High school football preview

No. 17: Broughton football team doesn't have stars, but looks solid

tstevens@newsobserver.comAugust 2, 2012 

  • N&O preseason football countdown (2011 record) 1. Aug. 11 2. Aug. 11 3. Aug. 10 4. Aug. 10 5. Aug. 9 6. Aug. 9 7. Aug. 8 8. Aug. 8 9. Aug. 7 10. Aug. 7 11. Aug. 6 12. Aug. 6 13. Aug. 5 14. Aug. 5 15. Aug. 4 16. Aug. 4 17. Broughton; 5-6 18. Bunn; 9-4 19. Southern Durham; 7-4 20. Knightdale; 4-6

— Broughton had the offensive weapons to score points in bunches in 2011, but its defense was so porous the Caps had a difficult time out-scoring opponents.

Broughton (4-3 in the Cap Eight, 5-6 overall) scored 21 or more points in 10 straight games to finish the season, but also allowed 27 or points more in six of those games, including a 71-21 loss to Leesville Road, a 51-29 loss to Wake Forest-Rolesville, a 48-21 loss to Wakefield and a 62-21 playoff loss to Leesville.

“We definitely are going to try to keep the scoring up and hopefully improve on defense,” said Broughton coach Chris Martin. “We’ve made a few changes, but the biggest thing is that we’re simplifying the offense and the defense.

“We want to do the basic things well.”

The Caps don’t have the star power of a year ago.

Broughton graduated two of the Cap Eight 4A’s most coveted players -- N.C. State linebacker Drew Davis and Virginia Tech runner Chris Mangus -- plus departed quarterback Will Cooper set the N.C. High School Athletic Association single-game passing record as a junior.

“This year, we’re much more a group of no-names,” Martin said. “We’ve got 30 lettermen back and we have some size and speed. We’re working on putting it all together.”

Two-way lineman Wolfgang Zacherl and wide receiver/ defensive end Chris Brickhouse could emerge as leaders.

Broughton played a difficult schedule last year, losing non-conference games to eventual 4AA state finalist Garner (15-1) and to Cary (9-3) and dropping league losses to Leesville Road (12-1), Wakefield (10-2) and Wake Forest-Rolesville (10-3).

The Caps didn’t get a break in the playoff pairings either, losing to Leesville Road in the first round.

“We played a lot of good teams,” Martin said.

The Cap Eight looks strong at the top with Leesville, Wakefield and Wake Forest-Rolesville with the other teams jockeying for position behind them. He said there is reason for optimism throughout the league. Heritage, which was 3-8 including a forfeit, had no seniors last year, he noted.

Martin believes his team can contend for the title, noting that the last time the Caps were picked No. 7 in the preseason they finished second.

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