10/27/2013 6:00:00 AM Turnovers cost Tigers, 20-13
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - When two aggressive squads are locked into a fierce defensive battle, something's got to give.
It came down to penalties, turnovers and fundamental miscues. The Kingman Academy football team was on the losing end of that draw at Williams High School Friday, 20-13.
The Tigers (4-5) threw five interceptions and fumbled three times. Four of those eight turnovers occurred when they got within the Williams High 20-yard-line.
"It was like a Texas two-step. We'd take one step forward, two steps back it seemed like. We just could not sustain an offensive drive when we'd start getting some momentum," KAHS head coach Wally Mueller said. "Just simple things that's been plaguing us all year. We had opportunities but just didn't capitalize on them."
The Tigers had to win to remain relevant in postseason talks. The loss eliminated them from playoff contention.
But by the end of the night, Mueller was proud of his team for dealing with all the injuries for much of this season.
"It was a valiant effort by our team. It was just an old-fashioned slugfest. The score doesn't represent the amount of football that was played in Williams, I can guarantee you that," Mueller said. "Our defense made some terrific goal-line stands to shut them down, had them run four-and-out.
"But you can't just keep your back to the goal line that long, especially with a powerful offense like Williams."
With less than two minutes left, Kingman Academy had a golden opportunity to tie the game, perhaps even come out on top.
Senior quarterback Austin Tomlinson and the offense ran a trick pass, gaining close to 60 yards on the play.
However, the offensive line was too far down field and was flagged for it. The Tigers couldn't recover afterward. They had zero timeouts left, and the clock just ran out.
"That crushed our chances right there. Those kind of things are just endless frustration that we've dealt with all season," Mueller said.
Both teams combined for approximately 150 yards of total offense.
KAHS sophomore linebacker Will Herbine led the Tigers with 18 tackles. Senior defensive back Frankie Mueller, back in the lineup after missing the previous seven games with a broken collarbone, had 14 tackles. Junior linebacker Chy Banda added 13 tackles.
"Chy Banda was shutting down their run game almost single-handedly," Mueller said. "Our linebackers and corners had a workout. They rose to the occasion."
Kingman Academy will conclude the 2013 season against Lee Williams High School at 7 pm. Friday at Southside Park.
It's the first time in history two Kingman-area varsity teams will square off.