Originally Published: October 30, 2010 12:16 a.m.
PRESCOTT - The Prescott High football team kept its playoff hopes alive Friday, defeating Tempe McClintock 34-12 on Senior Night at Bill Shepard Field in Prescott.
"The kids were ready to play," PHS coach Lou Beneitone said. "We want to go to the postseason. We have a tough one next week, but we are still gunning for the playoffs."
The Badgers (5-4, 3-2 4A Western Sky) will need to win their final game of the regular season at Shadow Mountain in Phoenix to have a shot at making it.
Prescott came into Friday's contest ranked No. 21 in the Class 4A, Division-I Power Rankings and will likely move up a couple spots after Friday's victory.
PHS must finish the regular season ranked in the top 16 to make the playoffs.
The Badgers handed McClintock (2-7, 0-3 4A Desert Sky) its fifth-straight loss, dominating the line of scrimmage.
"Our offensive line has really improved," Beneitone said. "They are getting better every game. They're opening the holes and our backs are running hard. We are finally starting to click."
Running back Dakoda Peterson carried the load for Prescott, rushing for 202 yards on 25 carries.
"(Peterson's) just become a heck of a runner for us right now. He's picking up the pace," Beneitone said.
The tailback scored four touchdowns, including a 5-yard score that gave the Badgers a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter.
The Chargers scored on their first offensive possession on the game, when Marshall Dirksen kicked a 45-yard field goal with 6:46 left in the first.
But, that would be all McClintock could muster up the rest of the half.
PHS limited the Charger offense to 64 yards with only two first downs.
Zane Cross came up big with 11:13 remaining in the second quarter, blocking a punt deep in McClintock territory.
The block gave the Badgers excellent field position, which resulted in an 8-yard Peterson TD run. Kicker Enrique Lara made the extra point, giving the Badgers a 14-3 lead.
Cole Johnson extended Prescott's lead in the final seconds of the first half, when he found Cross streaking down the field for the 21-yard touchdown.
Cross had two catches for 34 yards.
PHS led 21-3 at halftime.
No. 24 McClintock charged back into the game after the break, narrowing the Badger lead to nine points.
Dirksen connected on a 35-yard field goal and quarterback Andrew Akbar took advantage of good field position, finding wide receiver Joseph Wells in the end zone for a 12-yard TD.
But, that's as close as the Chargers would get.
Prescott started to run away with the game after Peterson broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Peterson sealed the victory, scoring his fourth TD of the game from one yard out with 6:09 remaining.
Badgers quarterback Cole Johnson completed 6 of 10 passes for 89 yards and had one interception.
Prescott finished with 370 total yards of offense and 22 first downs.
McClintock had 10 first downs and 137 yards of offense.
The Badgers control their own destiny and with a win on Friday, they could sneak into the postseason.
"We're going to win it," Peterson said about his team's next game against Shadow Mountain.