Originally Published: August 29, 2015 12:55 a.m.
PRESCOTT - With two inexperienced quarterbacks who had never thrown a pass in a varsity game, the loss of a 1,400-yard rusher from last year's 7-3 team, no wide receivers returning, and big holes to fill on defense, the Prescott football team faced a lot of uncertainty in its season opener last night against Camelback at Bill Shepard Field.
The Badgers answered those questions in a 49-7 rout of the Spartans, who moved down a notch to Division III this season.
No Skylor Clinton, now a freshman at the University of Wyoming, who rushed for 1,440 yards and 21 touchdowns last year? Junior Christian Setter showed he's capable of filling that void with a career-high 108 yards rushing, including two touchdowns. He also returned a punt 35 yards to set up Prescott's sixth touchdown, an 8-yard run by junior quarterback Dawson Winslow.
Winslow, who started the game, and sophomore Ryan Greene, both showed that they're ready to take charge of the team. Winslow rushed for 72 yards on eight carries and threw one touchdown pass. Greene ran for three touchdowns, including two in the second quarter that broke open a tight game. He also completed four of five passes for 31 yards in the first half.
"Our offense showed it is multi-dimensional," said head coach Cody Collett. "We have a diversity of weapons. Dawson and Ryan ran the offense well," "Their tempo was great. I love two-sport athletes."
Winslow plays on the Badger baseball team under the guidance of his father Kent Winslow. Greene also played baseball for the freshman and varsity teams a year ago. He was the leading rebounder and second leading scorer on the freshman basketball team.
Collett was especially pleased with the Badger defense, which created four turnovers that set up touchdowns. They stifled Camelback's offense all night. The Spartans' deepest penetration for most of the game was the Prescott 45-yard line. The Badgers' defense limited Camelback to 2.9 rushing yards per carry (67 yards rushing), while the offense gained 6.4 yards per rushing attempts (296 yards)
Both teams sputtered on offense for most of the first period. "Camelback smacked us in the mouth early," Collett said.
Late in the opening quarter, Prescott linebacker Luke Roberts blocked a punt to set up the Badgers' first touchdown, a six-yard pass from Winslow to Derek Knotek, who caught four passes for 26 yards in the first half.
"Once I made that block, our intensity seemed to go up and our offense started rolling,"said Roberts, who also had a quarterback sack.
The Badgers scored three touchdowns in an eight-minute span in the second quarter to blow the game wide open. After the defense stopped the visitors on fourth down at the Prescott 45, Greene led the Badgers on a scoring march aided by two costly Camelback penalties. He capped the drive with an 11-yard TD run.
On the next series, Badger defensive end Jon Dwyer recovered a fumble at the Camelback 47 to set up Greene's 17-yard touchdown run. Then Isaiah Washington fell on a Spartan fumble at the visitor's 26-yard line, and Setter scampered 10 yards for a score with 44 seconds remaining in the half to make it 28-0.
In the second half, Austin Mengarelli returned 21 yards to set up a Badger scoring drive that culminated in Setter's four-yard run. In the final quarter, Marco DiMaria intercepted a Camelback pass, and Greene eventually ran it in from six yards out to make it 49-0.
Next week the Badgers will face Thunderbird, which defeated Goldwater last night 29-14.
"It gets a lot tougher next week," said Collett. "That's a freedom game that we tried very hard to get. It will be a big test for us."