The Prescott Badgers regained their swagger with a 30-13 win over the Bradshaw Mountain Bears. The game played at a very wet Bill Shepard Field, proved to be an added home field advantage for the Badgers. There was plenty of flags, turnovers, and hard hits.
The game started off rough for Prescott going three and out while also committing a penalty. Derek Knotek used his leg on the punt to pin the Bears at their own 5-yard line. Bradshaw did a three and out, giving the ball back to the Badgers at midfield.
Christian Setter took advantage of a slight opening off tackle with 7:07 on the clock, and bolted 50 yards for the first score of the night. The PAT failed, leaving Prescott with a 6-0 lead.
The Bears started their next possession at their own 9-yard line after a mishandled return. Bradshaw was able to move the ball with nice runs by Justin Castro and passes from quarterback Gunner Bundrick to David Otero. The drive stalled at the Badger 37. Prescott went three and out, and was forced to punt. Bears quarterback Bundrick was running with the ball when he was hit hard by the Badger interior line, forcing a fumble. Prescott's Marco Dimaria came up with the ball at the Bradshaw 46 with a minute in the opening quarter.
Badger quarterback Ryan Greene put his arm to work and hit Derek Knotek on a 46-yard pass juggling catch play to put the Badgers up 13-0 after the first quarter.
Bradshaw Mountain suffered another miscue when their punter bobbled the snap, and the Badgers swarmed him at the Bears 21. The Bradshaw defense made a stand and forced a field goal by freshmen kicker Bryce Peters from 34 yards out, giving Prescott a 16-0 lead with 7:22 left in the half. Peters caught some attention on Wednesday, when he connected on a 44 yard field goal in the freshmen game at Bradshaw Mountain, prompting his varsity debut.
The Bears got a big kickoff return by Angel Gonzales, but were forced to punt following a pair of penalties. Speaking of which, Bradshaw was called for 16 penalties, and the Badgers were flagged 14 times. Prescott was unable to move the ball and gave it back to the Bears with 3:07 left in the half. The Bradshaw offense went to work, mostly through the air, which resulted in a pair of defensive pass interference and holding calls setting up the Bears with less than a minute in the half. Luke Roberts came up with a big sack, but it just kept the bears out of the end zone for a moment. Bundrick hit David Otero on a pass to the corner of the end zone with :48 on the clock. The two point conversion attempt failed, sending the team to the locker room, with Prescott leading 16-6.
The Bradshaw woes continued in the second half with a pass completion that ended up a fumble, recovered by the Badgers. The Bears committed another turnover when Austin Mengarelli picked off Bundrick, returning the ball 15 yards to the Bradshaw 30, with 4:17 in the third quarter. The Badgers gave it back to Bradshaw, when Ryan Greene threw an interception to Brevin Moser. The Bears moved into Badger territory, but turned the ball over on downs. Prescott moved down the Bradshaw 26, but turned the ball over downs as well.
The Bears attempted to go down the field, but Marcus Diaz stepped across the middle to pick off another Bundrick pass at the Badger 38 with 10:38 left in the game. The Badgers suffered on their possession by committing four penalties in five plays. The final one costing Prescott a 63-yard punt by Derek Knotek, that rolled to a stop at the Bradshaw 5 yard line.
The Bears finally got some results on their next series. Starting at their own 38, Bradshaw moved the ball quickly down the field. Bundrick called his own number, carrying the ball off tackle, untouched from two yards out for the score. Mathew Tomayo added the extra pint and it was a 16-13 Prescott lead with 5:54 left in the game.
The Badgers purchased some insurance when Christian Setter zig-zagged his way through the Bradshaw Mountain defense for a 78 yard scoring run. Huard added the PAT, and with 23-13 with 5:40 left. Setter scored his third and final touchdown of the game, with 2:03 to play on a 30 yard dash, putting this baby to rest.
The game ended when the Bears fumbled the ball back to the Badgers with only :32 left. Prescott got into the victory formation, taking a knee and walking off the field with a huge victory.
Defensive back Isaiah Washington said, "We knew coming in this would be a tough game. We want to go to the playoffs and needed this game and next weeks." When asked about the Bears play selection, "We expected them to throw a lot, and we just had to keep on their receivers, and keep working hard."
Prescott (2-1) in section, 7-2) overall, improves their playoff chances greatly, but will need a win at home next week versus Mingus Union to win the section. Mingus Union beat up Flagstaff 41-7, leaving the door open for the Badgers. Bradshaw Mountain drops to (2-2) in section, and (6-3) overall.
Prescott Badgers 30, Bradshaw Mountain Bears 13
Bradshaw Mountain 0 6 0 7 - 13
Prescott 13 3 0 14 - 30
P-Setter 50 yard run (kick failed)
P-Knotek 46 yard pass from Greene (Huard kick)
P-Peters 34 yard FG
BM-Otero 17 yard pass from Gundrick (run failed)
BM-Bundrick 2 yard run (Tomayo kick)
P-Setter 78 yard run (Huard kick)
P-Setter 30 yard run. (Huard kick)
Friday Night Lights High School Football Scoreboard
Chino Valley 41, Mohave Accelerated 10
Alhambra 38, Central 21
Apollo 32, Mountain Ridge 20
Arcadia 52, Apache Junction 41
Camelback 19, Maryvale 14
Chandler 28, Brophy College Prep 6
Fairfax 54, South Mountain 7
Greenway 57, Independence 13
Liberty 38, Boulder Creek 35
Mingus Union 41, Flagstaff 7
Paradise Honors 54, Camp Verde 7
Paradise Valley 56, Goldwater 17
Saguaro 58, Deer Valley 14
Thunderbird 35, Moon Valley 0
Vista Grande 49, Maricopa 7
Wickenburg 42, Lee Williams 20
More photos: Badger Broadcasting Network