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Bears Beat Rival Badgers to Win Section Championship
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29 October 2016  
It was the 24th rivalry game between these two teams. It was also Senior Night for the Bradshaw Mountain Bears.

PRESCOTT VALLEY- The Bradshaw Bears continued their dominance in section play on the Friday night regular season finale taking the rivalry game against Prescott High School 41-15 to lock up the Grand Canyon section championship.  

Another year featured another anticipated matchup between the rival Bears and Badgers. Both teams came in vying for a birth in the playoffs and a championship in the Grand Canyon section. All the Bears had to do was win to secure the championship but if the Badgers had won it would have caused a tie with their rival at the top of the section.

The Bears were able to pick up the victory by taking advantage of key turnovers by the Badgers near halftime and at the beginning of the second half which allowed the Bears to begin pulling away. Additionally, Bears’ quarterback Gunner Bundrick continued his fantastic campaign by picking up some good yardage on the ground and reaching the end zone a couple of times on the night. The game was more of the same from the Bears’ quarterback as Bundrick ranks in the top five in both passing yards and rushing yards for the section.

“I couldn’t do it without my offensive line and receivers. They work hard day in and day out,” said Bundrick after the game. “I have them to thank for that.”

The win for the Bears capped off a fantastic regular season as the team went undefeated in section play. The Grand Canyon section championship was a goal on the minds of the coaches and players since practices began during the summer months.

“It’s been nine months of just solid practice for one goal,” Bundrick said. “Our goal is no longer a section title, that’s just like a mini goal for us, our big goal is state.” 

Bears head coach David Moran said the preparation for the season began right after last year’s playoff exit to Sunnyslope through offseason workouts and practices.

“Our expectation is to be the section champ... regional champ every year,” said Moran. “That’s our expectation, that’s our mindset, our mentality and that’s what we feel, what we think. Our kids do a good job acting that way, thinking that way and I’m very proud of them. They have done everything we’ve asked them to do this year and met every single one of our goals.”

Moran said due to the playoff implications of the game on Friday night, the team considered it a playoff game which prepared the Bears for their next test.

“We just got to take that momentum and go with it,” Moran said. “It’s just a big wave you got to ride and our kids know that wave. We’ve got some good experienced players on the team.”With the section championship behind them, the Bears await Saturday morning to hear who their next test will be in the playoffs.

“Our momentum is going to be crazy in the playoffs,” Bundrick said. “Whoever we play needs to watch out because we’re coming.”

Meanwhile, the Badgers finish the regular season with a 6-4 overall record and a 4-2 record in section play. While the outcome may not be ideal for the team, there were many positives to the season. 

Seniors David Pearce and Collin Mills had nice seasons on the ground being a part of the Badgers tough running game with each picking up over 500 yards on the year. Aaron Marquardt  lead the team with over 50 tackles to go along with nearly 15 sacks and also picked up three touchdowns and around 200 yards receiving. 

Junior Ryan Greene made the transition from quarterback to full-time running back well and could possibly be a weapon out of the backfield for Prescott High School next year after leading the team with nearly 900 yards on the ground this season. Gilpin said the move, which took place after the loss to Mingus, helped relieve some pressure off Greene and create a more diverse offense which could be something to watch next year.  Additionally, junior John Chaffeur had a breakout season leading the Badgers in receiving yards and a tie with three touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, juniors Rodney Pitts and Spencer Hall and sophomore Colton Amos each had over 30 tackles on the campaign. Finally, the sophomore kicker Bryce Peters was solid picking up six of eight field goals with a long of 36 yards and converting 26 of 33 extra points. 

The playoff brackets for the state will be released Saturday morning as the adventure begins toward the state championship. 

Local Team Scores & Info:

Bagdad plays Hayden Saturday night (October 29) in a home playoff game starting at 6 PM.Chino Valley (w) vs. Odyssey Institute (l) 48-28Mingus Mountain (l) @ Sunrise Mountain (w) 17-61

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