KINGMAN - In just their second year of varsity football, the Volunteers of Lee Williams High School showed they're already tired of being the whipping boys.
After last year's 32-0 loss to Parker, the Vols were in no mood for another spanking in their home opener Friday night. Things have changed. The boys have grown.
Lee Williams dominated the line of scrimmage on defense, ran the ball with power, passed efficiently and got lucky on a few mistakes to come away with a convincing 29-13 victory over the Broncs in front of about 600 hometown supporters.
The defense, led by middle linebacker Dallas Morgan, stopped Parker on the first series of downs, taking over near midfield after an incomplete fourth-down pass.
Running backs Jason Ruiz and Morgan both gained big chunks of yardage on the Volunteers' opening drive, though Ruiz fumbled twice and Lee Williams recovered both loose balls.
Quarterback Braxton Burgess connected with Landon Kramer in the end zone on fourth down and the Vols jumped on top 6-0 midway through the first quarter.
Morgan pounded the middle and broke tackles on a second-quarter drive, reaching pay dirt on a 13-yard rumble that put the Volunteers up 12-0.
They led 12-7 at halftime and extended the lead to 20-7 in the third quarter on a 14-yard head-banging run by Morgan, who fought hard for the last five yards and stretched his 6-2, 185-pound frame a foot into the end zone as the ball bounced loose. He also ran for the two-point conversion.
Morgan, one of the juniors who started Lee Williams' football program three years ago, was all over the field on defense, flying to the ball and taking charge as the inspirational leader on both defense and offense.
Defensive linemen Kaleb Smith and Jerry Jones bulled their way into the Broncs' backfield on consecutive plays, sacking the quarterback and tackling runners for losses, and Burgess made his presence felt from his free safety position.
"I can't say enough about our defensive (coaching) staff," Lee Williams' third-year varsity head coach Eugene Kramer said. "They put together a game plan that was great. We had a little blown coverage, but early in the season, that's pretty common. Especially when you're not a passing team, it's hard to prepare for those type of teams."
Parker had receivers open deep down the field on several occasions, but completed one long pass out of bounds, overthrew another receiver and had a couple of dropped balls over the middle on third down.
The Broncs drew within comeback range in the fourth quarter when Fisher scooped up Burgess' fumble and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. The PAT kick made it 20-13 with just over seven minutes remaining.
Lee Williams quickly regained momentum with a blocked punt by Kramer, recovered by Parker in the end zone for a Vols' safety with 3:38 left.
The Volunteers put the game away with a 3-yard keeper by quarterback Burgess at the two-minute mark.
Morgan led the Vols' power-I rushing game with 118 yards on 17 carries (6.9 yards per carry) with two touchdowns and Ruiz ran 13 times for 52 yards (4.0 yards per carry). Burgess was 5-for-6 passing for 27 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Kramer, playing with a soft cast on his injured right thumb, caught three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown.
"The only way to explain the passing is lots of work all winter and summer," coach Kramer said. "Hats off to Braxton Burgess and the receivers for the work they did."
Defense coach Joe Juelfs said the team has to work on missed calls and missed assignments, but praised the kids for playing hard all four quarters.
"We had lots of different guys in there. Every series, somebody came up with a big play, either a linebacker or the defensive line," Juelfs said.
Lee Williams (1-0) plays host to Holbrook at 7 p.m. Friday.