Bulldogs hope hard hits enough to topple opponent
Kingman High senior defensive end Chase Commins (left) levels Prescott junior quarterback Will Kepner as the ball was released in the second quarter last Friday. Tackling was addressed in practice this week heading into tonight’s 7 p.m. game at Paradise Valley.
10/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
By Matt Hollinshead
KINGMAN- Kingman High School football head coach David Ward has at least four reasons why last Friday's 52-14 homecoming loss to Prescott High School still bothers him.
"Bayze, Bayze, Bayze, Bayze," Ward said, referring the four rushing touchdowns PHS senior running back Kaine Bayze scored on Kingman. "It was kind of like taking a hammer and hitting a wall, where eventually the hole was going to come through. It was just, 'Hold on for dear life.' I haven't seen a guy that complete."
Ward, a New York Giants fan growing up, even compared the damage Bayze did - 231 rushing yards - to what former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown did to the Giants' defense in the early-1960s.
The game prompted Ward to address tackling concerns. He did that during practice this week, heading into tonight's 7 p.m. game at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix.
"Every time you tackle, you're receiving a blow. At this time of year, you try to work on footwork and getting in position to make a tackle," Ward said. "We've got to make sure we don't miss our first and second tackles.
"They're a quick team. They spread out the field and try to beat you in space," Ward added about Paradise Valley. "They seem to be a team, like Goldwater, with a lot of speed."
Ward also noted that PVHS' interior line is relatively small. Ward feels his players can exploit that with physical toughness.
"Man-on-man, I've even seen games where they've won, but they've been pushed. Real simple: don't let them break loose," Ward said. "I don't want to get into a shootout. I don't want a 13-14-possession game. That's gives them opportunities to score."
That's why Ward hopes the running game can go back to its familiar ways - like rushing for 244 yards at Coconino two weeks ago, compared to their 84 yards rushing against Prescott.
When the backfield constantly attacks through the gaps and starts breaking down opposing defenses, that expands the offense's imagination. They can start wreaking havoc after the ground game takes off running, and senior quarterback Tyler Logas can get everyone else involved.