FUTURE COUG CONTINUES TO LIGHT IT UP
WASHINGTON STATE COACH Mike Leach frequently has spoken about dealing with adversity. And if Friday night was any indication, he is going to like Brophy quarterback Tyler Bruggman, a Cougar commit who responded some early challenges to throw six touchdown passes in a 59-21 win against Pinnacle High School.
Early in the first quarter, the Broncos were tied 14-14. The score would have been more in Brophy’s favor if not for some key mistakes. The Broncos fumbled twice, on a punt and a run, which led to 14 PHS points.
After the second PHS touchdown, the Broncos were looking to their quarterback to respond and give them back the lead. He not only gave them back the lead, but threw five touchdowns, 35 unanswered points and put the game away.
Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke said Bruggman made some key checks at the line of scrimmage and they were unable to make Brophy one-dimensional, which led to the loss.
“He’s one of the best in the state, he’s very well coached,” Zupke said.
Bruggman said they have faced similar situations before and they have gotten better at responding to struggles.
“We faced a lot of adversity earlier in the season,” Bruggman said. “The adversity and the experience going through that is definitely something that we can lean on moving forward.”
Bruggman also showed that he can make up for mistakes mid-drive.
On Brophy’s first drive of the game, the Broncos committed back to back penalties. It put them in a second-and-long situation.
Bruggman answered on the ensuing play by throwing a 32-yard strike to senior receiver Clarence Clark that set up a touchdown.
That was not the only clutch play Bruggman and Clark made together.
The duo was automatic Friday night. It seemed every time Bruggman needed a major reception, he would find Clark.
Bruggman and Clark choose a good night, senior night, to have their best performances together. Clark finished with 137 yards and three touchdowns on six receptions.
Clark’s highlight touchdown came right at the end of the first half. Bruggman was on the run and found Clark in space after the play broke down.
Clark went up, grabbed it after being hit, landed and broke a tackle to score. Clark said the play shows how dangerous Bruggman can be even if the play is improvised.
“I kind of just find an open area and start waving your arms around and hopefully Tyler sees you,” Clark said. “Tyler’s a great quarterback so he’s going to find you after a second or two.”
The connection between Clark and Bruggman has grown during the last couple games. Bruggman has improved this year spreading the ball around to all his receivers besides senior Devon Allen.
The fact that he can burn a team for a couple hundred yards without throwing to Allen has opened up the playbook.
Brophy coach Scooter Molander said that if Bruggman has Clark as a strong option he can be even more lethal.
“It really opens it up,” Molander said. “If you want to try and double one of them then well it will put you in a world of hurt.”
Before the game Bruggman and the rest of the seniors were honored for their last regular season home game. It is an emotional experience for the players walking out on the field with their parents.
Molander got emotional when he talked about his quarterback playing his last year.
“I’m really going to miss him,” Molander said. “Yet ideally we get to have him for four more weeks.”
The next four weeks that Molander talked about are the most important of the season, the playoffs. It is win or go home now for Bruggman.
In his three years at Brophy he has accomplished pretty much everything that a quarterback can except for a state championship.
Now he has one more last chance. He talked about what he had to do to accomplish that goal.
“Just take it one game at time, don’t over-look anybody, play every game like it could be your last because it is,” Bruggman said. “There are a lot of good teams in the playoffs and they’re going to be coming to play.”
Unofficial Bruggman Stats:
Friday night: 17-of-25 passing (.680), 361 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs,
Season: 130-for-239 passing, (.544), 2,199 yards, 28 TDs, 6 INTs