TEMPE — With a trip to the Division I State Championship game on the line, top-ranked Mountain Pointe High School ended fourth-seeded Brophy College Prep’s nine-game winning streak with a 30-0 shutout victory at McClintock High School.
In the first half, the Pride and the Broncos surprised almost everyone in attendance with a defensive struggle.
Brophy’s senior quarterback Tyler Bruggman saw pressure from the Mountain Pointe linebacker core as the Pride’s junior Wesley Payne found himself in the Bronco backfield regularly causing Bruggman to scramble.
For Mountain Pointe, the first quarter saw little movement as the run game was completely controlled by Brophy. The Pride were forced to punt on their first three drives of the night, as they were unable to get any momentum with their dual-back system.
In the second quarter, Mountain Pointe started to collect first downs from their two senior running backs Garette Craig and Thomas Warren. With less than five minutes remaining in the half, Mountain Pointe’s junior quarterback Antonio Hinojosa kept it on the option for a 13-yard touchdown. The extra point made it 7-0 in favor of the Pride, which would also be the score going into halftime.
In the second half, it was all Mountain Pointe as Emmanuel Butler, Warren and Hinojosa found the end zone in the third quarter.
The scoring began with a 10-yard option run by Hinojosa with 6:59 left in the third quarter to put the Pride ahead 14-0.
After a fumble by Brophy’s senior running back Marche Dennard, Mountain Pointe took advantage and punched in a three-yard touchdown from Warren.
The Mountain Pointe defense was relentless all night and forced Brophy to turn the ball over on downs on the following drive. With great field position, Hinojosa led the Pride down the field and scored on a 12-yard touchdown keeper to make it a 27-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Pride kicker John Abercrombie provided the fourth quarter’s only points with a 20-yard field goal.
After the game, Mountain Pointe head coach Norris Vaughan praised his team’s performance.
“I thought we played really well as a team, we were dominant on defense, and we felt like we would be,” said Vaughan.
Mountain Pointe will face Hamilton High School in the AIA Division I State Championship on Saturday, November 24th.