11/1/2013 6:00:00 AM Tigers, Volunteers collide in landmark game today
Volunteers quarterback Braxton Burgess fakes a hand-off to running back Jason Ruiz at practice Wednesday. LWHS plays at Kingman Academy tonight.
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
LWHS coach well aware of what Tomlinson, Tigers can do
KINGMAN - Eugene Kramer knows what Austin Tomlinson and Kingman Academy are capable of.
He should, considering he coached players such as Tomlinson in 2010 and 2011. Now the head coach at Lee Williams High School, Kramer has put a lot of emphasis in practice on limiting how much damage Tomlinson inflicts on his Volunteers when the two teams collide at 7 p.m. today at Southside Park.
Tomlinson and the Tigers have a solid leader on the sidelines, Kramer added.
"We know we face a good coach in Wally Mueller. I'm sure he's going to do some things to make our life a little tougher in the running game. We're just going to have to adjust, adapt," Kramer said. "We're going into the game with a lot of different options left open that we can go to."
One option Lee Williams (3-6) will utilize is its running game, where the Volunteers have a one-two punch of their own in 6-foot-2 Dallas Morgan and 5-foot-10 Jason Ruiz. Both are sophomores.
Morgan is a power back, Ruiz relies more on speed and agility. They'll face a KAHS' line that has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play all year. Lee Williams hopes its backfield can start breaking down the Tigers' defensive front from the get-go.
"We want to go out and prove what we have at running [back], start with a good drive," Ruiz said. "I've learned a couple things from Dallas. I certainly look up to him as a good running back."
A team of freshmen and sophomores, Lee Williams is playing for its own pride and integrity. And the Volunteers know how meaningful tonight's game is. It's the first time in Kingman history two in-town schools will have varsity teams duke it out on the football field.
Mueller: Tigers will set the record straight against Vols
KINGMAN - The Kingman Academy High School football team is healthy and ready to rock.
Facing Lee Williams High School at 7 p.m. today at Southside Park - the first-ever in-town varsity football game in Kingman history - the Tigers want to remind the Volunteers how important experience is. LWHS, which opened last year, has only freshmen and sophomores in the student body and on the team.
KAHS head coach Wally Mueller said the extra experience will be the deciding factor going up against Dallas Morgan and Jason Ruiz. The two sophomore running backs have given teams like Pinon and Sedona Red Rock trouble the past couple of weeks.
Mueller likes his team's chances of stopping that 1-2 punch.
"We'll contain them. We will handle them," Mueller said. "Our defense, last week, played as good as any defense in the state against a very, very powerful football team. I think there's just enough frustration left in this team that they're going to want to set the record straight."
Kingman Academy lost 20-13 at Williams last Friday in a defensive battle.
"It was so intense. We were right there on top," Tigers senior quarterback Austin Tomlinson said of last Friday's game. "Seriously, I had fun. We, for the most part, had our heads in the game."
It boiled down to penalties and turnovers. KAHS had more of them that night, including a penalty called on the offensive line when the Tigers had a golden opportunity to tie the game.
It came on a trick play pass that gained close to 60 yards. However, the offensive line was flagged for having an illegal receiver downfield, a penalty that effectively killed the drive.
Kingman Academy also committed eight turnovers - three fumbles and five interceptions.
"We had some inopportune penalties that shut us down when we were starting to get our wheels under us and get going," Mueller said.
They hope to correct that heading into tonight.
"We've got to show up and play because there's no way you can take Lee Williams lightly. Sedona found that out," Mueller said.
Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Article comment by:
They called it a scrimmage - not a real game. They said a bunch of freshmen and sophomores could not beat them but would be contained and handled. Since the schedule came out last May, they have been taunting those they said they could easily beat. Last night, the Academy was handed their lunch by a bunch of Freshmen and Sophomore players, who voluntarily worked their butts off all summer long for just one game - last nights game - to prove they deserved the title of Varsity. We played a mix of first and second stringers all night and our boys proved that what you called a scrimmage was smash mouth football at it's finest!