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Crusade on the Gridiron: Saints and Broncos prepare for War

Photo Courtesy: Steve Paynter

There’s a new Holy War in Valley of the Sun.

Notre Dame Prep and Brophy will be matching up for the second time ever on our Arizona high school football featured game of the week this Friday, Sept. 24.

It’s a matchup that has been a few years in the making, Notre Dame Prep head coach George Prelock said.

“When I was hired by Coach (Scott) Bemis in 2004 this is something that we always wanted to do, is one day start playing Brophy on a consistent basis,” Prelock said.

Photo Courtesy: Steve Paynter

In 2019, Prelock and Brophy head coach Jason Jewell were at an educator’s day at the Diocese of Phoenix and decided to make it happen and get the matchup on the schedule for 2020.

Prelock felt his program was finally at a place to take on a team like Brophy so he was excited to get the tradition started.

“It’s nice to have a game like this,” Prelock said. “We’re looking forward to it. Hopefully this is game two of many more to come.”

Jewell echoed Prelock’s sentiments.

“It’s big for our community, big for our school,” Jewell said.

Last year Notre Dame Prep got the win 28-10. Brophy quarterback Elijah “EJ” Warner went down with an injury ending his junior season.

This year he’s healthy and Jewell is hoping he can help the Broncos put on a better show than they did last year.

So far this season, Warner has 726 passing yards, nine touchdowns. On Sept. 7, the senior was named the Arizona Cardinals Player of the Week for his performance in the Broncos 49-0 shutout of St. Mary’s.

“(EJ) comes as advertised,” Jewell said. “The team goes where EJ takes us.”

Notre Dame Prep v. Brophy Game Preview

Notre Dame Prep knows that they’re heading into a game this week against a very well coached team, Prelock said.

“(Jewell) does a great job with the details of everything,” Prelock said of the Brophy program. “They do a great job of understanding what they have to do in being able to execute.”

Last week, Brophy lost their second straight game to a talented Basha team, 37-12.

Notre Dame Prep had the bye, so Prelock was able to check out the action on Friday night to scout for this week’s game.

“When you look at that game against Basha, Brophy had their opportunities, they just couldn’t capitalize on them,” Prelock said. “I think that score was a little skewed and I understand how talented Basha is, but…we know this is a team that’s going to learn from (that game) and be excited to play us.”

Watch it now: 40 Years of Arizona High School Football 

As a 5A school, the Saints play a lot of kids on both sides of the ball.

Senior Brock Narveson plays wide receiver and linebacker for example. Another senior, Dillon Jones plays defensive end and left tackle. Jones comes off the field only for special teams.

“They play six kids on both sides of the ball and they go hard,” Jewell said of what impresses him most about NDP. “They give tremendous effort. That’s probably the thing that when I watch film, that I see the most. All of their offensive and defensive linemen go both ways, it’s pretty impressive.”

Arizona GameTime Schedule

On Friday night, the Broncos will be keeping an eye on NDP’s run game.

The Saints have tallied 227 total yards rushing led by senior running back Andrew Vines who has 131 yards with three touchdowns.

“Notre Dame likes to run the football and we’re good at stopping the run,” Jewell said. “That’s our focus, try to shut down the run game.”

How To Watch 

Watch it on YurView Arizona – Cox channel 4 in Phoenix and channel 7 in Tucson. Cox customers can also watch the games on their phones using the Cox Contour App. Download the Coutour App on Apple and Android.

Live streams and replays of all games will be available to rent or purchase at watch.yurview.com.

The Notre Dame Prep Saints  (1-1) take on the Brophy Broncos (1-2) in our GameTime Arizona featured Arizona high school football matchup – Friday, Sept. 24 at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm CT.