Brophy is no stranger to overcoming adversity the past few seasons.
Last year’s Broncos squad started 1-3, but was able to overcome the rough start and make it to the state semifinals. This year’s team went 6-4 in the regular season. They had to battle injuries and the gauntlet that is the newly formatted Division I.
But when November rolls around, things seem to come together for the Broncos.
The Broncos find themselves in the second round of the playoffs after a double-overtime 38-37 win over Pinnacle. The seasoned Brophy squad has been in tough games before, and one of their more reliable units is their backfield. Senior Ryan Velez and junior Noah Pittenger are able to eat up yards and the clock, combining for nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns in the regular season. Velez is the human form of a weeble wobble, he just doesn’t fall down. Pittenger is the perfect complement to Velez. He is quick, shifty, and has the versatility to go out in the slot and play receiver. The junior also logs significant time as a defensive back.
“Ryan’s a beast back there. He does what he does best. He’s the best in the state in my opinion,” Brophy quarterback Cade Knox said.
“Noah Pittenger, I mean he will do whatever you ask of him.”
The duo’s comradary on the field stems from their friendship off the field. Velez was actually helped convince Pittenger to come to Brophy. Since then, they have helped motivate one another.
“He pushes me, and I push him,” Velez said. “We’re just kind of that tandem in the backfield, that two-headed monster.”
And Velez has been a resource for the versatile junior.
“He’s such a great role model, really taken me under his wing and shown me the ways,” Pittenger said. “Ever since then, we’ve been good friends playing with each other.”
The ground attack will have to be in full effect for the Broncos as they take on Mountain Pointe in their second round matchup.