Chaparral splitting QB snaps
Chaparral teams of yester-years might have had an easier time winning most games in which they fumbled the opening kickoff, had an 80-yard touchdown called back on a penalty (Chaparral disagreed with that call at the time and again after watching the film) and lost three fumbles.
That hasn’t worked out for the 2012 Firebirds, witness narrow losses against Tucson Salpointe Catholic, Marcos de Niza and Desert Mountain.
So the Firebirds found it refreshing to be on the other end of yet another wild finish last week, in which Chaparral scored 18 points in the final five minutes, capped by a 27-yard field goal by Sam McReynolds to complete a 30-27 comeback victory.
A catalyst in all this was sophomore Sean Paul Brophy, who was named the Firebirds starting quarterback before the season began, but switched with senior Brad Schencker during a loss to Marcos de Niza.
So what happened last week? Chaparral coach Dave Huffine, “looking for a spark” again, turned back to Brophy and he went 9 of 13 passing for 134 yards and a touchdown.
Huffine’s plan moving forward is to have Brophy and Schencker compete during the week for reps and gauge a “starter” from that point, which means a platoon is likely.
“It’s not un-friendly competition by any means,” Huffine said. “They’re helping and pushing one another at the same time.”
There’s no reason to believe otherwise, and it’s an interesting situation on the surface. After all, Huffine knows Schencker “played well,” last week (16 of 20 for 168 yards and a touchdown), yet felt the need to make an in-game change.
So the Firebirds basically began with one (Brophy), went to the other (Schencker) and hope they’ve found a happy medium by using both.
“It’s not something we wanted to do but it’s working, and they’re playing well,” Huffine said.
The defense has been a bit jumbled because inexperience and injuries (especially tight end Trevor Wood and linebacker John Parker, both of whom are out for the season) required significant shuffling of positions, but the Firebirds are hoping to have a couple pieces back in the next 1-2 weeks.
Chaparral is No. 14 in this week’s AIA power rankings, but games against Mesquite, Phoenix Shadow Mountain and Horizon offer the Firebirds a good window to make a move and cement playoff positioning before the last regular season game against Saguaro.