Exacting revenge on a Brophy squad that knocked it out of the Division I state playoffs last season, Red Mountain's offense came alive just in time to pull the rug right out from under the Broncos' feet in a thrilling 13-12 victory Friday night.
"Our defense does not quit, never," said senior captain Diego Hernandez, who sealed the deal for his Mountain Lions after he picked off Brophy sophomore quarterback Cade Knox with 42 seconds to play. "No matter what, no matter how much we're down by, no matter how much time is left in the game, our team does not quit, no matter what. We fight to the final whistle and that's just a result of what can happen when you fight."
Down 12-6 with just over a minute to go in the game, Red Mountain (1-3) senior quarterback Brennen Dobson found junior running back Hassan Cole all by himself in the back left corner of the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown pass to tie it.
"All I thought about was catching it and when I did I was very happy," Cole said, who made his first and only catch of the night on the late score.
Dobson completed 15 of 21 passes for 161 yards and the touchdown.
Players on the sidelines and fans in the stands could hardly contain themselves, nearly spilling out onto the field after junior kicker Laramie Flake punched through the extra point, giving Red Mountain a 13-12 lead with 1:06 to play.
Brophy (1-3), which led 12-0 after Knox found senior wideout Will Edwards on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 11:49 to go in the fourth quarter, had 291 yards of total offense, but it wasn't enough to hold off the Mountain Lions.
"I'm very proud of our kids. We battled and did a very good job offensively. [We] were moving the ball all night," Brophy Coach Scooter Molander said. "A couple of times we couldn't capitalize on drives and that hurt us a bit. But overall, it was really really clean with our offensive line and our ability to run the football."
Brophy maintained control for the first three quarters in large part to sophomore running back Ryan Velez, who had 187 yards rushing on 35 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
But down 12-0, Red Mountain finally got things going on offense, using a 14-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Alex Sepulveda to make it 12-6 and the rest is history.
"You have to understand the history here. That's [Brophy] an outstanding program [over there]," Red Mountain Coach Ron Wisneiwski said.
The Mountain Lions beat Brophy during the regular season in 2012, 33-31. Add that to a one-point loss to them in the post season and these types of games are starting to happen on a regular basis between these two squads.
"These are the kind of games we play. There's a lot of respect between the coaching staffs with two good programs," Wisneiwski said, whose team started 0-3 this season, losing by a combined total of 14 points. "[This win] is really good for our guys. I've been around the block a few times, I'm an old man, and fortunately I've seen a few wins, but for the boys that have worked so hard since January, for them to get a taste of victory, it's just huge. It's gratifying to get a chance to see your boys be happy."
Red Mountain 13, Brophy 12
First Downs: Red Mountain 12, Brophy 14
Rushing: Red Mountain 29-90, Brophy 37-197
Passing: (comp.-att.-yards-TD-INT) Red Mountain 15-21-161-1-0, Brophy
Fumbles-lost: Red Mountain 0-0, Brophy 1-0
Penalties: Red Mountain 4-35, Brophy 7-55
Red Mountain 0 0 0 13 - 13
Horizon 0 0 6 6 - 12
Brophy: Velez 1 run
Brophy: Edwards 20 pass from Knox
Red Mountain: Sepulveda 3 run
Red Mountain: Cole 16 pass from Dobson (Flake kick)