Originally Published: October 6, 2017 11:11 p.m.
Alex Nelson had 24 carries for 240 yards and two touchdowns, Tyler Kelly had three scores and the Mingus football team claimed its third win the past four games with a 38-6 blowout over Prescott on Friday night.
The No. 24-ranked Marauders accumulated 447 yards on the ground against the Badgers, which have yet to win a home game in 2017.
Prescott Quarterback Austin Clark completed only 10 of 29 passes for 161 yards and two interceptions. The No. 12-ranked Badgers managed only 195 total yards offensively.
“Mingus is legendary for being tough and hard-nosed. We weren’t surprised, we just weren’t ready for it,” an emotional Prescott head coach Michael Gilpin said after the game.
Clark spent much of the time on the run as Mingus sacked him at least three times and recorded a dozen hurries.
“I have to look at the film to see why we didn’t handle it better, but it definitely got us off our game,” Gilpin said about Mingus’ pass rush defensively, adding it “got in our head,” which is what longtime Marauders head coach Bob Young is known for, he said.
“That’s why he’s a legendary coach, because he messes with your head and gets you off your game,” Gilpin said.
Mingus (3-4, 3-1 Grand Canyon) began its season with a three-game losing streak, but have since crawled back to respectability in a wide-open Grand Canyon region.
Nelson, who had 154 of his 240 yards in the second half, said he didn’t expect to have this much success against the Badgers offensively, but admitted the Marauders came in with a plan.
“We were just going to stick to our jobs, do what we were supposed to do,” Nelson said. “We came out and did it, and that’s what happens.”
And after last week’s surprising 45-16 blowout loss at the hands of Bradshaw Mountain, the Marauders were looking for a bounce back win Friday night.
“We’re not done yet. This was a big step for us,” Nelson said.
Prescott kicker Bryce Peters began the game’s scoring with a 26-yard field goal with 6:56 to play in the first quarter, but Kelly answered with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Marauders up 6-3.
On Mingus’ next possession, Kelly caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Antoine Zabala to give his team a 12-3 lead and the Marauders never looked back.
Kelly had 22 carries for 197 yards and two touchdowns, his last an 86-yard run with 5:08 to play.
“Last week we took a step back, so we challenged [their pride],” Young said.
When asked about his team’s chances of claiming a region title, Young said with Prescott, Bradshaw Mountain, Flagstaff and the Marauders being basically “the same,” it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top.
“It’s whoever plays the best on a particular night. … Tonight was our night,” Young said. “Prescott, they are fine team, they just didn’t play their game.”
Gilpin said the final three games will challenge the Badgers.
“They are games we can win if we play how we can play,” Gilpin said. “Hopefully we can learn a lesson from tonight.”
Prescott (4-3, 2-1 Grand Canyon) travels north to Flagstaff in its final road game of the season as they play Coconino. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Mingus returns home to Cottonwood and welcomes rival Flagstaff. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is associate sports editor and a columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.