PRESCOTT- Following a 44-27 win against the rival Bradshaw Mountain Bears on Friday, October 27th, at Bill Shepard Field, the Prescott High School Badgers kept their season alive. Less than 24 hours later, their season would end not on the football field but on the bracket selection show.
Prescott High School was bumped out of the top 15 teams Saturday morning, October 28th. Mingus Union, who beat Prescott High School earlier in the season, clinched the section championship and an automatic playoff berth with a loss from Bradshaw Mountain.
While the season didn’t last as long as the Badgers would like, the team did reclaim the Esse Quam Videri 19 cup after losing to Bradshaw Mountain 41-15 last season.
“The trophy means a lot because it honors the hot shots,” Prescott High School Head Coach Michael Gilpin said after the game Friday night. “Several of those hotshots played football on this field…it means a lot.”
The Bears would strike first in the rivalry game, as Bradshaw Mountain quarterback Austin Gonzalez connected with senior Bryan Price for an 18-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead.
“When they went down and scored, we knew they were a good football team, but we knew so what,” Gilpin said. “We got a lot of football left and that’s how we handled it.”
That lead wouldn’t stand up for long. After a Badger field goal, Prescott High School all-time rushing leader Ryan Greene broke out one of his signature big-time plays, a 66-yard touchdown for a Badgers 9-7 lead.
“When you have somebody like Ryan, you always have the momentum,” Badgers senior wide receiver/cornerback John Chaffeur said. “That kid is lightning in a bottle. He literally can take a play anytime to the house. I love that kid, playing with him is a complete honor.”
In the second quarter, Greene made himself known again, rushing nine-yards for a touchdown to increase the Prescott High School lead to 16-7.
However, that would be the last touchdown Greene will score as a Badger. The senior later left the game with a season-ending broken collarbone. Greene ended his Prescott High School career with over 4,300 yards of total offense and 46 touchdowns.
“It was one of the great careers to ever see this field,” Gilpin said. “Great teammate, great student. You can’t replace Ryan and he will always be a part of this program.”
Just before halftime, Badgers quarterback Austin Clark added another touchdown as he scrambled 16-yards for the score to increase the lead to 16 points.
The half didn’t slow down Prescott High School’s attack as sophomore Sam Giordan broke a 20-yard run for a touchdown, bringing the Badgers advantage to 23 points. Receiving additional playing time with Greene’s injury, Giordan rushed for 62 yards on 12 carries.
As the game continued, Bradshaw Mountain would add three touchdowns but the Badgers would keep pace with two for the victory.
Gonzalez scrambled for a touchdown in the third and fourth quarter, while also connecting with Price again for an 11-yard touchdown.
Meanwhile, Chaffeur recorded a touchdown in his final game as a Badger on a 20-yard pass from Clark.
Badgers junior Ean Porter, who also received additional chances following the injury to Greene, added another touchdown and ran for 144 yards on 22 carries.
The win marked the Badgers third over Bradshaw Mountain in the last five years.
“There’s just so much heart in our team,” Greene said. “When we beat Bradshaw, our rivals…greatest feeling in the world.”
“To be one of those seniors now to hoist it....feels damn good,” Chaffeur said after the win Friday night. “I told all the guys I wanted to ride out in a good way. They all had each other’s backs and we just came together as a unit and we fought and won.”
Following a 0-5 start, Bradshaw Mountain ended the season on fire-winning four of their last five and had a shot at a section championship. First-year Head Coach Chuck Moller has momentum to build on after taking over a team that lost many players to graduation.
“The team fought hard and we fell short in this last game,” Moller said. “Proud of the kids how they turned and competed, got the season turned around. Just got to keep it going.”
“To come to a new program following a popular coach and to start off 0-5, there’s a lot of guys that would have just packed up in the middle of the night and taken off,” Gilpin said. “Hats off to them and hats off to the players at Bradshaw for kind of rallying around the program.”
The Bears end the season 4-6 overall while going 4-2 in section. Prescott High School’s season is over after going 7-3 overall and 5-1 in section action.
Score by Quarters - 1 2 3 4 - F
Bradshaw Mountain 7 0 0 14 - 27
Prescott 9 14 7 14 - 44
BM- Price 18 yard pass from Gonzales (Fischer kick)
P- Peters 34 yd FG
P- Greene 66 yard run (Kick failed)
P- Greene 9 yard run (Peters kick)
P- Clark 16 yard run (Peters kick)
P- Giordan 20 yard run (Peters kick)
BM- Gonzales 4 yard run (Pass failed)
P- Chaffeur 20 yard pass from Clark (Peters kick0
BM- Gonzales 2 yard run (Olson pass from Gonzales)
P- Porter 4 yard run (Peters kick)
BM- Price 11 yard pass from Gonzales (Pass failed)
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS SCOREBOARD
Odyssey Institute 35, Chino Valley 20
Apache Junction 38, Combs 9
Benjamin Franklin 48, Globe 13
Bisbee 56, Tombstone 6
Central 48, Browne 0
Chandler 50, Hamilton 14
Chaparral 59, Arcadia 0
Chinle 30, Monument Valley 26
Deer Valley 35, Goldwater 7
Desert Mountain 50, Boulder Creek 36
Desert Ridge 21, Highland 7
Florence 69, Coolidge 0
Higley 50, Seton Catholic 0
Kingman Academy 62, Arete Prep 3
Liberty 21, Centennial 19
Mohave 14, Lee Williams 10
Mountain Pointe 33, Gilbert 30
North 46, Maryvale 0
Northwest Christian 56, Kingman 6
Paradise Honors 32, Tonopah Valley 24
Peoria 53, Moon Valley 8
Perry 56, Basha 14
Pinnacle 59, Horizon 7
Saguaro 49, Cactus Shadows 0
Snowflake 28, Blue Ridge 0
Sunnyslope 28, Apollo 14
Sunrise Mountain 61, Mingus Union 34
Tempe Prep 53, Parker 8
Thunderbird 49, St. Mary's 0
Verrado 24, Desert Egde 17
Wickenburg 60, River Valley 23
Williams Field 27, Queen Creek 6
Check out a photo gallery by Ron Williams of the Badger Broadcasting Network