Bagdad wins battle of 8-man powers
Bagdad’s football team upped its winning streak to 13 games — dating back to last year’s unbeaten season — on Friday night, drubbing defending California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) eight-man state champion Joshua Springs Christian, 56-24, at Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff.
In the process, the defending Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) 1A state champion Sultans ended Joshua Springs’ impressive string of 31 straight victories. The squad from the Golden State has captured eight out of the last 10 eight-man state titles in California.
With the big win, Bagdad improved its record to 2-0 overall; it won a Week Zero game Aug. 18.
Sultans senior quarterback Israel Loveall led Bagdad, completing 17 of 23 passes for 323 yards. He ran the ball 14 times for 50 yards. Wideout Scott Finnerty had seven receptions for 200 yards, including an 80-yard TD grab. He ran the ball nine times for 61 yards.
Bagdad led 28-6 at halftime and Joshua Springs did not begin to make headway offensively until the Sultans put their freshmen on the field in the second half, Bagdad coach Dalton Mills said.
Bagdad turns around in Week 2 to play another tough contest, this time at Williams — the defending 1A state tournament runner-up. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday on Williams High School’s football field.
“We’re looking forward to a rematch with Williams,” Mills said.
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