Originally Published: October 10, 2015 6:30 a.m.
PRESCOTT - After Prescott's fifth consecutive win, a 69-28 rout over Apache Junction at Bill Shepard Field last night, Badger coach Cody Collett remarked, "We knew they were tough from what we saw in their wins the last two weeks. They're extremely well-coached and physical. We had to throw the kitchen sink at them."
Prescott also threw the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and microwave at the Prospectors.
The Badgers had five interceptions, a blocked punt, four quarterback sacks, and a perfectly executed gadget play in the second quarter when receiver Derek Knotek caught an overhead lateral pass from quarterback Ryan Greene and then threw a perfect 62-yard pass to David Pearce to put the Badgers ahead
28-6 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. Pearce's blocked punt early in the first quarter set up a 10-yard TD run by Christian Setter.
Nine seconds later, senior linebacker Kyle Peach picked off his first of three interceptions in the game (tying a school record) and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. He now has six interceptions this season, including three he's returned for scores.
"He's a pick-six machine," Collettsaid. "I've never heard of a linebacker with three pick-sixes in seven games."
Peach credited the defensive line with forcing Apache Junction quarterback Jacob Harmon to throw shorter passes that enabled him to pick off the passes.
"When the defensive line makes the quarterback scramble, his eyes are looking for the shorter route," Peach said.
In a play reminiscent of the ending of last year's Super Bowl, Peach's second interception came on the last play of the first half at the Prescott one-yard line that saved a touchdown. He returned his third interception 50 yards in the third quarter. Nate Hayter picked off two interceptions for the Badgers.
With the game virtually over after the first period, the biggest uncertainty for the Prescott last night was when the 42-point mercy rule would kick in and the clock keeps running on plays when it normally would stop. It took 19 minutes and two seconds before Knotek snagged a 28-yard touchdown pass from Greene to put Badgers ahead, 48-6.
Prescott's offense is averaging 46.9 points per game (the school season record is 33.3 ppg), and the defense has limit the opposition to 14.7.
Setter is a big reason for the Badgers' explosive attack. He had five touchdowns in the first half at Coconino last week and scored three times in the first two quarters last night to increase his season total to 18. Setter put the Badgers ahead 14-0 before the game was four minutes old with TD runs of 20 and 10 yards. His third score, a 9-yard scamper at the outset of the second quarter, put Prescott ahead 41-6. Setter gained 150 yards on 16 carries, his fifth 100-yard rushing game in seven outings this season.
Setter is within striking distance of two Prescott season records. He has 17 rushing touchdowns, five short of the record set by Brady Mengarelli in 2012. Guy Grover holds the season overall TD mark with 27 set in 1987.
Senior running back Marco Dimaria ran for two touchdowns, including a nifty 70-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 69-28. He finished with a career-high 124 yards rushing.
"I thought Christian and Marco ran really well," Collett. "That means the offensive line, tight ends, and fullbacks are doing a great job."
Junior quarterback Dawson Winslow added 75 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
Harmon provided some excitement for the visitors despite throwing five interceptions. He threw for 392 yards, including 13 completions in a row in the second half, and four TDs, including three to Assid el-dud Abdul-aziz, who had 12 catches for 215 yards.
"He's a good quarterback," Collett said. "Number 28 [Abdul-aziz] is one of the best receivers I've seen."
The Badgers have three division games remaining at Flagstaff next Friday before returning for home games against arch-rival Bradshaw Mountain and Mingus.
"Our number-one concern is Flagstaff," Collett said. "They cost us a section title and a playoff spot in 2013 when we lost up there in the dome. We're going to have a focused, intense week preparing for them.
"We've had winning seasons every year I've been here," he added. "We want to take it to the next step. We're not going to be satisfied with just a winning season. We want a championship."