Bears Manhandle Badgers 24-6 : Bradshaw Mountain’s solid performance wins region

Photo: 19 Malakai Stephenson with ball as 34 Ethan Ammerman and 72 Landen Francis pursue

The game had all the hype you needed, but when it came to the action on the field, the Bradshaw Mountain Bears proved they are a lot better team now than they were a month ago, with a 24-6 beat down of the Prescott Badgers at Bill Shepard Field last night.

The Badgers led the series 22-6 coming in, and had not lost to the Bears since 2016, and not at home since 2009. Last year the Badgers won 32-10 in Prescott Valley, but those are just numbers that at the end of the day, really don’t mean a thing. The result on the field is what counts now, and Bradshaw Mountain certainly made the most of it.

The Bears struck first with quarterback Grady Rose threw across the field to Tanner Mitchell, who was covered well by Jack Mason, but still managed to pull the ball in for a 38 yard touchdown, with 6:56 left in the opening quarter.

Bradshaw Mountain’s defense, which had given up just three points in the last three games, was stifling most of the night, was credited for a safety on the Badgers, as punter Alex Vaughan was tackled in the end zone after a high snap went over his head. The Bears now led 9-0, with 4:11 in the first quarter, in front of a shocked home crowd.

Rose, after rolling out of the pocket to buy some time, found Mitchell again, this time for a 13 yard TD pass. The Bears defense continued to hold down the potent Badger running game, shutting Prescott out in the first half. It was a half that was played mostly on the Badgers end of the field.

The crowd was able to enjoy a halftime performance that featured both The Pride of Prescott Marching Band, and the Bradshaw Mountain Bears Marching Band, in a joint effort.

After a scoreless third quarter, Prescott finally broke through when they got a big pass play to start the fourth.  Quarterback Alex Vaughan hit Jake Hilton on a 43 yard pass play down to the Bears 11. Vaughan recovered a Cody Leopold fumble on the next play at the Bears three, then absorbed a big hit on play that went for no gain. Vaughan came out of the game and Leopold then took the direct snap for the three yard rushing TD. The kick just missed to the right, leaving the deficit at 17-6, with 10:41 left to play.

The icing on the cake came when Bears quarterback Grady Rose, pretty much fooled the entire Badger defense running a bootleg down the near sideline, for a 50 yard touchdown. Rose, who rushed for one TD and passed for two said, “I was able to get outside, and a good blocked left an opening for me to take it all the way. Our defense played great again. This was a big win for us.”

Alex Vaughan, who had taken a brutal hit, did not return and Jaxon Rice finished up as QB for the Badgers, who never threatened to score again. As the clock ran out, the Bears and their fans celebrated.

The win was truly big for the Bears, who came in ranked #17 in the latest AIA Division 4 power rankings, and are now Grand Canyon Region champs. The win also gives them an automatic berth into the playoffs, which begins in two weeks. The Badgers were left with a lot of what ifs, and will certainly drop in the polls. Prescott also likely lost a chance to host a playoff game, something that has eluded them for over a decade.

Prescott (3-1) and (6-3), will pay a visit to Cottonwood to face a dangerous Mingus team, who despite being (2-7), can score a lot of points, but can also give up big numbers too. Bradshaw Mountain (4-1) and (6-3) will host Mica Mountain. Game times are at 7 pm.

Score by Quarters- 1 2 3 4 – T
Bradshaw Mountain 9 8 0 7 – 24
Prescott 0 0 0 6 – 6
Scoring Summary
BM-Mitchell 38 yard pass from Rose (Mitchell kick)
BM-Safety- Vaughan tackled in end zone
BM-Stephenson 13 yard pass from Rose (Rose run)
P-Leopold 3 yard run (Kick failed)
BM-Rose 50 yard run (Mitchell kick)

School- W-L W-L
Bradshaw Mountain 4-1 6-3
PRESCOTT 3-1 6-3
Lee Williams 3-2 6-3
Coconino 2-2 4-3
Flagstaff 1-3 4-5
Mingus 0-4 2-7

Lee Williams 31, Flagstaff 6
Lake Havasu 48, Coconino 31
Apache Junction 41, Tempe 7
Apollo 37, Central 27
Buckeye 50, Youngker 6
Cactus 64, Gila Ridge 0
Camelback 65, Alhambra 0
Casa Grande 50, Arcadia 7
Poston Butte 28, Combs 6
Deer Valley 38, Estrella Foothills 10
Douglas 33, Rio Rico 0
Catalina Foothills 49, Empire 14
Marcos de Niza 27, Seton Catholic 21
Mesquite 47, Benjamin Franklin 10
Mica Mountain 45. Amphitheater 13
Moon Valley 50, Thunderbird 40
Peoria 42, Greenway 7
Round Valley 20, Wickenburg 16
St. Johns 28, Camp Verde 0
St. Mary’s 42. Shadow Mountain 0
8 Man Semifinals
Mogollon 77, Mohave Accelerated 6
St. David 50, Williams 38


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