CAMP VERDE - Off to the best start in the football program's brief three-year history, Lee Williams High School dominated Camp Verde on the road Friday to record its third consecutive shutout, 27-0.
The Volunteers' defense surrendered just 145 yards to Camp Verde, most of it in the fourth quarter when Lee Williams coach Eugene Kramer substituted freely with the game well in hand.
It's the "honorable" thing to do, Kramer said.
The Volunteers gained 287 yards rushing, led by Dallas Morgan with 146 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Jason Ruiz, nursing a calf injury, added 74 yards on 15 carries and scored a TD. Andrew Davis ran eight times for 61 yards and two TDs.
"I'm pretty excited for the kids," Kramer said. "It just comes down to believing in what we're trying to do. These kids are doing exactly what they need to do to be successful."
The Volunteers are playing team defense and getting 11 players to the ball, the coach said.
That's how defensive linemen Landon Kramer and Kyle Wegner were able to sack Camp Verde senior Bodie Holowell, a shifty quarterback who had previous success throwing the ball. He was picked off by Vols Levi Plaugher and Trey Fitzsimmons.
"Doing your assignment makes it easier for other guys around you," the coach said. "When you do what's best for the team and not worry about individual glory ... again, it's others sacrificing for those individuals to free up."
Lee Williams' game plan is starting to "click on a lot of different cylinders," but not all cylinders, Kramer noted.
The Cowboys (1-5, 0-3) didn't have their best offensive performance. They've scored just one touchdown in the past two games.
Camp Verde coach Steve Darby said he's not sure if it's the offense not playing as it should, facing good defensive teams or a combination of those things.
"We'll go back and look at the film and see what we need to do," Darby said. "I can say, speaking to this game tonight, they are a physical team. Our quarterback did not have much time. He had guys in on him and didn't have any chances to pass. Some of our screens and quick passes worked well. That's where we had the success we did have. We just need to get better."
Coach Kramer thanked Lee Williams' student body and parents who made the 3½-hour drive to Camp Verde to support the team. He said the Vols' fan base is "incredible" and that there were probably as many Volunteer fans at the game as there were Cowboy fans.
Lee Williams (5-1 overall, 3-0 section) returns home at 7 p.m. Friday against Glendale Joy Christian School (4-1, 2-0).
- Verde Independent sports reporter Derek Evans contributed to this report.