Originally Published: August 24, 2018 8:43 p.m.
Updated as of Friday, August 24, 2018 9:51 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from its original version.
Badgers, Dorados to make up game Sept. 21 during Week 6 bye
TUCSON — Generally, Arizonans appreciate the monsoon weather late in the summer, but on Friday night’s during football season, not so much.
With no relief in sight after heavy rains drenched the gridiron and multiple lightning strikes forced fans, players and coaches to take cover, game officials finally decided to postpone the Prescott-Canyon del Oro football contest nearly an hour after kickoff was scheduled.
The two teams will meet again on the same field in Tucson at Canyon del Oro on Friday, Sept. 21. Both clubs were scheduled to have a bye in Week 6.
“Lightening is probably one of the scariest weather related causes of sports disturbances often causing many people to question why, but it is imperative that we follow the protocols and best practices established by the AIA and the NFHS in regards to lightening and weather protocols,” Prescott Athletic Director Missy Townsend said via text message Friday night. “We will always err on the side of caution to ensure our student athletes and fans are safe. It was right decision made in Tucson tonight in conjunction with the officials, coaches and AD of Canyon del Oro.”
The AIA announced around 8:45 p.m. that all games played in southern Arizona were postponed due to lightning and rain, and would be made up at a later date, some as soon as Saturday. Several other games in the Phoenix area reportedly received delays.
Badgers head coach Michael Gilpin said everyone was “safe,” adding despite having to sit through a four-hour bus ride, only to turn around and come back home without playing a game, he would have been more disappointed if there wasn’t a reschedule.
“The silver lining is we don’t lose the game. We get to play. I didn’t want a non-contest decision, where they split power points or whatever,” Gilpin said in a phone interview Friday night.
The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning in Tucson on Friday afternoon, and based on weather radar in the area, Gilpin said, the percentage of rain and lighting was going up by the hour.
“I’ve never in my life been involved in a cancellation, and I’ve been coaching football a long time,” Gilpin said.
The Badgers (0-1, 0-0 Grand Canyon) are coming off a 40-17 loss last week at the hands of Desert Edge, which scored 14 unanswered points in the second half in the win.
Prescott was looking to bounce back after the ugly loss to even its record at 1-1. The last time the Badgers lost back-to-back games to begin a season 0-2 was against Mingus (40-6) and Bradshaw Mountain (49-6) in 2010.
It was Lou Beneitone’s last season on the sidelines for Prescott.
The Badgers will have a week to prepare for another road trip south, this time to Phoenix where they will play Moon Valley. Prescott upset the Rockets 33-27 at home a season ago. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.