard line with just over six minutes remaining.
No team can drive 99 yards against the Huskies. Not very many teams drove 50 yards and scored on Hamilton’s defense this season. It is a team built around its imposing defense that allowed fewer than nine points per game this year.
And most of those points were scored after the Hamilton starters had finished their work and were watching from the sidelines.
It is a defense Hamilton coach John Wrenn has called his best at Hamilton, and that’s saying a lot considering the types of defenses the two-time state champions have had in the last six years.
But it is a defense that allowed the Broncos to drive 99 yards on 17 plays and score the winning touchdown with 34 seconds remaining. Not the legacy this Hamilton defense wants to be remembered by, and judging by the tears and frustration on their faces, they knew it following the 15-14 loss Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.
“They made the plays,’’ Hamilton coach John Wrenn said. “You have to give them credit. It was a great high school game.’’
Not only did Brophy drive 99 yards against the Hamilton defense, it also converted three fourth-down plays during the game, including a fourth-and-18 in the waning moments.
It was sophomore quarterback Bryan Berens leading the Broncos’ final drive. Is he the best quarterback the Hamilton defense saw this year?
“I guess so,’’ senior linebacker Gerald Munns said.
Brophy coach Scooter Molander told the Bronco offense they were going to go 99 yards and score a touchdown and gullible young kids will believe anything.
They actually thought they could do it.
“Coach said we were going to go 99 yards and win the game,’’ Brophy running back Nick Natale said.
Natale said no team they faced all season could and did blitz like the Huskies’ defense. It was Natale’s job to pick up the blitzing linebacker or safety. He remembers blocking somebody but was too busy to get a number.
Hamilton’s defense did get its share of quarterback sacks but didn’t get enough pressure on Berens during the game’s final minutes. The Huskies were good for three plays in a row. They had problems stopping the Broncos on the fourth.