Bradshaw Mountain won the coin toss and elected to receive to start Friday's first round state playoff football game against the Shadow Mountain Matadors.
Meanwhile, the Bears' defense danced on their home sideline, anxious to get into the game.
"I can't wait!" came out loud and clear from somewhere down the line.
"Go Bears!" shouted someone else.
They didn't have too long to wait. Midway through the first quarter, Carlos Gonzalez scored the first Bradshaw touchdown on the way to a 33-10 victory. Andy Rosas added the PAT, the Bears defense took the field leading 7-0 and kept it that way through the quarter.
In the second quarter, Tyler Audsley intercepted a Matador pass. Gonzalez went down on the next play and stayed down, a victim of a late hit to the knee and a possible torn MCL. Coaches carried him from the field.
The Bears soon got their revenge. Audsley found James Reyes to put Bradshaw in field goal range and Rosas delivered to make it 10-0 four minutes into the quarter.
Bradshaw's defense shut down the Matadors' next drive, but the visitors booted a 43-yard field goal just before halftime.
Entering the third quarter leading 13-3, the Bears didn't start to pull away until the clock showed 4:50, when Shon Do scored. Rosas' kick made it 20-3.
A little more than two minutes later, Shadow Mountain connected on a 54-yard play for what would be the Matadors' lone touchdown of the night. The third quarter ended 20-10.
The No. 11-seeded Matadors' hopes faded 16 seconds into the fourth when Audsley and Rosas combined for another seven points.
Shadow Mountain tried to recover, but refs called back an apparent touchdown because of a false start.
Chris Johnson intercepted the next would-be TD pass in the end zone, allowing the Bears' offense to start from their own 20-yard line.
Audsley soon connected again with Reyes to move the ball down to the Shadow Mountain 30. Do finished the drive with less than five minutes to play. The kick failed, but up 33-10 and with fans ready to head for their warm homes, the Bears, not the cold weather, had put the game on ice.
Gonzalez, whose season ended that night, watched the finish and joined the celebration on crutches. Still he felt good about starting the playoff scoring. How did he manage it?
"I got the ball and just went with it," he said modestly.
Audsley was all smiles when asked if he had any doubts about the game's outcome.
"In the first quarter a little bit, but we knew we would pick it up. It was a well-deserved win for the seniors," the junior said. "They've been working hard all season."
Bradshaw (No. 6) travels to No. 3 Saguaro Friday for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal game. The winner will take on either Catalina Foothills (No. 10 who upset No. 7 Sabino), or No. 2 Queen Creek, at a neutral site for the semi-final the following Friday.