In a rivalry game that lived to its billing, the Prescott Badgers beat the Bradshaw Mountain Bears 26-21 in Prescott Valley. It was the first win in PV for Prescott since the 2012 season. The win put the Badgers in first place in the Grand Canyon Region, but of equal importance, it gives Prescott a huge boost when looking at the playoff picture.
This was a game that you were glad you went to, and sad if you missed it. It was a great contest despite the penalties that plagued both teams at times.
It was easy to see from the get go what the game plan for the Prescott Badgers was going to be. That would be putting the ball into the air more. Badger quarterback Austin Clark completed 14 of 24 on the night for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns. Clark also ran for 131 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.
Things started off rocky as the opening kickoff was fielded by Sylas Espitia near the sideline and stepped out at the Badger 5 yard line. Austin Clark threw passes to Dellin Boyd and Aaron Greene to get Prescott some breathing room.
Clark then began to call his number and with runs by Ean Porter continued to move the ball down the field. Clark would eventually hit a wide open Trey Koehler, who caught the ball at the 11 yard line and scooted into the end zone. Bryce Peters nailed the PAT and within five minutes of game time the Badgers held a 7-0 lead.
Bradshaw Mountain's first possession ended on three plays, two were for negative yards as Anthony Mata found it tough trying to get through the Badger defensive line.
The Bears defense held the Badgers and had good field position at the Badger 43 to start their second drive. Anthony Mata got the blocking this time to spring him into open field. Mata zig zagged his way on the ground for 31 yards to score his 12th TD of the season. Issac Arroyo added the extra point to tie the game at 7, with 2:42 left in the opening quarter.
Prescott started their next drive at the 20. Austin Clark threw a sharp pass to Brayden Nelson for 10 yards to 30. Add a roughing the passer penalty, and the Badgers were in business at their own 45. Prescott ended the drive on the final play of the first quarter when Aaron Greene made a great grab of the short pass for the touchdown. The blocked extra point attempt left the score 13-7 Badgers heading in to the second quarter.
The Bears offense struggled because of the likes of Sam Giordan, who sacked Bradshaw Mountain's quarterback Josh Grant at the Bear 26. A special team goof would cost Bradshaw dearly and give Prescott a two touchdown advantage, as the snap was bobbled by the Bear punter. The Badgers recovered the ball at the Bradshaw 2 yard line. Clark went right between up the gut to get the touchdown with 9:56 remaining in the second quarter.
The Bears offense got busy with the help of some Prescott penalties to assist in their drive. Aided by a facemask penalty, along with an off sides penalty the Bradshaw responded with runs by new quarterback Austin Gonzales, who took over for starter Josh Grant, after being suspended for a team rules and school policy violation. Gonzales had missed the previous two games because of that issue. Anthony Matta ran in the ball down inside the Prescott 30 setting up the following play. Gonzales would hit Alex Cyr on a 26 yard pass play and with the two point conversion, the Bears were back in the game, trailing 20-15 with 6:07 in the 2nd quarter.
The Badgers would go three and out giving the Bears the ball back with some momentum. Austin Gonzales called his own number and rambled 51 yard run to Badgers 10. Gonzales would eventually score on a 3 yard run. After it worked once Bradshaw tried a second two point conversion, this time Gonzales was stopped, but the Bears led 21-20 with 4:12 left in the first half.
Prescott had one final opportunity in the first half to take the lead. Aaron Greene made what looked like an amazing catch, but two officials discussed the play and ruled it incomplete. That left a long field goal attempt by Clay Gross, who just missed the 48 yarder to the left.
Up 21-20 the Bears came out and moved the ball to the Badger 26. Once again the Prescott defense came to life and forced a 4th down pass play that was picked off by Dellin Boyd at the goal line. Austin Clark and company moved the ball into Bear territory. Clark ran the ball in the center of the field to the Bradshaw 29. The Aaron Greene went up to pull down a Clark pass to the Bears 12. Despite four Prescott penalties, the Badgers were able to regain the lead 23-21, on a Bryce Peters 38 yard field goal with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
Bradshaw Mountain struggled to sustain any type of drive for the reaminder of the game. Prescott meanwhile had just enough success to add another Bryce Peters field goal. Clark went back to the air and hit Trey Koehler on a key 4th and 1 play at the Bear 40. After a holding penalty, came another pass completion to Brayden Nelson to the Bradshaw 37. Another key to the drive came when Koehler and Bradshaw's Ismael Solano both went up for a pass and fought to the ground for the ball. The official ruled that Koehler had possesion and the drive continued. The offense did little after that and Bryce Peters came in to add a 35 yard field goal. Prescott now led 26-21 with 9:43 left in the game.
The Badgers got the ball back with 8:43 left and were in good shape at the Bears 49. Ean Porter busted up the gut to the Bears 37. The Bradshaw defense pushed back forcing a Prescott punt, but a roughing the punter call gave the Badgers a first down at the Bears 27 with 6:10 to play. Sam Giordan's run moved the ball to 12 yard line. Porter then bolted into the end zone on a 8 run, but an illegal procedure penalty moved the ball back to the 13. Delay of game pushed it back to 18. That left Bryce Peters with a 36 yard field goal attempt that missed wide right with 2:40 remaining.
