KINGMAN - Lake Havasu ran up the gut of the Kingman High football team's defense to the tune of 349 yards, and the Knights humbled the Bulldogs Friday in Lake Havasu, 52-19.
"We played a good football team that just beat us," said KHS coach Greg Tonjes. "We knew they were going to run. We're disappointed in the loss but not disappointed in the way our guys fought."
After a scoreless first quarter that saw both teams unable to get much accomplished, it was Kingman (0-1) that grabbed an early lead when quarterback Daniel Williford connected with Maurice Longmire for a 37-yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter. Taylor Ferrin's point-after-attempt was blocked, and the Bulldogs led, 6-0.
It was a golden opportunity for the Bulldogs to keep the momentum, but it didn't happen. Less then three minutes later, Havasu's Jacob Kalogonis hauled in a 26-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Sam Warner. A blocked PAT by the Bulldogs kept the game tied, 6-6.
It was mayhem after that for Kingman. A fumbled kickoff return put Havasu in great field position to move ahead, 12-6. On the next kick-off, the Bulldogs let the ball hit the ground and Havasu (1-0) recovered again. That led to another touchdown and an 18-6 lead for Havasu.
The Bulldogs finally got possession, but Williford was intercepted after a pass was partially blocked. Havasu's Cole Means took it in for a score and a 24-6 halftime lead.
"We learned that mistakes - six turnovers and three pick-sixes - are hard to overcome," Tonjes said. "It's just one game and it only means we won't go undefeated."
Kingman looked like it was going to get back into the swing of things when the Bulldogs scored within the first two minutes of the third quarter. Isiah Perez made a beautiful sideline catch in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown from Williford, and Ferrin's PAT narrowed the lead to 11, 24-13.
That was the last of the noise the Bulldogs made as Havasu then scored 28 consecutive points. Kingman got its final score with 2:09 left in the game when Longmire scored his second touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Williford.
Williford finished the game completing 10-of-26 for 155 yards and three touchdowns. He threw three interceptions and all were returned for touchdowns. Longmire led the Bulldogs with 57 yards receiving and the two scores.
While Kingman had a tough time holding on to the ball and getting its offense moving, Havasu held the ball for 31:52. The Bulldogs had the ball for just 15:59.
"You can't allow a team to run the ball for 32 minutes," Tonjes said. "Our linebackers have to tackle. That Havasu kid ran with two, three of our guys hanging on him."
Stopping the run is paramount for the Bulldogs. They travel to River Valley Friday to face the Dust Devils, a team that lost in the Division IV state championship game last season. River Valley beat Kingman a year ago, 34-0, and the Dust Devils love to run. Senior Brandon Long ran for 2,204 yards and 32 touchdowns as River Valley reached the title game.
"The coaches have to get better, and that's me first," Tonjes said. "I have to prepare better. We have to dial in the things that we have to do better to give our kids a better position for success on the football field."