Bulldogs beat Desert Mountain on homecoming

There were fireworks above the field and fireworks on the field Friday night when the Bulldogs hosted Desert Mountain for homecoming at Lee Williams Field.

Kingman fans undoubtedly knew the fireworks on the field were the more dramatic when the Bulldogs rose up to defeat the Wolves 41-34 in overtime.

On a night when the Bulldogs came of age on the field it was one run by Dillon Jenkins that may have been the most electrifying moment — a moment that brought the near-capacity crowd to its feet after the fourth quarter ended.

In overtime Kingman had the ball at the Desert Mountain 11 yard line on second down and goal and fullback Dillon Jenkins rumbled up the middle for the touchdown.

Following the PAT the Bulldogs led 41-34.

All that remained was for the defense to hold the Wolves out of the end zone for four downs.

Desert Mountain went to its main man, Evan Elliot, who was nearly unstoppable all night on first down, but he was stopped at the 8 yard line.

Three straight pass attempts into the end zone failed and Kingman won its first game of the year.

Fireworks boomed overhead and the crowd stood and cheered when Wolves' quarterback Garrett Moore's pass to Elliot in the end zone bounced to the ground.

Early in the game it looked as if the "Peter Principle" would be in effect for the Bulldogs.

On the first play of the game Kingman quarterback Justin Walsh turned the corner on the left side of the field and dashed to the end zone for an apparent touchdown.

But, a referee made an inadvertent whistle and the play was called dead at the Kingman 45 yard line.

Things began to go the Bulldogs' way on the next play when Mike Libertini turned the corner on the right side on the option and scampered 65 yards for a touchdown just 32 seconds into the game.

"When I was running and I heard the whistle go off I didn't see anything so I kept running.

They said it was an inadvertent whistle," Walsh said.

"I was pretty disappointed, but I didn't care after the next play."

From that point on it was a seesaw battle, but Desert Mountain took a 28-21 advantage to the locker room at halftime.

In the third quarter the Bulldogs stopped Desert Mountain on its first possession then proceeded to mount an 83-yard drive that went seven minutes and 15 seconds and was capped by a 7-yard touchdown run by Bryce Vanderhorst as time ran out in the quarter.

The PAT failed and Kingman trailed 28-27.

The Wolves marched 79 yards down the field in nine plays for a touchdown to open the fourth quarter, but they went for the two-point conversion and failed.

Kingman answered with an 80-yard run by Vanderhorst on third down and five for a touchdown with 6:37 left in the game.

Following the PAT it was tied at 34.

In overtime it was Walsh who called the play to run Jenkins up the middle.

"We knew we got it that far we'd be able to push it in," Walsh said.

"The play that we ran to score worked the whole game."

It was a breakthrough game for the Bulldogs.

"I called the side we'd go to, but it was a quarterback read," Grosh said.

"Justin did a great job tonight.

He really came through.

"He is now an option quarterback."

After suffering through four losses, against teams that were 15-1 going into Friday night's games, the Bulldogs felt they were ready to win.

The Bulldogs had 184 yards total offense in their opener against Kofa.

Against Mountain View the next week they had 70 yards total.

In their third game Kingman posted 280 yards offense against Westview.

But, last week against No.

5 Camelback, the Bulldogs posted 398 yards total offense.

Friday Kingman put up 514 yards of total offense.

Jenkins led the team with 187 yards on 25 carries and Libertini added 140 yards on 16 carries.

Grosh said he felt the Bulldogs would come out on top in the game.

"There were a lot of people who didn't believe," Grosh said, "but that bunch on the field and our coaches believed.

"I dedicate that game to the kids and my assistant coaches.

Every single kid and every single coach hung in there and believed."

The Bulldogs open Northwest Regional play when they travel Friday to No.

4 Peoria, a 35-14 winner over Phoenix Brophy Prep last week.

Walsh said the win Friday will help get the team pumped up for its next game.

"It feels great," Walsh said.

"Going into conference play it helps a lot.

If we went 0-5 we wouldn't even be looking forward to (conference play).