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In facing its best opponent yet, the Sedona Majors football team came up just short Saturday, Oct. 16, losing to the Wickenburg Wranglers, 28-22.

“Even though we lost, the Wickenburg coaches told us we were the best all-around team they had seen this season. They were surprised at what we were able to do against them,” Sedona Head Coach Tony Hauserman said.

Mason Bradshaw stops a Wickenburg running back during the first quarter at Sedona Red Rock High School. Bradshaw led the team with nine tackles for the game.Wickenburg, ranked No. 2 in the Northern Arizona Youth Football League South division at 6-1, had its hands full with the Scorpions on Saturday.

The Wranglers had lost only one game coming into Saturday against the No. 1 team from the South in the Prescott Valley Storm.

The Storm put up three touchdowns in an 18-14 victory over Wickenburg. It was the only points allowed all season by the Wranglers until they played Sedona over the weekend.

After forcing a three-and-out by Wickenburg’s offense, Sedona got the ball and on its fourth play from scrimmage, Sedona quarterback Max Hauserman connected with wide receiver Jack Bottarini on a slant play that went 60 yards for a touchdown.

The score gave Sedona a 6-0 lead and after the extra point, Wickenburg fans began to realize they might be in for a fight.

Wickenburg scored on its next possession and made it 8-7 on a two-point conversion but on the ensuing kickoff, 13-year-old Josh Cacciatori took it to the house, recording a 70-yard touchdown to give his Scorpions the lead once again.

“The key block on that play came from Rand Schwenke and Mason Bradshaw. Cacciatori did the rest,” Tony Hauserman said.

The rest of the way it was a battle. The two teams tied 14-14 going into halftime and were tied again at 22-22 heading into the fourth quarter.

Wickenburg scored a late touchdown after a blocked punt that would give them a 28-22 advantage, which was the final.

Overall, the Scorpions put up over 260 yards of offense and got a true test of what it might be like in the playoffs come November.

Josh Cacciatori of the Sedona Majors football team breaks a tackle during his 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter of the team’s game against Wickenburg on Saturday, Oct. 16. Sedona lost 28-22.Standouts included Hauser-man, who completed four of eight passes for 85 yards, and two touchdowns while Cacciatori had 16 carries for 79 yards and a two-point conversion.

Bottarini had two catches for 70 yards and a touchdown while Tyler Underwood had four carries for 27 yards.

Defensively, Bradshaw led the Scorpions with nine tackles while Underwood had four tackles and two sacks.

With the loss, Sedona drops its record to 5-2 overall this season but still remains No. 2 in the North division.

The Scorpions will wrap up the regular season in a final tune-up with the Dewey Mustangs of the South on Saturday, Oct. 23.

The Sedona/Dewey-Humboldt match up will be played at Sedona Red Rock High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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