9/8/2013 6:00:00 AM Return sets tone as Kingman High pounds Parker Bulldogs grind down foe with ground game
Kingman’s Dalton Delong throws a Parker running back for a loss during Friday’s game at KHS.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner A Parker runner takes the pitch and finds little room to run as Skyler Burgess (24), Steven Bonfield (25) and Dakota James (9) close in.
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - David Ward demands urgency, especially in the running game. His Kingman football team hasn't taken full advantage of the ground attack - until now.
Right from the get-go, senior defensive end Chase Cummings scored an 80-yard touchdown off the opening kick return. That set the tone the rest of the evening.
The Bulldogs built momentum off rushing plays. The backfield constantly found ways to break through Parker High's defensive front. Senior quarterback Tyler Logas found a comfortable groove to throw for 70 yards and two touchdowns, with senior Sean Curran hauling in eight of those passes for 55 yards and the two scores. The defense also stopped Parker in its tracks, including three sacks and four fumble recoveries - all en route to a 42-7 Kingman victory on Friday night.
"That's what we've been working on, fast pace," said Kingman senior Joe Scott, who tallied 123 total rushing yards and three first-half touchdowns. "We beat them up physically. And then we just took them. We just made it all happen. We all contributed as a team."
After the opening kickoff return, Kingman settled in nicely. The Bulldogs created space on the field to produce sizable yardage and capped it off with points on the board.
As their lead grew, so did their self-confidence. Not just during the game, but also in looking at the bigger, immediate picture. That's what Ward wants his team to understand: they have the talent, but they also have to demonstrate it on the field.
"Once they have to commit to that one step inside, then the vertical stuff opens up. It's very simple," Ward said. "The kids knew that they could play. This put the belief into them, what we could do if we come and put the hat on them for four periods. Don't get distracted, don't get down, keep the motor running.
"I told them, 'You can play with anybody any night if you come to play.' That's what this [game] showed me."
A definite sign of progress occurred when they started running a continuous clock with 7:41 left in the third quarter. Up 42-0 at that point, the Bulldogs felt assured they had control. And if this adds any indication of how much Kingman contained Parker, the Broncs didn't score until a minute, 13 seconds into the fourth quarter. Parker junior quarterback Cody Esquerra spotted an opening and scored on a 14-yard run.
This is the type of effort Kingman wants to put forth. KHS will look to build on it heading into this upcoming Thursday's game at Goldwater High School in Phoenix, which starts at 7 p.m.
"We're going to come out and slug it out, try to use as many guys as I can," Ward said. "We're going to try to be fundamentally sound and wait until the other team cracks."