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Loveall Breaks National Touchdown Pass Record in 76-40 Win
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30 September 2017  
RECORD BREAKER: Israel Loveall throws his 144th career touchdown pass, setting a new national high school record in the 76-40 homecoming win over Salome. Ron Williams

Bagdad senior quarterback throws 8 TD passes and is crowned Homecoming King in historical night

Bagdad Coach Dalton Mills knew he had something special when a young aspiring quarterback joined the football team four years ago. "He has been a special kid since the time he was young. Our offensive coordinator was actually the quarterback when he was a freshmen, so he kind of understudied him. We knew he was going to be a special player. He has been one of the best athletes we have had here."

Israel Loveall set the Arizona state passing record in a win last week and followed it up with an 8-touchdown pass performance in a 76-40 over the Salome Frogs, setting the new national mark. The senior Sultan quarterback now has 38 touchdown passes on the season and a career total of 147 and counting.

After a fumble recovery by Carson Jean at the Sultan 26, Bagdad moved down the field to take the lead, never relinquishing it, on a one yard pass from Loveall to fellow senior Scott Finnerty. Loveall followed that with a two point conversion run up the gut for a 8-0 with 6:18 in the opening quarter.

Salome came right back with a nice drive, capped off with a two yard run by Octavio Martinez. The two point attempt to tie the score failed, leaving the Sultans with an 8-6 lead over the Frogs at the 4:07 mark.

Scotty Finnerty took the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Salome 27, setting up number two on the night for Loveall, hitting Scott Finnerty on a nice grab in the corner of the end zone for a 14-6.

The Sultan defense showed their swagger with Owen Barton and company wreaking havoc on the Salome offense, forcing the Frogs to turn the ball over on downs near the end of the first quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, Loveall connected with Scott Finnerty again from 14 yards out, followed by a Carson Jeans conversion run, upping the Sultans lead to 22-6.

The Frogs thought they answered with a 41 yard pass play, but holding brought the ball back. On the following fourth down play, Owen Barton continued his assault on Salome, sacking Salome QB Oscar Cruz ending the threat.

Bagdad took less than a minute to increase the lead, as Loveall tied the national record for TD passes. Sophomore Riley Young hauled in the 16 yard pass in stride with 9:17 in the second quarter. The two point attempt failed, but the Sultans led 28-6.

Three touchdowns were scored in :11 of game time. It started with Israel Loveall stepping in front of an Oscar Cruz pass, taking it to the house on a pic six with 7:59 left in the second to increase the lead to 34-6. A bizarre play followed as a Salome player failed to pick up the kickoff as it rolled, stopping at the one yard line. Riley Young picked up the muffed kickoff and walked into the end zone for the touchdown, and it was 40-6. 

The Frogs first play following an out of bounds kickoff, was quarterback Oscar Cruz to Joel Gonzales on a nicely timed post pattern for a 50 yard strike to make the score 40-14 with 7:48 to play.

At 5:49 in the second quarter, Israel Loveall set the national touchdown pass record standing tall in the pocket and connecting with Scott Finnerty, who weaved his way through the Frog defense on a 37 yard play. Loveall looked to the Sultan sideline and was congratulated by his coaches and teammates, as fans stood on their feet to recognize this amazing achievement.

The Frogs came right back when Pedro Velasquez went on an end around for 18 yards to make it 48-20.

Bagdad would add one more first half touchdown, this time courtesy of Owen Barton who blasted through the Salome offensive line, blocking the punt, picking it up and into the end zone with :28 left in the half. 

Loveall hit Scott Finnerty for his next two touchdown passes, from three and 14 yards out to build a 70-20 lead with 7:34 left in the third quarter. The first was set up by a great catch, as Tony Ventura went high above the defender to pull the ball in at the Frog 3 yard line.

Salome put two TDs of their own on the board, when Jose Armenta ran the kickoff back 60 yards. Then Jesus Martinez recovered the kickoff, setting up drive capped by an Oscar Cruz pass to Joel Gonzales, to make the score 70-32.

The teams exchanged a touchdown each in the fourth quarter, as Loveall connected with Scotty Finnerty once again on a 19 yard pass play. It was Loveall's 8th of the game, 7th for Finnerty.

Loveall finished 14-25 passing for 289 yards and 8 touchdowns. He rushed for 67 yards on 11 carries, had two pass interceptions, returning one for 36 yards and a touchdown. Scott Finnerty caught 8 passes for 188 yards and 7 touchdowns. The number one ranked team of division 1-A in the state has now won 18 straight games. Bagdad suffered their last loss in the 2015 state championship in November of that year.

