KINGMAN - For the first time since the 2007 season-ending 35-7 win over Surprise Valley Vista, the Kingman High football team won a Northwest Region game - a 42-21 romp that spoiled Goldwater's Homecoming Friday in Phoenix. The win snapped a 13-game losing streak in region.
"We wanted to come out and play hard," KHS coach Rob York said. "Numbers-wise, we knew both teams were identical."
KHS (2-2, 1-1 NW) found its offense for the second game in a row - the Bulldogs scored 43 against Mohave last week - and KHS' defense did enough to preserve the win.
"The defense is still struggling," York said. "Our linebackers and defensive line need to be more aggressive."
The defense started the game by giving up a long pass about four minutes into the contest that gave Goldwater a 7-0 lead, but the offense came back on a four-play series, with fullback Jose Cardenas scoring on a 1-yard run to tie it 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Goldwater (1-3, 0-1 NW) scored first in the second quarter to go back up, 14-7, but it took the Bulldogs only five plays to tie it again. KHS led 28-14 at the half after a touchdown run by quarterback Dylan Smith and two touchdown passes from Smith to wide receiver Danny Gonzalez.
KHS put the game out of reach in the third quarter when Gonzalez caught his third touchdown from Smith, a 34-yard reception. Smith then ran in his second touchdown from the 3 after he returned an interception 75 yards.
Smith passed for 223 yards, completing 11 of 17. Gonzalez caught six of them for 120 yards, and Smith was generous with the rest, using four other receivers.
The Bulldogs entered the game with three injured tailbacks, but senior Cody Schoonover was effective. He rushed for 93 yards on 12 carries, and the team had 155 yards with six different Bulldogs rushing.
Perhaps the biggest turnaround for the Bulldogs was their ability to convert PATs. Marius Freytag was 1-for-8 in KHS' previous two games, but the kicker went 6-for-6 against Goldwater.
"We fixed some problems this week with a new snapper and a new holder," York said. "It's nice to know we can go for one and not have to try for two. Marius is kicking the ball well."
On the defensive side of the ball, senior Keith Milkie had six solo tackles, including four sacks, and Schoonover was all over the field with eight solo tackles - including three for losses and a quarterback sack.
Gabe Lumas had four solo tackles, broke up two long pass attempts and had an interception. As a team, the Bulldogs had 10 tackles for losses and forced five turnovers.
The defense will be the key for KHS when Glendale Mountain Ridge (3-1, 1-0 NW) comes to Kingman this week.
"Beating Mountain Ridge would be 'shock the world' kind of stuff," York said. "We'll want to get some momentum and do some positive things. We can score points, we just have to fix some things on defense. That's our mission this week."