Football: Desert Ridge vs Liberty

Desert Ridge’s Christian Krcilek (17) runs the ball during the football game between Desert Ridge and Liberty at Desert Ridge on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015.

Desert Ridge rose above and Brophy did not capitalize.

Desert Ridge fought back against injuries, penalties and a fourth quarter deficit to defeat Phoenix Brophy College Preparatory 30-28 Friday night at Brophy on Antonio Decozio's 22-yard field goal with 1:07 left in the game.

Desert Ridge earns its fourth win of the season to put its record at 4-1 and Brophy loses its second straight game falling to 4-2.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said. “Words don’t describe what we’ve gone through. We have twenty-two kids who started the season, who aren’t playing right now. We’ve had incredible bad luck…Our motto’s rise above and we literally rose above.”

After a turbid first half that featured both teams returning kickoffs for touchdowns, Desert Ridge and Brophy went into the locker room tied at 21-21.

Hathcock said his team showed its inexperience by committing penalties and mental mistakes. Desert Ridge racked up 11 penalties for 115 negative yards.

The Jaguars received the kickoff to start the second half and the offense made an early error. The Jaguars fumbled the ball, Brophy recovered and took over at the Desert Ridge 27-yard line.

The Broncos had a great opportunity to take a quick second half lead. But, Brophy did not take advantage and the Desert Ridge defense stepped up.

Desert Ridge stopped the Brophy offense and brought up a fourth down. Brophy attempted and missed a 38-yard field goal.

“(We needed to) just capitalize,” Brophy coach Scooter Molander said. “We get a turnover right after half…We came away with no points there. Then we had them fourth and 15 and they were able to make a catch along the sidelines.”

The play Molander referred to was a 42-yard pass from Desert Ridge junior quarterback C.J. Fowler to junior wide receiver Jalen Harris. And it was the play that gave Desert Ridge a chance to win the game.

Brophy took the lead 28-21 in the third quarter when junior linebacker Rexx Tessler blocked a Desert Ridge punt, picked up the ball and ran it back for a 25-yard touchdown.

Desert Ridge answered in the fourth quarter when senior quarterback Christian Krcilek ran into the end zone for a 4-yard score. The Jaguars’ field goal unit missed the point after attempt and Desert Ridge trailed Brophy 28-27.

The Desert Ridge defense got the ball back to its offense with 5:54 seconds left in the game. After moving the ball to the 50-yard line, the Jaguars found themselves in a fourth-and-16 situation.

The play call was simple. Send Harris down the sideline and let Fowler throw the ball up for him to grab it.

“I just believed in myself, knew I could make the play,” Harris said. “It was drawn up perfectly, quarterback put it in the right spot…(The defender) had it in his hands a little bit. I took it.”

Harris’s catch brought the ball down to the Brophy 8-yard line to setup Decozio.

The Brophy offense frantically moved the ball to the Desert Ridge 47 yard-line. But, the Broncos could not get into field goal range and turned the ball over on downs.

Fowler finished with 256 passing yards and threw two touchdowns. Harris had 10 catches for 142 yards and a 19-yard touchdown grab.

Desert Ridge will play at Mesa Mountain View Friday Oct. 2 and Brophy will have a bye week before it plays at Hamilton Oct. 9.

Box Score

Desert Ridge 30 Brophy 28

Desert Ridge 14   7    0   9   -- 30

Brophy  7   14  7  0   -- 28

Team stats

                                   DRHS                    BCP

First downs                    16                13

Att-Rushing yrds     37-121                     23-97

Com-Att-Yards-Int    18-31-256-0       12-31-128-0

Penalties                        11-115                     7-65

Fumbles/lost                 1-1                   0-0

Scoring

First

DRHS – Harris 19 pass from Fowler (Decozio kick) 6:04

BCP – Velez 31 run (Silver kick) 3:16

DRHS – Patrick 99 kickoff return (Decozio kick) 3:02

Second

DRHS – Patrick 44 pass from Fowler (Decozio kick) 11:16

BCP – Pittenger 94 kickoff return (Silver kick) 11:00

BCP – Velez 4 run (Silver kick) 7:56

Third

BCP – Tessler 25 punt block return (Silver kick) 6:42

Fourth

DRHS – Krcilek 4 run (Decozio kick no good) 7:16

DRHS – Decozio 22 field goal 1:07

Individual stats

Rushing

DRHS – Tenorio 14-62, Allen 13-37, Fowler 4-10, Harris 4-7, Krcilek 1-4, Julkes 1-1. BCP – Velez 13-79, Pittenger 3-9, Knox 7-9.

Passing

DRHS – Fowler 18-31-256-0. BCP – 12-31-128-0.

Receiving

DRHS – Harris 10-142, Patrick 3-58, Wright 3-38, Neuzil 1-14, Lewis 1-4. BCP – Pittenger 2-4, Babarinde 1-14, McClanahan 5-66, Velez 2-18, Kempton 1-13, Mendoza 1-13.

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