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11:18 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Rockets stall, Prescott steals one late, 32-29

Badgers overcome 10-point deficit in 4th quarter to beat Moon Valley

PHOENIX – Collin Mills had over 150 yards rushing and three touchdowns, but none more important than his 5-yard go-ahead score with 25 seconds remaining for the Prescott football team, which overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to claim a 32-29 road victory over Moon Valley on Friday night.

Trailing 29-19 with 5:58 to play, Prescott quarterback Ryan Greene found wideout Jake Gathman on a 25-yard touchdown pass to pull the Badgers within four, 29-25.

After a mysterious fake punt by Moon Valley on the ensuing possession, Prescott took over and marched down the field.

The Badgers converted on a fourth-and-14 at the 1:29 mark in the fourth quarter when Greene lofted the ball to Aaron Marquardt, who out-jumped his defender to give Prescott a first-and-10 on Moon Valley’s 15-yard line.

Two plays later, Mills crashed across the goal line to give the Badgers the lead for good.

“It’s difficult to put into words how proud I have of these guys. I made a couple of stupid mistakes, and I almost took it away from the boys,” first-year Prescott head coach Michael Gilpin said. “I’m so proud, they have so much character. … It’s just a great victory, they never quit. They never give up.”

After last week’s devastating 23-3 loss to Cactus Shadows when Gilpin said he was “out-coached” and “out-prepared,” he predicted in the locker room Mills would have a big night Friday.

“I told him, ‘Collin, you’re going for 200 [yards] tonight.’ And I bet he came pretty close,” Gilpin said on the field after the game. “Our offensive line is so underrated, but those guys grind. … The big boys opened holes and Collin went with them.”

In the first half, Mills put the Badgers on the board first with a 19-yard touchdown run at the 6:42 mark in the first quarter. Mills’ touchdown run was set up by Marquardt’s blocked punt after Moon Valley’s first possession.

by Brian M. Bergner Jr.

To begin the second quarter, Lio Teutupe’s 7-yard touchdown run gave the Rockets a temporary 7-6 lead, but Prescott responded on a 13-yard touchdown scamper by Mills with 7:51 to play in the first half, taking a 12-7 lead.

On the ensuing possession, a David Pearce blitz produced a sack and forced fumble by Moon Valley quarterback Nathan Pollard, giving Prescott the ball inside the Rockets’ own 20.

Pearce followed up his defensive play with a 6-yard touchdown run, making it a 19-7 Prescott lead with 7:08 remaining in the second quarter.

Before halftime, Moon Valley capped a 27-point second quarter by both offenses when Pollard found Randy Grivel on a 55-yard touchdown pass, cutting into Prescott’s lead and making it a 19-14 game.

Teutupe rushed for his second touchdown on a 1-yard run with 2:36 to go in the third quarter, giving Moon Valley a 22-19 lead.

With 0:32 left in the third, Pollard found Timothy Knight on a 30-yard strike, giving Moon Valley a 29-19 lead they would fail to hold on to.

NEXT UP

Prescott (2-2, 0-0 4A Grand Canyon) returns home to host Lee Williams in the Grand Canyon region opener Friday, Sept. 23. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Moon Valley (2-2, 0-0 4A West Valley) will host Cactus Shadows, which is coming off a 41-21 loss to Cactus on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is a sports writer and columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.