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home : sports : local May 26, 2016

10/4/2013 6:01:00 AM
Battered Tigers travel to Red Rock matchup
JC AMBERLYN/MinerKingman Academy’s Austin Tomlinson snags a pass Thursday at practice.

Kingman Academy’s Austin Tomlinson snags a pass Thursday at practice.

Matt Hollinshead
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The Kingman Academy football team is currently in a bittersweet situation, gradually shifting toward the positive end of the spectrum.

While last Friday's 11-point loss at Parker extended their losing streak to three games, the smaller margin of error still means something. To Tigers head coach Wally Mueller, it's a positive step heading into tonight's 7 p.m. game at Red Rock High School in Sedona.

"We did a lot of things right in Parker, despite the score. We were able to move the ball at will," Mueller said. "We finally played four full quarters of football, and we played with some passion. That's something we've been lacking.

"Even though we were behind, our kids never gave up. That was the spark we've been looking for."

Kingman Academy (currently 2-3 this year) is still dealing with health concerns, though. Aside from getting knocked down hard at Parker to where he spat up blood, sophomore fullback Walker Glass also sustained a suspected concussion. He will miss the rest of this season, according to Mueller.

On the other side of the coin, senior tight end Frankie Mueller is expected to return to the lineup by homecoming night Oct. 18 against Greyhills Academy, if not sooner. He had been out since the season opener with a broken collarbone.

The offensive line is also on the mend. Guys like senior center Tarik Skubal and junior offensive lineman Daniel Neal will be 100 percent ready to go tonight.

"We've been working on getting them faster, getting them to play a little more aggressive and stay with their blocks a little bit longer," Mueller said.

They may still be relatively shorthanded, but they still are able to fight. And now that more and more reinforcements are arriving, Mueller feels encouraged about the final stretch.

"I think the hard part of our schedule is behind us," Mueller said. "False starts, with any luck, should be a thing of the past. That's the kind of penalties that were killing us. That's what we worked on hard this week."

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