Clarence Clark called it being on a team.

Last week it was up to Brophy's offense to keep its season alive. This week it was up to the defense.

With rain for half the night and without its top two offensive playmakers either most of the night (Marche Dennard) or all of the night (Devon Allen), it was Broncos defensive coordinator Gary Galante's bunch that snuffed out the Lions' fourth quarter drives in a 14-13 victory over No. 5 Red Mountain in the Division I quarterfinals on Friday night.

No. 4 Brophy gets another rematch with No. 1 Mountain Pointe next Friday night at 7 p.m. at McClintock High School. The Broncos won 54-28 in the final game of September behind a 44-point second half.

Both Dennard and Allen (ankle injuries) gave it a shot during warmups, but Allen barely saw the field all night, while Dennard played only a couple snaps until he had a few big runs in the fourth quarter despite a noticeable limp.

The Broncos will need one or both of them to get healthy quickly against Mountain Pointe's defense, but the Broncos showed themselves -- especially the secondary -- more than capable of continuing the season on their own.

"Our defense gave a Herculean effort," Brophy coach Scooter Molander said. "We stayed the course."

That much was tricky, as the Broncos and Lions, normally high-octane offenses, did nothing against each other most of the night.

It was 0-0 at halftime. It was 17-14 at halftime when the two teams met earlier this season (a 33-31 Red Mountain victory).

Penalties were a problem on both sides, especially for Red Mountain in the fourth quarter. The Broncos committed three turnovers and could have had two other passes intercepted.

Still, when the offenses didn't get in their own way, both teams' defenses kept coming back.

The difference, of course, was one point. In this game it was a PAT missed by Red Mountain after Mason Thorman's bootleg for a 13-yard touchdown run gave Red Mountain a 13-7 lead.

On a night of shorthanded schools playing in the rain, the game itself might have ultimately come down to a couple fourth-quarter drives that disintegrated.

Brophy had taken the 14-13 lead on Clarence Clark's 16-yard pass for a score on a skinny post route two plays after he dropped a potential first down.

The Lions' next drive went 70 yards down to Brophy's 9-yard line. On first-and-goal, the Lions were called for a 15-yard penalty had two dropped passes and then a sack and wound up missing a long field goal.

Again, however, Red Mountain forced Brophy to punt. But the Lions' best chance started with 2:40 left in regulation and wound up with a turnover on downs after a couple Brophy defensive backs knocked away passes to Drake Pierre and Aeron Carr.

"That drive really ended up costing us," Lions coach Ron Wisniewski said.

The Lions stuffed Brophy on 4th-and-1 and re-took possession with 1:23 left on Red Mountain's 48-yard line but again went nowhere. The Broncos stuffed a screen pass before a wide throw by Thorman and two passes knocked down ended the game.

Thorman, who set numerous school records for both this season and his career at Red Mountain but was also suspended for a game and the second half of another game, finished with 204 yards. Pierre caught four balls for 79 yards as the Lions spread the wealth.

Carr had 11 carries for 84 yards plus five catches for 36 yards and the other score.

"We had higher aspirations than this," an emotional Wisniewski said. "We won eight or nine games and reached the quarterfinals, and we feel like we're a better team, but we didn't prove it."

Brophy knows what's coming from Mountain Pointe, as the schools have a few years of regular-season and playoff history.

But after the Broncos slogged through a playoff game without two of their top offensive weapons, "semifinals" was the only word anyone wanted to hear.

"Let's do it, let's crank it up," the affable Clark said. "(The Pride) are big and fast and they're going to bring it. Let's get healthy and come out to play."

Brophy 14, Red Mountain 13

RM  0   0  13  0 -- 13

Bro  0  0   7   7 -- 14

First Downs: RM 17, Brophy 16

Rushing: RM 25-136, Brophy 26-72

Passing: RM 16-29-204, Brophy 18-28-238-1

Fumbles: RM 0-0, Brophy 1-1

Penalties: RM 9-65, Brophy 5-40

RM - Carr 9 pass from Thorman (Tani kick)

Bro - Edwards 7 run (Mourikes kick)

RM - Thorman 13 run (kick failed)

Bro - Clark 16 pass from Bruggman (Mourikes kick)

Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at or (480) 898-6576.

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