Before the game, there was a moment of silence to remember the lives of Bagdad student Christina Walker and Mayer football player Cody Colquitt.

Bagdad (7-0) will host Valley Lutheran next Friday at 7pm. Salome drops to (2-4).

1A  West  (8-Man) Standings
School                   W-L     W-L
Bagdad                  3-0      7-0
Mayer                     3-0      7-0
Valley Lutheran     2-1      4-2
Salome                   1-2       2-4
San Pasqual Valley 1-3      1-5
Anthem Prep           0-4      0-7

 

BAGDAD SULTANS 76, SALOME FROGS 40
Scoring by Quarters -  1     2     3     4   -  T
Salome                          6   14   12    8   -  40

Bagdad                        14   40   16    6   - 76

Scoring Summary
B-S. Finnerty 1 yard pass from Loveall (Loveall run) 
S-Martinez 2 yard run (Run failed) 
B-S.Finnerty 27 yard pass from Loveall (Run failed) 
B-S. Finnerty 14 yard pass from Loveall (Jeans run) 
B-Young 16 yard pass from Loveall (Pass failed) 
B-Loveall 37 yard pass intereception (Pass failed) 
B-Young 2 yard muffed kickoff recovery (Run failed) 
S-Gonzales 50 yard pass from Cruz (Cruz run) 
B-S. Finnerty 37 yard pass from Loveall (Loveall run) 
S-Velasquez 18 yard run (Pass failed) 
B-Barton blocked punt and recovery (Run failed) 
B-S. Finnerty 3 yard pass from Loveall (Loveall run) 
B-S. Finnerty 14 yard pass from Loveall (Jeans run) 
S-Armenta 60 yard kickoff return (Pass failed) 
S-Gonzales 10 yard pass from Cruz (Pass failed) 
B-S. Finnerty 19 yard pass from Loveall (Run failed) 
S-Cruz 35 yard run (Cruz run) 

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS SCOREBOARD

Prescott   35, Mohave 14
Bradshaw Mountain 45, Mingus Union 16
River Valley 18, Chino Valley 14
Bagdad 74, Salome 40
Mayer  75, Anthem Prep 17
Apache Junction 27, Washington 0
Barry Goldwater 31,  Lake Havasu 21
Betty Fairfax 40, Glendale 36
Blue Ridge 48, Holbrook 0
Boulder Creek 36, Sandra Day O'Connor 7
Buckeye 54, Yuma 0
Cactus 57,  Peoria 34
Cactus Shadows 51, Shadow Mountain 7
Camp Verde 21, Paradise Honors 14
Casa Grande 34, Greenway 24
Centennial 12, St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) 0
Central 21, Alhambra 9
Cesar Chavez 55, Maryvale 0
Chandler 58, Basha 21
Coronado 54, Cortez 7
Copper Canyon 51, Kofa 21
Desert Edge 42, Agua Fria 16
Desert Ridge 68, Gilbert 47
Dysart 40, Combs 20
Fort Thomas 64, Duncan 32
Hamilton 38, Brophy Prep 31
Joseph City 40, El Capitan 22
Kingman Academy 32, Parker 28
Lee Williams 14, Coconino 7
Liberty 72, Sierra Linda 0
Maricopa 26, Ironwood 15
Mogollon vs, Greyhills Academy, Cancelled
Mountain Pointe 21, Desert Vista 16
North 38, Trevor Browne 7
Paradise Valley 30, Arcadia 0
Phoenix Christian 61, Sedona Red Rock 7
Pinnacle 77, Desert Mountain 29
Queen Creek 40, Mesquite 14
Saguaro 42, Marcos de Niza 7
Show Low 41, Payson 22
Snowflake 54, Winslow 28
Stafford 35, Coolidge 6
Sunnyslope 21, Raymond Kellis 18
Sunrise Mountain 54, Moon Valley 6
Superior 44, Ray 0
Thunderbird 35, Flagstaff 17
Trivium Prep 69, St. David 0
Valley Lutheran 74, San Pasqual Valley 32
Valley Union 56, Baboquivari 0
Verrado 28, Deer Valley 21
Wickenburg 52, Kingman 12
Youngker 46, Estrella Foothills 35

 

Ron Williams

Ron Williams is the advisor, broadcaster, and sportswriter for the BBN, Badger Broadcasting Network. The BBN is a community club for high school students enrolled in the Prescott Unified School District.

 

 

 

Website: www.facebook.com/pages/Badger-Broadcasting-Network/277566312295940?fref=ts