Prescott v. Cactus Shadows

The Badger defense dominanted in win over Cactus Shadows

After a tough season-opening schedule and a pair of heart-breaking losses, the Badgers have now won three straight after a 17-13 non-region win over Cactus Shadows Friday night at Bill Shepard Field. For the third straight year Prescott defeated a state champion from the year before.

Once again, the Badger defense led the way and their offense did enough to come out with a win.

To start the season the Prescott defense gave up an average of 33 points in losses against two top teams in state Saguaro and Chaparral. Since then the defense has surrendered a total of 47 points in the last five games. In these games the defense has made the opposing offense one dimensional. Either shutting the offense down on the ground or through the air.

The Falcons went on an impressive 80 yard drive at the start of the game for a touchdown. The Prescott defensive tackles were too high coming off the ball and were over pursuing. Cactus Shadows took advantage of the mistakes. Their offense ran the ball up the middle on blasts and were able to gain large chunks of yardage at a time. From then on, the Badger defense allowed no points, just a tad over 90 total yards and picked off three passes.

Cactus Shadows moved the ball fairly effectively on the ground, but was unable get much through the air. On the ground they were led by sophomore running back, Stephens with 140 yards on 25 carries.

The Falcons quarterback Dillon Classen went 5-23 for just 37 yards. On the opening touchdown drive Classen looked poised and was able to throw the ball out of bounds when faced with pressure. After the first quarter the blitzes and defensive line got to Classen and the defense was able to bully him into making bad decisions with the ball. He ended up throwing three interceptions.

Prescott's offense, on the other hand, made enough plays to take advantage of what its defense was doing.

In the second quarter Prescott barely moved the ball and had failed to capitalize on good field position. But things changed when Chris Shipp broke a 59-yard touchdown run down the left sideline on the first play of the drive. Shipp made a quick stutter step at the line of scrimmage on the sweep to get away from a defender. When he came around the corner there was a wall set up, as his teammates picked up blocks for him all the way down the field.

Prescott displayed a duo in the backfield that both went over a 100 yards on the ground. Shipp scampered for 115 yards while Jarvis ran defenders over for 141. The offense couldn't produce any points though until the first play of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Josh Chavez found Keith Knudsen in the middle of the field for the go-ahead 14-yard touchdown, that capped the key drive of the game.

For both offenses the success mostly came from the ground game. Both teams found a good amount of success throughout the game this way.

Prescott didn't use its passing game much, but used it well. Chavez finished 5-for-9 for 64 yards with no interceptions.

Prescott's Branden Howell added a field goal in the final minute to seal the win before Danny Trittler of Cactus Shadows returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards to give the Falcons a shot. But the extra point was blocked from pressure up the middle and they failed to recover the onside kick with 13 seconds left.

Cactus Shadows has a very young and talented team that will grow with experience. They played well and were in the game until the fourth quarter. They will contend in years to come in 4A1.

Cactus Shadows (0-2, 2-5)- They play back at home against McClintock this Friday night. Prescott (2-0, 3-4) heads to Thunderbird to play the Chiefs in the biggest game of region play so far. This game could possibly be for the region title and a playoff birth.

Game Ball

The Prescott defense. After an opening-drive touchdown, the Badgers  shutdown Cactus Shadows, picking off the Falcons three times and holding them to 92 total yards.

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