Despite injury to QB Austin Clark, Badgers hang on to beat Coconino 28-16
Clark’s status for next week’s Bradshaw Mountain clash unknown
PRESCOTT — Despite a toe injury that sidelined quarterback Austin Clark for the entire second half, Prescott held on defensively for a 28-16 win over No. 7-ranked Coconino on Friday night.
The win sets up a highly-anticipated matchup next week with cross-town rival Bradshaw Mountain, who throttled Flagstaff 42-7 on Friday and improved to perfect 7-0.
Tying the 1986 team for the best start in school history, the No. 2-ranked Bears (7-0, 3-0 Grand Canyon) may even be No. 1 in the state come next Tuesday morning after defeating the Eagles in dominating fashion.
In the first half for Prescott, Clark scored two touchdowns for the No. 20-ranked Badgers (4-2, 2-0 Grand Canyon), but sat helplessly on the trainers table during the final offensive series before halftime and did not return.
Clark’s 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter put Prescott up 7-0. Ean Porter made it 14-6 on a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:58 to play in the second quarter, and Clark’s 1-yard quarterback sneak gave the Badgers a commanding 21-6 lead before halftime.
Coconino quarterback Ty Furr put the Panthers (4-2, 1-2 Grand Canyon) on the board in the first quarter thanks to a 5-yard pass to Zach Bennett.
In the fourth quarter, a 17-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Dellin Boyd put the Badgers up 28-6 and they never looked back.
Boyd gave all the credit to his offensive line after Friday night’s win.
“They are a bunch of good guys, they block hard,” Boyd said. “We missed Austin, but hopefully he’s back next week.”
Aaron Greene, who spent a few offensive series’ at quarterback himself Friday night was more excited about how well his squad played defensively against Coconino.
“You know, we came out in the second half knowing Austin was out, he’s really been the playmaker for us, so losing that big playmaking ability, your defense has to come out and absolutely stop the ball,” said Greene, who had three sacks late in the game to help thwart any comeback attempt by the Panthers.
“They can’t get points because it’s going to be a scramble to get points yourself,” he added.
Prescott head coach Cody Collett said he was proud of Greene for how’s he’s stepped up this season defensively, especially against Coconino on Friday night.
“He’s 6-4, 225, and he can run like a deer. He’s a tough matchup for any high school tackle. He’s going to grow into his body and be a force at the next level,” Collett said. “In high school, it’s almost not even fair sometimes out there.”
BOYD AT QB
When asked how he’ll mentally prepare knowing he may need to start against Bradshaw Mountain in seven days, Boyd was quick to point out he’ll just do his job.
“I’m going to work my hardest, show up every day and try and lead this team. Whoever starts at quarterback next week is fine by me,” Boyd said.
And with Boyd one of the key players on Collett’s defense, the fifth-year coach was positive his backup quarterback can handle playing both ways if needed.
“He’s one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached. He’s a coaches son, he does a great job, and he’s a real heady kid,” Collett said. “I’m not too worried about it. He’s calm, cool and collected, so he’ll be great.”
As for repetitions with the first team offense, Collett said Boyd should get at least half, if not more depending on how Clark progresses with the toe injury.
“At this point in the season, you don’t need to be quite as physical, so if we get rained off the field, we need to really work on the mental side of it,” Collett said. “Obviously, the No. 2 team in 4A, that’s a huge challenge for us, but one that I think were pretty excited about.”
Prescott will travel to Prescott Valley and face cross-town rival Bradshaw Mountain on Friday, Oct. 5. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Coconino hosts Mohave in Week 8. Kickoff set for 7 p.m. in Flagstaff.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @NewsSportsNotes. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.