Photo by Les Stukenberg.
Originally Published: September 15, 2017 11:35 p.m.
PHS vs Moon Valley Football 091517
John Chaffeur caught six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, he ran for one more, but the Prescott football team surrendered over 450 yards defensively as Moon Valley spoiled homecoming, handing the Badgers a 33-27 loss Friday night.
Chaffeur’s 14-yard touchdown run off a jet-sweep quickly put the Badgers up 7-0 just 17 seconds into the first quarter, but they wouldn’t find the end zone again until midway through the second half.
Prescott (2-2, 0-0 Grand Canyon) turned the ball over five times and had six penalties for 75 yards in the loss. Both teams committed a total of eight turnovers.
Quarterback Austin Clark completed 14 of 25 passes for 179 yards, likely a career high, but threw two interceptions and fumbled for Prescott, which managed only 286 yards of total offense.
Clark’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Chaffeur with 5:39 to play in the third quarter brought the Badgers within striking distance at 21-17.
Bryce Peters added a 41-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut Moon Valley’s lead to one, 21-20, but the Rockets answered thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run by Kaylan Elzy and the Badgers never recovered.
Defensively, Moon Valley (3-1, 0-0 West Valley) keyed in on Ryan Greene all night. Prescott’s leading rusher managed only 12 carries for 46 yards, fumbling twice. The senior tailback spent several plays on the sideline with an injured elbow in the first and second half.
“He got knicked up early in the game, they were swarming him,” second-year Prescott head coach Mike Gilpin said. “We’ve come to rely on him a lot, so we had to switch off to other guys.”
Moon Valley quarterback Isaiah Southwick torched the Badgers defensively, completing 10 of 20 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns, his last an 85-yard strike down the right sideline to Bobby Carlon with 3:50 left, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Badgers.
First-year Moon Valley head coach Seth Millican said he “challenged” the boys to fight Friday, and they came through.
“You’re either going to win it or lose it and they came out, they fought and won the fight. That makes us feel pretty good,” Millican said, adding he thinks his football team can surprise a lot of people this season.
“This was our first real test. … This was a game where everyone thought we were going to lose it, but we came in and fought,” Millican said.
Chaffeur said the Badgers struggled defensively because of a “lack of communication,” especially on that last pass by Southwick.
“A couple times … we had 10 [players] out there, nine out there. On the last drive with a few minutes left, they ran outside zone to the left and we didn’t have a player over there,” Chaffeur said. “I have to do a better job of telling the guys who’s on the field. We have to be more of a team, because towards the end there we kind of separated a little bit.”
Prescott begins a two-game road swing next week by traveling north to battle Lee Williams in its Grand Canyon region opener. The Badgers play four of their first six games on the road this season.
Kickoff in Kingman against the Volunteers on Friday, Sept. 22, is set for 7 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is associate sports editor and a columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.