The Bears and their fans still had a chance with that much time on the clock and three time outs in their hip pocket. Starting at their own 20, Austin Gonzales hit Austin Yarborough over the middle to the 35. Running the hurry up offense, Gonzales hit Logan Brannan out of the backfield up to the 45 with 2:14 to play. Then to mix things up Anthony Mata ran the ball to midfield, as the clock continued to run. Gonzales fired another pass to Yarborough at the 40 with 1:22 left and it looked like Bradshaw Mountain was in good shape to get one final score and the win.
The Bears got to the line of scrimmage and Gonzales went under center this time. As he was barking out the signals, a false start penalty was called, backing up the Bears to the Prescott 45. The slow down and penalty gave the Badger defense just enough time to catch their breath. Bradshaw Mountain would struggle for yards on the next three plays, forcing a 4th down and 2 with :54 to play. After a Bear timeout, Anthony Matta took the ball and tried hard to get to the sticks, but Sam Giordan used every ounce of energy to pull Mata down in front of the Badger bench a yard shy, giving the Prescott the ball.
A momentary celebration ensued before Austin Clark took a couple of knees as time ran out. The Badgers and fans then celebrated the hard fought victory.
Austin Clark said, "We played as a team, and we showed we could pass,as well as run tonight. It is a great win over our rival."
Coach Cody Collett said, "I'm so proud of our guys. They played with a lot of heart. Bradshaw played with a lot of class. In fact, both teams did. I am really proud of our guys."
Other offensive numbers for the Badgers in rushing included Ean Porter 8 carries, 49 yards and Sylas Espitia 7-29. On the receiving end, Aaron Greene 5 receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. Brayden Nelson 4-22, Trey Koehler 3-51, and Dellin Boyd 2-38.
The first place Badgers (3-1) in region, (5-2) overall, will travel to Bullhead City to face Mohave next Friday at 7pm. Bradshaw Mountain will be on the road as well, traveling to Cottonwood to face Mingus.
PRESCOTT BADGERS 26, BRADSHAW MOUNTAIN 21
Score by Quarters - 1 2 3 4 - T
Prescott 13 7 3 3 - 26
Bradshaw Mountain 7 14 0 0 - 21
P-Koehler 29 yard pass from Clark (Peters kick)
BM-Mata 31 yard run (Arroyo kick)
P-Greene 3 yard pass from Clark (Kick blocked)
P-Clark 2 yard run (Peters kick)
BM-Cyr 26 yard pass from Gonzales (Gonzales run)
BM- Gonzales 3 yard run (Run failed)
P-Peters 38 yard FG
P-Peters 35 yard FG
GRAND CANYON REGION STANDINGS
School W-L W-L
Prescott 3-1 5-2
Bradshaw Mountain 3-1 7-1
Mingus 2-1 5-2
Coconino 2–2 5-2
Flagstaff 2-2 3-4
Lee Williams 0-3 2-5
Mohave 0-3 2-5
Grand Canyon Region Scores
Prescott 26, Bradshaw Mountain 21
Coconino 52, Mohave 7
Flagstaff 39, Lee Williams 0
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS SCOREBOARD
Chino Valley 53, Kingman 8
Bagdad 68, Mohave Accelerated 0
Mogollon 52, Mayer 8
Apache Junction 55, Dysart 34
Barry Goldwater 28, Independence 13
Basha 35, Hamilton 28
Blue Ridge 23, Show Low 12
Carl Hayden 17, Central 14
Casteel 41, Gilbert 10
Catalina Foothills 55, Vista Grande 6
Centennial 49, Sunnyslope 0
Chandler 56, Brophy 7
Chaparral 40, Sandra Day O'Connor 37
Combs 43, Cortez 0
Desert Edge 33, Cactus 22
Desert Vista 28, Mountain Pointe 27
Flowing Wells 64, Rincon 0
Glendale 69, Washington 20
Greenway 42, Thunderbird 39
Higley 45, Campo Verde 28
Joseph City 72, Fredonia 50
Liberty 49, Boulder Creek 34
Marana 20, Ironwood Ridge 13
Millennium 14, Verrado 7
Mountain View 62, Empire 0
North 30, Alhambra 26
Page 94, Window Rock 0
Parker 42, Camp Verde 8
Pinnacle 56, Mountain Ridge 7
Queen Creek 39, Desert Ridge 14
Sahuaro 42, Canyon del Oro 21
Snowflake 34, Payson 7
Sunnyside 30, Nogales 5
Veritas Prep 33, Sedona Red Rock 20
Westwood 34, Mesa 26
Williams 68, El Capitan 12
Williams Field 34, Maricopa 21
Winslow 50, Holbrook 0
Youngker 61, Yuma 20