Bradshaw rolls past Mohave for 5th straight win
BULLHEAD CITY – Class 4A No. 10-ranked Bradshaw Mountain won its fifth straight game on Friday night, Oct. 21, staying unbeaten atop the Grand Canyon Region with rival Prescott visiting the Bears for the 2016 regular-season finale next week.
The Bears cruised past winless Mohave, 54-28, on the strength of two third-quarter touchdowns on back-to-back fumble recoveries.
Bradshaw Mountain improved its record to 7-2 overall and 5-0 in region, while Mohave dropped to 0-9 and 0-5.
Now Bradshaw turns its attention to Prescott, which defeated Flagstaff on Friday and stands at 4-1 in the region. If the Bears beat Prescott at Bob Pavlich Field in Prescott Valley at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, they would win the region title outright. If they lose, they would have to share it, thereby muddying the playoff picture.
On Friday, Bradshaw quarterback Gunner Bundrick rushed for three touchdowns of 26, 72 and 37 yards and threw TD passes of 49 and 32 yards.
Mohave tailback Darin Alderman rushed for 240 yards and two TDs.
With Bradshaw leading 28-14 to start the third quarter, Adolfo Mendoza recovered a Mohave fumble deep in its own end. Bundrick then tossed a 32-yard TD screen pass to Jordan Minor on the next play from scrimmage.
Bradshaw’s Olijah Sally recovered another Mohave fumble on the Thunderbirds’ next possession, their fifth turnover of the game.
That miscue resulted in a 49-yard TD pass from Bundrick to Abe Hernandez for a commanding 42-14 Bradshaw lead with 8:49 left in the third quarter.
Mohave didn’t give in, though. The T-birds, who resorted to their power running game the entire evening, saw Alderman score a 6-yard TD with 4:13 in the third.
Later, to start the fourth quarter, Mohave QB Daniel Laughlin, who finished with 100 yards rushing, scampered 51 yards for a TD to cut it to 42-28 Bradshaw.
But with 10:34 left in regulation, Bundrick put the game on ice when he raced 72 yards for yet another TD. After a failed 2-point conversion made it 48-28, Bradshaw starting wideout Nick Othon was ejected, along with a Mohave player, for unsportsmanlike conduct. Under Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) rules, Othon would not be able to play against Prescott next week.
Mohave didn’t complete a pass until the fourth quarter, almost exclusively running the ball with Alderman and Laughlin.
With 4 minutes to go, the Thunderbirds couldn’t convert on fourth-and-1 at the Bradshaw 15. Taking over on downs, Bundrick scored another rushing TD from 37 yards out with 43 seconds left, upping it to 54-28 Bears.
The game didn’t start altogether swimmingly for Bradshaw, though. On the first play of the contest, Othon fumbled after hauling in a 59-yard pass from Bundrick.
Behind a beefy o-line, Mohave then moved down the field on its first drive. An Alderman 4-yard TD run capped it off for a 7-0 Mohave lead with 5:01 to go in the first quarter.
Bradshaw responded on its ensuing possession with a 79-yard TD run by Olijah Sally with 3:55 left in the first to tie it up.
Still knotted at 7-7 early in the second quarter, Bundrick scored his first rushing TD of the game, a 26-yarder, to hand the visitors the lead for good at 14-7. Bradshaw’s Minor subsequently ran a punt back 60 yards for a TD, his first of the season, to extend it to 21-7 with 7:52 left until halftime.
On its following possession, Mohave pieced together a long, time-consuming drive, capped by an Alderman 30-yard TD run. With 2:12 to go, Bradshaw led only 21-14, but tacked on another TD before the half to effectively take control.