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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
12:14 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

1A State Football Playoff (8-man) Championship preview

1A STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CAPSULE (8-MAN)

Saturday, Nov. 12 Championship

(3) Williams Vikings vs. (1) Bagdad Sultans

Kickoff, 6 p.m.

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Williams Vikings

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Bagdad Sultans

LOCATION

Maricopa High School football field, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave. in Maricopa (south of Phoenix).

RECORDS

Williams – 9-1 overall, 6-0 North Region. Bagdad – 10-0 overall, 5-0 West Region.

COMMON OPPONENTS

Williams (2-0) – Hayden [W, 42-6, Aug. 26]; Valley Union [W, 72-28, Oct. 29 in state quarterfinals]. Bagdad (2-0) – Valley Union [W, 72-8, Aug. 19]; Hayden [W, 66-26, Oct. 29 in state quarterfinals].

HEAD-TO-HEAD (LAST MEETING)

Sept. 2, 2016 – Bagdad 56, Williams 22 (regular season).

POINTS FOR-AGAINST

Williams: 556-192. Bagdad: 670-176.

COACHES

Williams – Jeff Brownlee. Bagdad – Dalton Mills.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Williams – QB/CB/P Martin Soria (1,496 yards passing, 18 TDs, 4 INT; 932 yards rushing, 18 TDs; 45 total tackles, interception, 2 pass deflections, fumble recovery; 9 punts for 290 yards, 32.2-yard average); RB/CB/KR/PR Tyler Smith (817 yards rushing, 17 TDs; 334 yards receiving, 4 TDs; 38 total tackles, 5 interceptions, 3 pass deflections; 209 kick-return yards, 114 punt-return yards with a TD); WR/DE Zack Perkins (398 yards receiving, 6 TDs; 58 total tackles, 7 sacks, 9 hurries, 3 fumble recoveries, blocked punt); WR/CB Daniel Lopez (353 yards receiving, 5 TDs; 108 yards rushing, 3 TDs; 45 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 pass deflections); FB/OLB Tate Grantham (103 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 hurries, 3 interceptions, fumble recovery); MLB/TE Ethan Johnson (68 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, sack, 2 hurries, 5 fumble recoveries, caused fumble).

Bagdad – QB Israel Loveall (2,582 yards passing, 53 TDs, 1 INT in 10 games; 452 yards rushing, 7 TDs in 9 games); WR/CB Benjamin Loveall (789 yards receiving, 18 TDs in 9 games; 30 total tackles, 7 INTs, 2 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries in 9 games); RB/LB Connor Pacheco (617 yards rushing, 10 TDs in 9 games; 74 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 3 fumble recoveries in 10 games); TB/WR Devin Nelson (443 yards rushing, 8 TDs; 246 yards receiving, 3 TDs; 55 total tackles in 9 games); TE/WR Michael Mendez (663 yards receiving, 12 TDs in 10 games; 47 total tackles in 9 games); WR/DT Jordin O’Neill (585 yards receiving, 11 TDs in 10 games; 36 total tackles, 8 sacks, 3 pass deflections in 9 games); CB Scott Finnerty (26 tackles, 8 INTs, 4 pass deflections, fumble recovery in 9 games).

SKINNY

Under coach Dalton Mills, Bagdad High’s football team will play in its third 8-man state championship game in the past four years. The Sultans won the state title in 2013 and they finished as the runners-up in 2014. In 2015, Bagdad lost in the state semifinals. On Saturday, the unbeaten Sultans are favored to beat Williams and once again hoist the championship trophy.