9/29/2013 6:02:00 AM Kingman High finds its footing, closes down Coconino
Kingman senior wide receiver Sean Curran runs to right side against Bradshaw Mountain Sept. 20. The Bulldogs’ running game picked up in Friday’s 34-21 win at Coconino. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - As in their road win at Goldwater two weeks ago, the Kingman High School football team struggled early with their running game at Coconino High School in Flagstaff Friday night and were down 7-6 at halftime.
That changed in the third quarter, when the offense caught fire - which is exactly what happened two weeks ago. The ground attack emerged en route to a 34-21 win over the Panthers.
"Once we came out in the second half, I felt we flipped the switch," Kingman head coach David Ward said. "The intensity level and the amount of guys contributing, I was very impressed with that.
"We started out throwing the ball. But sooner or later, you've got to run the ball. In the second half, we just said, 'Look, we're going to take this 10 yards at a time.' That's when everything blew wide open. We just pounded it."
Kingman (now 3-2) tallied 244 total rushing yards, including 136 rushing yards from senior wide receiver Joe Scott (who also tallied 36 yards on three receptions and two touchdown receptions, one for 37 yards).
Senior quarterback Tyler Logas threw for 202 yards on 12-of-17 passing with four touchdowns (two to Scott, two to junior fullback Daniel Williford, who had two receptions for 52 yards in 3Q including a 37-yard reception).
"He put tremendous touch on the ball," Ward said of Logas.
Logas also tallied 63 rushing yards, adding to the two-dimensional offensive scheme.
While the offense did major damage in the third quarter, the defense was stellar. They surrendered zero points in the third quarter.
Many of the upperclassmen contributed.
Senior defensive backs Dalton DeLong and Jake Coffman combined for 21 tackles (Delong had 12, Coffman added nine). Seniors Steven Bonfield and Jack Gilliam added nine and seven tackles, respectively.
Senior cornerback Skylar Burgess had a fumble recovery and an interception, while senior defensive end Chase Commins had a fumble recovery.
"I was very pleased with our pass rush and our pass defense. We did a lot of work in practice, coverage down the distance," Ward said.
Commins' impact was especially huge.
"He brought it all night. He did his assignments. He couldn't have drawn it up any better. He was full-throttle," Ward said of the 6-foot-4 lineman.
That allowed Ward to play some of his younger players toward the end, which he feels will benefit them heading into next fall.
Already leading 34-7 after the third quarter, every player on Kingman's roster was able to get playing time.
Williford also made a lasting impression. Despite dealing with muscle cramps in practice earlier in the week - Ward said he was "doubtful to questionable" as of Thursday morning - Williford suited up. More importantly, he delivered. Aside from his two touchdown receptions, he blocked efficiently. That's when he is a strong commodity at the line of scrimmage.
The Bulldogs will return home to face Prescott High School (also 3-2, following a 55-0 home win against Mohave High School this past weekend) at 7 p.m. Friday.