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Bulldogs put up a fight in 35-14 loss to Paradise Valley

KINGMAN - There's a reason why football players like former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) go on to have successful careers: size and speed. It's considered a godsend if you have both.

That's what Kingman High football coach David Ward took note of at Paradise Valley High School Friday night in Phoenix. Paradise Valley's big, tall and fast wide receivers (players that are 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3) created a definite mismatch for Kingman's secondary.

The Bulldogs lost 35-14, but Ward thought it could have been far worse.

"They average about 45 points a game," Ward said of the Trojans. "They throw the ball, make no bones about it. They're a better football team than us, but they had to earn everything. They didn't get any big plays. They use a lot of short passes for runs, little flare-outs [or] little dump passes underneath. All we could do was tackle them.

"They methodically moved the ball up the field. That was the most balanced team we played all year."

Paradise Valley (5-2) took advantage in the red zone by the end of the second quarter. They scored on three short touchdown passes in the final three minutes and 23 seconds before halftime, and the Trojans led 21-0.

PVHS' pass coverage also stood out to Ward, who briefly reflected on finding assistant coaches after he arrived.

"The defensive coordinator over there, I tried to bring over the Kingman," Ward said. "They disguised their secondary coverage so well."

On one second-half play, for example, Ward used senior wide receiver Joe Scott (who only had 8 receiving yards, but ran for 60 yards) as a halfback. Throwing the ball, he found a spot in the end zone. That pass was intercepted.

"He just came right over the top and plucked it. It was the most unbelievable play I ever saw," Ward said.

The offense had a rough night. Senior quarterback Tyler Logas finished 3-for-8 for 48 yards and an interception. Logas also had a 5-yard TD run up the middle with 2:16 left in the third quarter.

With 2:32 left in regulation, KHS senior wide receiver Sean Curran found the end zone off of an 8-yard run up the middle.

Still, the offense did minimal damage. They finished with just 112 rushing yards.

Kingman's defense started shutting down Paradise Valley as the game went along. On at least two separate possessions, the Trojans drove the ball deep into Bulldog territory, but were unable to reach the goal line.

Kingman also forced their way into the pocket. In the fourth quarter, senior defensive backs Logan Hawthorne (who already had one sack from the first half) and Cody Ricker combined for a quarterback sack. Senior Steven Bonfield added another sack on the next play.

Bonfield finished with 11 tackles, while senior defensive back Skylar Burgess contributed 13 tackles. Senior defensive back Dalton DeLong led the Bulldogs with 14 tackles.

"We were in position to make plays. We had multiple guys make a lot of good tackles," Ward said, also noting 25 players played defense Friday.

Kingman (3-4) will continue to run tackling drills at practice this week, especially in stopping the run. The Bulldogs will play at Mingus High School in Cottonwood at 7 p.m. Friday.


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