Daniel Bridge-Gadd‘s team didn’t win a state championship this season, but the young quarterback still wound up with the big prize. The Paradise Valley High School senior was named the azcentral Big Schools Player of the Year.
But you could see this one coming as far back as his sophomore year. In the second game of the 2013 season, also just his second start under center, Bridge-Gadd passed for 406 yards to squeeze out a 59-55 victory in a game that renewed a rivalry between the Trojans and North Canyon High that had been sidelined for almost a decade.
He threw 45 passes and completed 32 of them, leading his team to a second straight victory as the Trojans began on the path to posting a mediocre 5-5 record that year. But, with a year of experience under his belt, he pushed that mark to 10-2 as a junior, finishing the season with 2,740 passing yards and 41 touchdowns.
This year he put together an undefeated regular season and took his team into the state championship game with a 13-0 record.
PV fell two points short of winning the school’s first-ever football state title, falling to Desert Edge High School, 29-27. But Bridge-Gadd gave it everything he had for the final game of his prep career, throwing for 415 yards and three touchdowns. In the final minutes of that championship game he engineered a 59-yard drive that took the Trojans to the Desert Edge 17 before time ran out and a final field-goal attempt fell short.
His senior year was the most productive of his career as he finished the 2015 campaign with 4,268 yards and 47 touchdowns, which put him at the top of the list among Arizona’s prep quarterbacks, and among the 10 best in the country. He completed a sizzling 67 percent of his pass attempts and posted a QB rating of 135.1.
Oh yeah, he also ran for another 627 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Bridge-Gadd finishes his high school career with 9,411 passing yards.
In addition to the Big Schools POY, which includes Divisions I through III, he was also named the D-III Player of the Year. Next year he starts all over again, playing for the University of Washington.
While Bridge-Gadd was picking apart defenses with his passing, Joe Logan was running over them.
Logan, the Small Schools Player of the Year, led all running backs in the state by piling up 2,600 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns. And that was while working on a part-time basis. His Estrella Foothills team was so good that he was often sitting it out by the time the second half began, to keep a rout from getting out of hand. He was able to get four complete quarters in just five games – but still managed to post at least 200 yards rushing in seven different games.
Behind his running, Estrella was able to compile an 8-4 record and got as far as the D-IV state quarterfinals.
Those schools that have made scholarship offers to the 5’11”, 185-pound back include Northern Arizona University, South Dakota, and Weber State.
He was also named the Division IV Player of the Year.