11/19/2012 6:00:00 AM Tigers don't let this one slip away KAHS stays focused, pounds Southpointe for CAA state title
Parker Phillips (above) catches a pass from Austin Tomlinson during Kingman Academy’s 37-8 win over Phoenix Southpointe Saturday at Phoenix. The Tigers wrapped up a 10-1 season by winning the CAA 4A championship.
Kingman Academy’s Jake Miner proved to be an unstoppable force for the Tigers in two playoff games en route to capturing the tournament’s MVP honors. Miner had a pair of rushing touchdowns in the Tigers 37-8 win Saturday over Phoenix Southpointe in Phoenix to capture the 4A CAA championship.
Kingman Academy 37, Southpointe 8
Southpointe 0 0 0 8- 8
Kingman Academy 6 19 0 12-37
KAHS Parker Phillips 11 pass from Austin Tomlinson (kick failed)
When Christian Adragna scored on a 10-yard run Saturday night to give Kingman Academy a 12-0 lead with 10:18 left in the second quarter, the question for interim KAHS coach Wally Mueller wasn't if the Tigers were going capture their second state championship in three years - it was by how much.
Mueller would get his answer 34 minutes later with a 37-8 win over Phoenix Southpointe at Phoenix Christian High School to capture the 4A Charter Athletic Association title.
"We could hear them on the other side," Mueller said of that point early in the second quarter. "They were starting to fight among themselves and getting down on themselves and we were moving the ball.
"There was no doubt in my mind by halftime that we were going to win the ballgame. The only question was how bad. Southpointe showed their character in the second half and fought back."
Any thoughts of a repeat performance from last year's state championship game, in which Tigers came in over-confident and left disappointed, were quickly squashed hours before kickoff and miles from the stadium.
"They were pretty quiet when they hit Interstate 17 on the bus. I knew by the time we got to the locker room that a storm had descended onto Phoenix and it was wearing white jerseys," Mueller said.
Last year the Tigers (10-1) entered the 3A CAA title game riding high with an 11-0 record and confident after beating Mesa Heritage two weeks earlier. But Heritage jumped to a 22-0 lead and never looked back, handing the Tigers a 60-37 loss.
"You didn't want to come into this game over-confident because that was the worst thing, to lose state last year," said senior Johnny Herrero. "We came in this game and we were ready to play and not over-confident that we are going to win by 50."
Last year, Heritage jumped to 38-8 lead at halftime. This year the roles were reversed, with KAHS taking a 25-0 lead at the break.
Junior quarterback Austin Tomlinson got the scoring started for the Tigers when he found Parker Phillips for an 11-yard strike to give KAHS an early 6-0 lead. After Adragna's touchdown, Jake Miner increased the lead to 18-0 with a 36-yard run as the Tigers were off and running.
"That's what we've been trying to do all year, get that first score and get the momentum," Herrero said. "I think we were unstoppable once we got the momentum."
Despite being the higher seed and the home team, the Tigers wore their white away jerseys because Southpointe was unable wear their road whites. It must have been a good omen for the Tigers, who also wore white jerseys in 2010 then they won the state championship.
Miner's two touchdowns in the championship game helped him to secure the 4A CAA tournament MVP honors.
In addition to Miner's MVP award and the state championship trophy, the Tigers also returned to Kingman with the 4A conference championship trophy.