Football: Brophy dominates Pinnacle, 31-10

August 20, 2016 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Brophy Prep handed off offensive leadership for 2016 to Noah Pittenger in its season opener against Pinnacle on Saturday afternoon.

Pittenger took the ball and ran. For a 107 yards and two touchdowns in leading Brophy to a 31-10 romp over Pinnacle in the opener of the Sollenberger Classic at Coconino High's Cromer Stadium. The win was the third in four games for Brophy playing  in the Sollenberger Classic.

Pittenger, a solid weapon last year for Brophy behind runnning back Ryan Velez. scampered for two first-quarter touchdowns to rally the Broncos from a brief 3-0 deficit. Pittenger has all the qualitles of a lead back and showed them to everyone.

"He's lightning in a bottle, worth the price of admission," Brophy coach Scooter Molander said. "He's extremely quick and strong. One guy can't tackle him."

After Pinnacle sophomore Keegan Schenk, starting for injured incumbent Spencer Rattler, completed his first pass for 35 yards to to fueled a field goal march (47-yarder by Jeffrey McGuire) on the Pioneers opening possession, Brophy got down to business featuring Pittenger. Pittenger's 15-yard TD run capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive for a 7-3 lead at the 3:18 mark of the quarter. Schenk threw some good balls, but was under duress much of the afternoon. Schenk managed to complete 13-of-25 passes for 208 yards, no TDs and one pick.

Pinnacle, which committed six turnovers (five fumbles), lost the first one on the ensuing kickoff recovered by Brophy. Two plays later, Piittenger rambled 14 yards for his second TD, just 36 seconds apart.

That's the lead Brophy took to intermission. The Broncos defense was stout pretty much the entire game. They limited Pinnacle to 68 yards of offense in the first half, negative rushing yards through late in the third period and registered six sacks. The kicking game was solid with kicker Trevor Eldean drilling a 50-yard field goal. early in the third period to improve Brophy's lead to 17-3.

Besides Pittenger, Brophy introduced a new quarterback in Caleb Moore. Moore was efficient, completing 8-of-11 passes for 179 yards. Moore teamed up with slot receiver Robert Brooks for a back-breaking, 93-yard TD pass with 2:45 left in the third period. That made it 24-3 and any thought of a Piinnacle comeback was shelved. Brooks, bouncing back from a broken collarbone that sidelined him most of last season, had four receptions for 141 yards.

It was not the performance Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke hoped to see, but the Pioneers have to focus on righting some wrongs come Friday against Basha in an 8 p.m. start at Pinnacle HS to be televised by ESPNU.

"Everyone wants their D-I quarterback on the field," Zupke said. "The challenge for us is getting us to believe we're not just about Spencer."