KINGMAN - After starting the season 0-5, last Friday's 48-21 win over Flagstaff has put the swagger back into the Bulldogs.
"I think we got a little bit of a swagger from it," KHS coach Rob York said. "I think it has rubbed off on some of the guys but at the same time we can't get over confident."
Part of the swagger for KHS (1-5) came from Gabe Lumas's seven interceptions. That earned him with the honor of being named Arizona Cardinals Player of the week as well as ESPN National Player of the week.
The Cardinals are expected to honor Lumas with a trophy presentation at 6:40 p.m. tonight before the Bulldogs host Surprise Willow Canyon.
"There are two ways Willow Canyon can look at it," said York of Lumas' game last week. "If they are going to throw the ball, stay away from No. 3 because he had a big game last week and go after other cornerbacks. Or they can say, 'I don't think he's that good. Let's knock him down a peg.'"
Willow Canyon (3-3) is coming off a 44-13 win over Glendale Ironwood and is expected to run the ball mostly.
York knows that any time his team plays a Phoenix area team, it's going to be a battle.
"The Phoenix teams, they have more numbers, and they're bigger, faster and stronger," York said. "We have to try and play our game and out-scheme them a bit. They are not going to come out with anything tricky. They are going to run the ball so the kids are going to have to tackle and the defensive line has to get off the ball and not get pushed around."
Despite the possibility of being outsized, the Bulldogs may have one advantage over Willow Canyon. The weather.
Today's forecast is calling for it to be cool, with a high around 64 degrees. The 7 p.m. kickoff temperature could be around 57 degrees.
"Hopefully it will be a huge factor for Willow Canyon," York said. "It's cooler there, but their cooler is 80 degrees. Hopefully it is not a big deal for us and hopefully it will be a big deal for them."
After tonight, KHS has three games left, including road trips to Surprise Valley Vista next week and Prescott before returning home Oct. 28 to close out the season against Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain.
After last week's win, the talk was to salvage the season with a 5-5 record.
"We talked about that a little bit," York said. "If they are feeling confident that we can run the season out and end at 5-5, that's a good attitude to have."
Regardless of how the season ends, right now the Bulldogs have the swagger and are riding high after finally getting that first win last week.
"It's a relief for everybody. I'm glad we got the win," York said. "The kids are happier, it's more upbeat. It made a difference in the way they have been practicing."