Prep Football Previews: Badgers, Bears head to Valley
PRESCOTT - Prescott High looks to pick up its first road victory of the season when it travels to Phoenix for a league game against Sunnyslope today at 7 p.m.
The contest is one of AIA's games of the week and will be broadcasted live on aia365.com/sport/football/.
PHS (2-3 overall, 1-1 4A Western Sky) was able to make key plays on offense and defense last week against Glendale, and hopes to carry that momentum into today's game.
"We had a lot of different players score, so I think it built a lot of confidence up in a lot of players," Badgers coach Lou Beneitone said.
In particular, PHS quarterback Cole Johnson had his best performance of the year, with five touchdowns and throwing for 163 yards with no interceptions in three quarters.
Prescott came out passing the ball early in the game, which is something it might try to do more often. But, the Badgers still plan on leaning on their run game.
Sunnyslope (1-4, 1-1) runs a pass-heavy, spread offense, but the Vikings might be in for a tough night as the Badgers are forcing more turnovers and allowing fewer big plays.
In last week's 46-14 victory, Prescott forced seven turnovers and allowed just 54 yards of passing.
"(The defense) played a little more sound as far as technique last week. We are still working on that a lot," Beneitone said, referring to his team's ablility to force so many turnovers.
PHS offensive and defensive lineman Nick Guzzo will be sidelined this week with a knee injury, but could be available next week against Glendale Independence.
The Badgers are currently ranked No. 25 in Division 4A-1, while the Vikings come in at No. 26.
The Badgers are 0-2 away from home with losses to rival Bradshaw Mountain on Sept. 9, and Phoenix Moon Valley on Sept. 24.
Bradshaw Mountain at Glendale Copper Canyon
Today, 7 p.m.
Bradshaw Mountain coach Chuck Apap said his Class 4A, Division I No. 3-ranked Bears are not taking lightly a West Valley Region road game against Glendale Copper Canyon, even though the Aztecs sport a dismal 1-4 overall record and an 0-2 mark in the league.
The Bears (5-1, 2-0) are coming off an impressive 24-16 region victory over now-No. 7-rated Glendale Kellis and appear to be the favorite to win the West Valley crown as long as they play their cards right during the final month of the regular season.
Apap said his defense will be keeping an eye out on Aztecs junior tailback Michael Grubbs - 4A-I's leading rusher who has run for 792 yards on 93 carries and six TDs through five games.
"We need to make sure No. 5 (Grubbs) doesn't hurt us," the coach said.
Copper Canyon lost its first two region games to Peoria and Dysart by a combined 69-32 and has struggled mightily with turnovers.
In a 29-19 loss to Peoria Sept. 24 at home, the Aztecs jumped in front 19-7 before fumbling away the ball repeatedly in the second half and ultimately giving up too many points off turnovers.
And in a 40-13 setback at Dysart last Friday, the Aztecs held a slim 13-12 lead at halftime before the wheels fell off with similar miscues.
Bradshaw needs to avoid a letdown Friday in order to maintain its lead atop the West Valley standings.
- Doug Cook/The Daily Courier
Superior at Bagdad
Friday, at 7 p.m.
Class 1A Bagdad is coming off a 68-29 loss to second-ranked Heber Mogollon and will look to rebound against Superior in its last home game of the season.
The No. 6 Sultans (4-2 overall, 3-0 1A West) likely won't be tested as they face a Panthers defense which has given up just over 31 points per game.
No. 8 Superior (3-3, 3-1 1A East) has not won a home game this season and is coming off a 28-26 win against Fort Thomas.
Bagdad topped Superior 57-16 last season.
The Orme School at Glendale Joy Christian
Today, 7 p.m.
The Orme School is set to play Joy Christian for the first of three road games to end the season.
The No. 15 Warriors (3-3 overall, 1-2 1A West) are coming off a 17-6 win against Phoenix Valley Lutheran, but have yet to score a win on the road.
Orme is 0-2 away from home, losing to Mayer on Aug. 27, and Salome on Sept. 3.
The 12th-ranked Eagles (3-3, 0-3) come into Friday's game with three-straight losses.
Orme downed Joy Christain 66-6 last season.
Mayer High at Salome
Today, 7 p.m.
Mayer High snapped a two-game losing skid with a 46-30 road victory against Beaver Dam last week and is now set to play Salome on the road.
The fifth-ranked Wildcats (4-2 overall, 3-2 1A North) will go up against a tough Frogs defense, which has given up less than 16 points per game at home this season.
No. 10 Salome (3-2, 2-2 1A West) is undefeated a home with a 3-0 record.
Mayer defeated Salome 48-20 last season.
Chino Valley High at Mohave Valey River Valley
Today, 7 p.m.
Chino Valley has won three out of its last four games and will go on the road to face No. 25 River Valley.
The 13th-ranked Cougars (4-2 overall, 3-1 3A West) shouldn't have any problem stopping a weak Dust Devils offense, which has failed to score more than 7 points in three out of its last five games.
River Valley (3-3, 1-1) was awarded a win against South Point last week, due to a forfeit.
Chino Valley defeated River Valley 21-6 last season.
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