Originally Published: August 19, 2017 7:13 a.m.
Israel Loveall completed 17 of 28 passes for 354 yards and six touchdowns for Bagdad in a 66-14 rout over Valley Union to open the season Friday night.
Loveall connected with teammate Scott Finnerty on eight of those passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns for Bagdad, which comes into the 2017 campaign as the defending 1A state champions.
Loveall’s six-touchdown start to the season puts him on pace to break his own state record of 59 passing touchdowns set in 2016.
The senior quarterback also had 33 yards rushing on 11 carries, and uncharacteristically threw two interceptions Friday night in Chandler.
Loveall threw only one interception all of last season until the state title game when he threw three against Williams in a 60-6 victory.
“I kind of thought we looked a little rusty, but that’s expected in a Week Zero game,” Bagdad head coach Dalton Mills said.
Bagdad (1-0, 0-0 1A West) now runs its winning streak to 12 games going back to last fall.
Defensively, Owen Barton recorded two tackles, two sacks, forced a fumble and had two punt blocks.
Bagdad is set to face Joshua Springs Christian out of Yucca Valley, California, at the Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff on Friday, Aug. 25.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is associate sports editor and a columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.
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