The sights and results were an eerie flashback to early September, when Chandler Hamilton took advantage of Phoenix Brophy mistakes in a 10-0 Huskies victory.
A normally disciplined Broncos squad lamented mistakes following its 17-10 loss to the Huskies Friday night in the 5A-I state championship.
Missed blocks and tackles and poor execution hampered Brophy, similar to the first half against Mesa Mountain View in last week’s semifinals when the Broncos trailed at halftime.
This time, however, they made too many and fell short of a chance to repeat as state champions.
“Too many things went wrong in the first half, and against a team like Hamilton it’s too difficult to come back from,” Brophy coach Scooter Molander said.
The No. 5-seeded Broncos (11-4) tried, as a field goal and Max Leonesio touchdown run pulled them within one possession midway through the fourth quarter.
Suddenly, the Broncos were on the verge of extending the game, and their winning streak to 10 games.
“Our kids didn’t quit,” Molander said.
But a couple of penalties forced Brophy into difficult third and fourth downs that couldn’t be converted, and Hamilton’s Zak Hambsch finally ran out the clock, and Brophy’s season.
NEW TRANSFER RULE?
Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Director Harold Slemmer said he’s asked all conferences in the state to consider a “pre-instruction rule.”
The rule, which is currently in place in Florida and other states, would force kids who transfer to a school to play for a coach who previously instructed them — either at another school or in a club program — to sit out a year in hopes of limiting athletic transfers.
“I personally think it would be effective,” he said.
Hamilton kicker Yannick Metz returned in the nick of time.
Metz suffered an injured knee before the Fiesta Region opener Oct. 10 against Gilbert and hadn’t kicked since.
The Huskies used Nate McDonald and Alexander Conrad in the seven games until Friday night, when Metz returned to boot a 22-yard field goal and an extra point in the first half.
Leonesio, the Brophy running back, wore No. 99 on Friday night in honor of teammate Brandon Bayardi, the senior linebacker who was lost for the season.
A different Broncos player has worn the jersey since he was injured against Scottsdale Horizon in Week 3.
TORO TITLE TEAM HONORED
At halftime, the AIA paid tribute to the 25th anniversary of Mesa Mountain View’s 1983 state championship.
The Toros (14-0) were coached by Jesse Parker and tied a state record (Phoenix Union) for most shutouts in a season with seven.
At the time, it was also the second Mesa school to have an undefeated season.
SLEMMER HAS SURGERY
Slemmer said he plans to have hip replacement surgery on Tuesday.
He said he’ll be in the hospital for a couple of days and then go home to recover, which is expected to take three to four weeks.
Slemmer had surgery in May 2006 for prostate cancer.
Tribune writers Scott Bordow and Les Willsey contributed to this report.