Kingman football looks for quick start at Homecoming

KINGMAN - After two weeks on the road, the Kingman High football team has found an answer to its scoring problems, posting 26 points on the scoreboard.

But the question of how to get off to a better start and score points in the first half is still a work in progress.

The Bulldogs (1-6) are hoping a big crowd and all of the added excitement that comes with tonight's Homecoming game can be part of the solution to beating 5A-I Mountain Ridge.

"It's more intense, more serious," said Kingman tight end Mike Howell of playing in a Homecoming game. "I think Shaun (Farrington) will make us start better. He's more excited this game. He leads this team, and he can definitely get us up for this game."

KHS coach Jay Weakland hopes his players can find their motivation to play smart from the start, adding that Homecoming games have added to players' energy in the past.

"For some reason, this is the game our kids circle and say that's the game I choose to play hard," he said. "I just want to see us play fundamentally sound football at the start. If teams are better than us, then they're better than us, but if you don't execute your assignments, you wont know that."

Howell has been a key element to the Bulldogs' offensive production in recent weeks, accounting for three touchdown catches from Farrington.

"Me and Shaun have been starting to connect, and he's been throwing good," Howell said.

As much as the Bulldogs have begun to open up their passing game, having a healthy Jesse Ochoa back in the lineup will also boost the team's ground game. But Weakland said it will take more than a strong offensive showing to play with Mountain Ridge. The Mountain Lions handed KHS its worst loss lost season, a 79-0 drubbing.

"We have to be strong in all three phases of the game," he said. "Last year's score was ugly, but a lot of those points came from special teams, so we can't be passive. We have to have some confidence from the beginning."

Mountain Ridge (3-4, 3-0) is under a new head coach this season, Bobby Greene, and have won their last three games against region opponents Deer Valley, Trevor Browne and Sandra Day O'Connor.