COTTONWOOD — Bradshaw Mountain football snapped its losing streak and did so in dominant fashion at Mingus on Friday night.
The Bears (1-5, 1-1 Grand Canyon) handed the Marauders (2-4, 2-1) their first region loss and spoiled their Homecoming with a 45-16 victory.
“It’s everything,” Bradshaw Mountain senior quarterback Timmy Young said. “I mean we’ve been thirsty and hungry for a win since probably Week 3. Going 0-5 to start the season is never really good. We came out ready to play and it showed. We came out hungry and ready to go at it.”
No. 17 Mingus had been tied for first in the region and the Bears debuted at 40th out of 43 teams in the AIA’s first 4A conference rankings of the season.
Bradshaw Mountain led wire-to-wire a week after losing by just seven to No. 8 Flagstaff, the top team in the region.
“They’ve been improving every week and everything we’ve done up until now has been self-inflicted: turnovers, penalties and we played a pretty complete game offensively, defensively,” Bradshaw Mountain head coach Chuck Moller said. “We’re real proud of the kids’ continual effort and we just gotta start building on it now.”
Five different Bears scored touchdowns and the Bears added 10 points on special teams, including a score by junior Braden Tolbert after a bad snap on a Marauder punt.
“They beat our butts,” longtime Mingus head coach Bob Young said. “I don’t care about records, they just beat us on the line of scrimmage. They did on film what we planned on, we just couldn’t do anything against them.”
Young completed 3 of 6 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He ran for 48 yards and a score on 12 carries.
Young said the Bears still have room to improve and can do even more damage in the Grand Canyon region.
“It’s a huge statement game,” Young said. “I mean we come out and put up, I don’t what it was, 45 I think, and we hold them to 16 at Mingus, that’s very impressive from an 0-5 team. But we don’t look at 0-5, we look at ourselves, we’re not 0-5, we just made little mistakes.”
Four Bears rushed for at least 29 yards, led by junior running back Logan Brannan. Mingus junior quarterback Antoine Zabala, who had led the region in passing yards going into the game, was 11 for 24 with an interception for 168 yards.
The loss spoiled the Mingus debut of senior Martin Soria, who was all-state last year for 1A Williams.
“It was rough, we should’ve come out here to play,” Soria said. “I feel like I disappointed the crowd but it is what it is, you know?”
Bradshaw Mountain hosts No. 28 Coconino (1-4, 0-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Mingus Union travels to No. 15 Prescott to face the Badgers on Friday at 7 p.m.
James Kelley is a sports writer for the Verde Independent. Follow him on Twitter at @JamesKelley520, or email him at email@example.com.