The Brophy Broncos and Chaparral Firebirds meet up this week in our Arizona GameTime featured matchup on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7:00pm MT/9:00pm CT.
Friday will be Chaparral’s first game of the season due to a positive COVID test days ahead of their first scheduled game, shutting down the program for two weeks.
The quarantine that was required resulted in the Firebirds missing three of their games. They just got back on the field last Thursday for practices as a team.
“We haven’t ever met as a team in person since this started,” Chaparral head coach Brent Barnes said. “We weren’t back on campus until last week and with everything that’s happened, 100% of our activity off the field is all online.
“We’ve had great practices and the guys are hungry. They’re ready and they’ve handled it well. We’re just looking forward to every day we get right now.”
Chaparral needs to play five games in order to qualify for the playoffs, so they cannot miss another scheduled game.
For Brophy, the Broncos (0-3) have already been tested through three games this season. Their first two opponents were Notre Dame Prep (2-1) and Saguaro (2-0).
Last week they suffered a tough loss to Boulder Creek 28-27.
The Broncos defense has not allowed more than 28 points this season.
Check out the Players to Watch ahead of Brophy vs. Chaparral – Friday, October 23rd at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm CT.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jr. DL Anthony Lucas, 6’5” 270 – Chaparral
Lucas is rated as the No. 1 player in Arizona and No. 95 nationally in the 2022 class by 247Sports.
The 6’5, 270 pound defensive tackle has 20 Division I offers including Oregon, UCLA, Michigan, Texas, ASU, Arizona, Notre Dame, Auburn and Oklahoma.
The grind goes on pic.twitter.com/AUib5ayP32
— Anthonylucas2022 (@Anthonylucas201) June 12, 2020
“You don’t have guys at his size with his athleticism very often,” Barnes said. “He’s a special kid. He’s a great teammate and a great kid to be around.”
Lucas is a multi-sport athlete. He also plays basketball and baseball.
On Friday, Lucas will show his athleticism and play some tight end for the Firebirds in addition to his responsibilities on defense.
Jr. CB Ben Morrison, 6’0” 170 – Brophy
Morrison has offers from LSU, Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Northwestern, Iowa State, Minnesota, Washington State and UNLV.
— Benjamin Morrison (@BMoe_21) October 7, 2020
“He’s put on 15 pounds and he grew an inch,” Jewell said. “(He’s) strong for his size and physical.”
This season, Morrison has tallied 18 tackles, three of which were tackles for loss. Last week against Boulder Creek, Morrison had five tackles, 2 TFL.
Sr. WR Max Minor, 6’4” 195 – Chaparral
Minor stepped up big for the Firebirds in 2019 when former Firebird wide receiver, and current Cal Golden Bear, Tommy Christakos was out with injury.
This season he is a senior captain and poised to have another impactful year, Barnes said.
— Cody Cameron (@CodyTCameron) September 21, 2019
“I’ve seen extreme growth from (Max),” Barnes said. “He’s taken the lead in understanding that he wants to be the guy that we want to try to get the ball to. Instead of taking a back seat and just having his role, he wants to take the lead.”
Minor also plays baseball. Last summer, he participated in the 2019 MLB and USA Baseball BreakThrough Series at the MLB Compton Youth Academy in Compton, CA.
Jr. QB/WR Taj Hughes, 5’8” 185 – Brophy
The quarterback position has been riddled with injuries already this season for Brophy, so Jewell turned to his most reliable athlete as the next man up in Hughes.
Elijah Warner, son of former NFL great Kurt Warner, was named the starting quarterback for Brophy at the start of the year, but broke his leg in the Broncos’ first game against Notre Dame Prep.
“We’ve had three injuries at quarterback,” Jewell said. “We wanted to put the ball in one of our best playmakers hands. He’s never played quarterback before and he went 7 of 11, 196 yards with two touchdowns, no picks and ran for 77 yards.”
In his debut at QB, Hughes also threw a Hail Mary touchdown pass on the last play of the game.
The two-point conversion came up short however, and the Broncos fell to Boulder Creek, 28-27.
The @brophysports Broncos didn't come up with the W on Friday, but you have to admit this Hail Mary was incredible 👀
— SBLive Arizona (@SBLiveAZ) October 19, 2020
“He knows our offense probably the best, other than Warner (original starting quarterback),” Jewell said. “He can play pretty much any spot. He’s starting games on defense for us too. He’s super intelligent and a really good football player. We felt good about putting the ball in his hands.”