Badgers thrill home crowd with victory over Air Force Academy Prep 31-16
By James Tilson
EPHRAIM—The Snow College Badgers football team opened their 2019 home schedule by prevailing over a hard-nosed Air Force Academy Prep team by a score of 31-16.
The game did not start well, as early mistakes and miscues put the Huskies up front early. The Badgers gave up a safety and a touchdown in the first quarter, and found themselves behind 9-0 to start the game. The Badgers started to get into gear in the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns behind their rapid-fire offense. But the Huskies kept pace, and the score at half was 14-16 in favor of Air Force Prep.
“Our guys, I think, they come out a little too amped up, and by the time they calm down they’re fine,” said Snow Coach Andrew Mitchell. “But if they’re up against really good teams (like last week) it’s too late.”
Unlike last week, however, the Badgers had kept Air Force Prep within their sights and in the second half the Badger defense and offense asserted themselves. In the second half, other than the first and last drives of the half, the Huskies did not gain a first down on offense and were completely shut out. The Badger “D” also forced its first two take-aways of the year.
“The type of defense we play, we’ve got to get take-aways, and this week we finally did,” said Mitchell. “Against a ball-control kind of team like [Air Force Prep], it’s huge.”
The Badger offense also came alive in the second half, stringing together two touchdown drives and a field goal to break open a close game into a blowout. However, even in the second half, the Badgers still had to contend with mistakes and penalties.
“Same story for three games,” said Mitchell. “When we do what we do, fast plays with tempo, we can be explosive. We’ve been killing ourselves with mistakes and penalties. We’ve got to be more disciplined and smarter.”
Snow quarterback Braxton Kerr finished the game 18 of 29, with one touchdown and two interceptions. Snow running back Shamma Luani had 74 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Sione Molisi had 29 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Keashawn McCoy had another big game for the Badgers, receiving for 60 yards and a touchdown.
The victory propelled Snow to a 2-1 record on the year. The Badgers continue with the home schedule this year by hosting Lackawanna Community College on Saturday, in a rare afternoon game scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
“Lackawanna is a quality program; they have a lot of talent every year,” Mitchell said. “Their scheme is a lot like what we do, so we’ll have some familiarity with it. It will come down to execution.”