A major knee injury to its star running back contributed greatly to Desert Ridge High School’s 21-7 loss to Brophy College Prep in the second round of the Division I football playoffs.
The fifth-seeded Jaguars, who only lost to No. 4-seed Brophy this year, were hit hard in the first quarter when halfback Taren Morrison left the game due to a torn ACL.
“We lost Morrison, we lost my son Alec both due to ACL injuries … our drop-off is huge,” said Desert Ridge Head Coach Jeremy Hathcock.
Morrison’s absence stymied the offense, which didn’t get on the board until there were five minutes left in the third quarter. But the Broncos found the end zone three times before Desert Ridge did, thanks to a 79-yard touchdown on defense by Jack Haddon; a three-yard touchdown pass from Cade Knox to Streator Bates; and a three-yard run by Ryan Velez.
Brophy scored all of its points during a 10-minute spree in the second quarter, but the Broncos couldn’t find the end zone outside of that stretch.
“I’m really proud of the way we fought in the second half and gave ourselves even a chance to be in the game,” Hathcock said.
Brophy coach Scooter Molander gave his defense and special teams credit for their work holding the Jaguars at bay.
“This is a special team, and I told them today that I’m having more fun coaching this year than I have in a long time,” he said. “It’s great to work with young men like that.”
Brophy will face Hamilton High School in the state semifinals on Nov. 21.