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Thu, April 25

Prep Football: Prescott bounces back, blasts Rockets at home

Photos by Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Prescott’s Brady Mengarelli (above) runs to the sideline after a long gain in the first half of Friday night’s matchup against Phoenix Moon Valley. Kaine Bryze (below) catches a touchdown pass in the first half.

Photos by Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Prescott’s Brady Mengarelli (above) runs to the sideline after a long gain in the first half of Friday night’s matchup against Phoenix Moon Valley. Kaine Bryze (below) catches a touchdown pass in the first half.

PRESCOTT - When in doubt, run with the pigskin.

That's exactly what the Prescott High School football team did Friday night in snapping a two-game losing streak.

Tailbacks Dakoda Peterson and Brady Mengarelli rushed for a combined 260 yards and four touchdowns as the Badgers rolled to a 33-7 victory over Phoenix Moon Valley in an interdivisional clash Friday night at Bill Shepard Field.

Division II Prescott evened its record at 2-2 overall and rebounded against the D-III Rockets, who dropped to 1-3.

"This win means a lot to our confidence," said Mengarelli, whose team lost in a pair of blowouts to high-caliber competition on the road the past two weeks. "To get the joy of football back in front of a home crowd is a huge boost for us."

PHS led just 14-7 at halftime, but outscored Moon Valley 19-0 in the second half behind monster performances from Peterson and Mengarelli.

Mengarelli's 50-yard scoring run down the right sideline with 5:18 left in the second quarter broke a 7-7 tie and led to Prescott registering 26 unanswered points.

Prescott coach Steve Moran said he was pleased with his players' effort in bouncing back.

"It's pretty comfortable being at home and getting a win, and you kind of got things going your way," Moran said. "This is good for the kids. They needed this. This was an important game for the rest of our season, really."

After Prescott's first two series of the second half stalled, Peterson's 47-yard scoring scamper, also along the right sideline, provided all of the momentum the Badgers needed to take control of the game. PHS went up 21-7 with 54 seconds left in the third quarter and never looked back.

"All week, that's all we worked on - was making our offense move, because we hadn't been moving like we wanted to the last couple games," Peterson said. "So the focus was moving the ball and getting first downs."

Junior quarterback Nick Rock received his first start of the season Friday after regular starter Brad Hall was listed second on the depth chart with a hand injury, Moran said.

The mobile Rock played admirably, rushing five times for 49 yards despite completing only 4-of-9 passes for 57 yards and throwing a pair of interceptions in the second half.

"I was a little nervous at first, but my teammates kept me going and got me fired up," Rock said.

Prescott's defense pitched a shutout in the final two quarters against a Rockets offense that could never really get going with the exception of a lengthy scoring drive to start the second quarter.

Moon Valley mustered just two first downs in the second half as the Badgers keyed in on the Rockets' running game, limiting them to 68 yards on 37 carries. MVHS junior quarterback Israel Vega (9-for-26, 87 yards) struggled at times, even though his receivers occasionally couldn't find the handle on some mid-range passes downfield.

"The biggest thing is when we got down here (toward the red zone), we couldn't finish the drive," Rockets coach Mark Smith said. "We had opportunities."

One of the Badgers' main weaknesses in the game came on the penalty front. PHS was whistled for nine flags for 93 yards in losses, including a couple of sloppy personal fouls.

PHS moves on to face fellow D-II, Section III opponent Cactus Shadows next Friday in Cave Creek. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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