KINGMAN - For the third time this season, the Kingman Academy Tigers used fourth-quarter heroics to pull out a victory and remain in Division V playoff contention.
Sophomore running back Jordan McDowell-Seybert busted through the Williams (4-5, 2-3 Section VII) defensive line for a 1-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 4 seconds left to give the Academy (6-3, 4-1 Section VII) the win on Senior Appreciation Night at Southside Park, 12-6.
Academy's win sets up a gigantic showdown next Friday for Kingman football fans when the Tigers visit Lee Williams (6-3, 3-2 Section VII). Sedona Red Rock upset the Volunteers in Sedona Friday, 21-19, possibly making next Friday's contest a winner in-loser out scenario in terms of a berth in the state playoffs.
"When I saw the hole, I was so happy - especially for the seniors," McDowell-Seybert said of his touchdown run.
The sophomore had 13 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns. "It's nothing but a testament to the offensive line," he said. "I couldn't have done it without the line."
It was a scoreless first quarter, but the Academy was in the midst of a six-play, 32-yard drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown run by McDowell-Seybert less than a minute into the second quarter.
The Academy's Walker Glass set up the score during a Tiger punt. He charged down the field, collided with Williams punt returner Martina Soria and recovered the fumble.
Glass finished with 13 total tackles. "He's just hyper," KAHS coach Dan Stroup said. "We do call him the Energizer Bunny."
It remained 6-0 until less than four minutes were left in the fourth quarter. Williams drove 98 yards in 15 plays to tie the game. The point-after went wide right, and the game was deadlocked.
The Tigers took the kick-off and 8 plays and 58 yards later, McDowell-Seybert scored the winning touchdown. Williams had more than a minute to drive 72 yards to at least tie, but Academy's Wyatt Schmidt scooped up a Viking fumble with 30 seconds remaining to seal the deal. He rumbled about four yards before being brought down.
"I just tried to score," Schmidt said. "I knew we were cutting it close. We had to do something."
Williams brought a physical game to the Academy, making it a slugfest. "Crazy night," Schmidt said. "Heck of a dogfight. We didn't have any major problems with them. They were here to fight, but we brought more of it."
Freshman Kekoa Makaiwi-Stroup held his own in his first varsity start at quarterback. He completed 5 of 11 passes for 43 yards and suffered from three drops that could have accounted for about another 60 yards and at least one touchdown.
"He did a great job managing the game," Stroup said. "The seniors said he was nervous this week in practice but he was cold as ice in the game."